Steam data miner and SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik discovered way back in October peer-to-peer Steam downloads on the local area network.

Steam P2P code Image credit: @thexpaw

Then, just this past Friday, Pavel found a string in the last Steam update:

This feature allows your PC to transfer game files to and from other PCs or Steam Decks on your local network, reducing your Internet traffic while downloading or updating a game.

According to his Tweet, this “can limit to own devices, friends, or any user.”

To confirm this, @RafaCavalm shared a screenshot of this option. It looks like there will be a dropdown menu available in Steam Settings -> Downloads. Available options will be:

  • Off - don’t allow any transfer
  • Allow transfers to/from my own devices
  • Allow transfers to/from my Steam Friends
  • Allow transfers to/from any user

Steam P2P options Image credit: @RafaCavalm

This is going to be very convenient. As someone who is constantly switching between desktop and the Deck, this will eliminate a lot of hassle having to install the same game across two different platforms. You could have the games downloaded on desktop, then quickly transfer these games locally via P2P to your Deck, or vice versa. This will also preserve bandwidth on your WAN.

Although, a question that comes up is, say for example I have 750 GB worth of games installed on my desktop. Then I wanted to transfer those games to my 512 GB Deck. How exactly is that going to work? Will there be an option to transfer only specific games at that point? Will there be built-in error handling to prevent the Deck from getting overloaded with too much space? Will be interesting to see.

Since Pavel had discovered QR code login functionality prior to it actually becoming a reality later on, I certainly have reason to believe that this will be coming. It’s now just a matter of when.

Cover image credit: @RafaCavalm

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