6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games
Steam is packed with a variety of useful features you may not be aware of, but third-party developers have made utilities and websites that add even more features to Steam. From moving installed games to other hard drives without re-downloading them to managing your game backlog and seeing just how much money your Steam library is worth, these tools add a variety of missing features.
Steam has gradually added features you once needed third-party programs for. You can now choose an install location every time you install a game, see the games you and another person both own (perfect for deciding a game to play together), and get email notifications when games on your wishlist go on sale.
Steam Mover – Move Installed Games
Steam now allows you to select an installation location when you install your games, which is particularly useful if you have limited storage space — perhaps you have a small solid-state drive and a larger drive where you want to install your games.
However, if you want to change the installation location of a Steam game after installing it, you’ll normally need to remove the game and then install it again, downloading all the game’s data again in the process. This could take a while and could be a problem if you have a slow Internet connection or one with a bandwidth cap.
Depressurizer – Easily Manage Steam Game Categories
If you’ve ever tried to categorize your games in Steam, you’ll know that it can be an exercise in frustration. You can only assign a category to one game at a time, and you have to do it by opening a context menu, opening a dialog box, and assigning the category. You can’t easily categorize multiple games at once. If you want to rename a category, you can’t – you can only create a new category and slowly reassign each individual game to the new category one-by-one. Worse yet, Steam can sometimes forget these categories when you log in from another PC, forcing you to start over and do the whole tedious process from scratch.
Depressurizer is a tool designed to make using Steam categories much more easily. The application allows you to automatically assign games to categories like “Action” and “Adventure” based on their categories in the Steam store, quickly assign a category to multiple games at once, rename categories, and even create a backup file containing all your Steam game category information. You can quickly reimport this file with Depressurizer if Steam ever forgets your categories again.
Wasted on Steam – See How Much Your Library Is Worth & More
Just how much is your Steam library worth? Wasted on Steam will tell you. This utility won’t actually tell you how much you’ve spent on games – if you acquired games on sale or via bundles like the Humble Bundle, Wasted On Steam will show them at full price. Likewise, if you purchased a game at $60 but it’s now being sold for $20, the game will appear to be worth less now.
Nevertheless, this utility will show you just how much you’d have to spend to buy your entire Steam library again today. Just enter your Steam ID and it will do the work. It will also display how many hours you’ve played games in total, display sales, and more.
How Long To Beat, Backloggery – Track Your Backlog
If you’re one of the people with Steam game libraries composed of hundreds of games – many of them purchased in cheap bundles during sales – you may have quite a backlog of games you haven’t played yet.
You can track this backlog with a website like How Long to Beat. Enter the Steam games you want to play and How Long to Beat will show them all in a list, displaying the time it took for other users to complete the game. It will even add them all up, telling you just how long you’ll have to play your games to catch up. How Long to Beat can also be used without an account — you can quickly search for a game and see how long it will take you to finish it.
Both of these programs aren’t Steam or even PC-specific – they can be used with games from every platform.
TikiOne-Steam-Cleaner – Free Up Space
Steam games often need to install “redistributable” packages like DirectX updates, Games For Windows Live, and so on. Games include these installer files and automatically install them the first time you launch the game.
After you’ve run them, they stick around on your hard drive, using up space. Worse yet, every game comes with its own unique copy of these files. If you have a large amount of games installed, it’s likely much space is being used by unnecessary duplicates of these installers, which may be as large as 100MB each.
TikiOne-Steam-Cleaner will scan your Steam folder for such installers and allow you to quickly remove them, freeing up space. It’s a good idea that can help free up space, but there’s a problem – if the game ever updates or if you run the “verify game cache” option on the game, Steam will notice that some of the game’s files are missing and re-download them.
GameSave Manager – Back Up & Restore Game Saves
Many – or even most – new games include Steam Cloud support for game saves. They’ll automatically upload your game saves to the cloud, syncing them across all your devices and allowing you to recover them if you ever reformat your hard drive or get a new computer.
However, some games don’t include Steam Cloud support for game saves. You might also want to have local backup copies of saves for games you’ve played, just in case Steam makes a mistake and messes them up. This is even useful if you’re migrating Steam to a new hard drive – not all game saves will come with you.
GameSave Manager is a program that scans your hard drive for Steam game saves and allows you to create a backup file containing them. You can then use GameSave Manager to quickly restore all your game saves from this single file on a new computer. GameSave Manager also allows you to link save folders to cloud folders, so you could link a game’s save folder to your Dropbox or Google Drive folder and automatically sync its saves with your cloud storage.
Have you used any other useful utilities or websites that improve your Steam experience? Leave a comment and share them below!