Steam Deck’s Arduous Pre-Loading, Unpacking, Patching, and Verifying Times are Ridiculous
If you’ve ever noticed the Deck downloading huge updates for your games out of nowhere, know that you’re not the only one having to deal with downtime.
Steam Deck Gaming just uploaded a video, noting that “this problem is really starting to get to me.” Unpacking Forspoken is only operating at 6 KB/s. Try to process how long that would take for unpacking 122 GB’ worth of content.
On desktop, it took 25 minutes to unpack the game, unlike the six-minute claim that Steam reported. On Deck, there was still about an hour left of unpacking to do.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Deck had to go through the verification phase after the game was unpacked. Verifying took close to an additional 40 minutes. Altogether, Steam Deck Gaming reports it took over two hours to install a pre-loaded game. Whereas “downloading it from scratch” took just over an hour.
Now let’s talk about games that are already installed, but have an update available. Cyberpunk 2077 got a DLSS 3/Reflex patch just a few days ago. Now keep in mind this update obviously won’t benefit Steam Deck users, as the Deck can’t make use of these features. But the Deck will go through the patching and verifying process for applying this update anyway, which SDG noted as “absolutely ridiculous.” They were better off just uninstalling the game and reinstalling it, since the patching process was taking over two hours. Add to that another two hours for the verification process. Even so, after re-installing the game, the verification process took an hour-and-a-half.
Man. I guess you’ll have to pick your poison either way.
Note that this issue is specific to the Deck; the desktop Steam client doesn’t take anywhere near as long when it comes to any of these processes, for some strange reason.
That isn’t the end of it. I’ve noticed myself times where I’ve woken my Deck from sleep, and seen several games in my library needing to go through this rigmarole just for a small patch, which might not even benefit the Deck specifically. People have places to go; they can’t sit around and wait for several gigabytes’ worth of nonsense to download. Now they’re forced to only play the games in their library that didn’t need an update while they’re offline – the games that need an update are just going to have to wait until the Deck has an Internet connection.
This problem needs to be investigated and addressed. See SDG’s video for more details.
Images are credit of Steam Deck Gaming.