Computer games take up a lot of storage space. Some titles even reach 200 GB for a single game. With such large sizes (and if you have limited bandwidth), you don’t want to waste time and data downloading a game again.
Fortunately, Steam makes it easy to move a game from one unit to another. Although in the past this process was more complicated, now Steam has integrated the Steam Library folders directly into the client.
How to Move Steam Games to Another Drive
Before you can move a Steam game from one drive to another, you must create a new Steam Library folder on the destination drive. To do this, open Steam and choose Settings> Downloads> Steam Library Folders.
All current Steam Library folders and their location are displayed. If you have never done so, there is probably only one folder. Click on New folder at the bottom right of the window and choose the destination. Steam’s default download destination is the C: drive, so you may need to navigate to the new window.
When you have chosen a destination, name the new folder. The default name is SteamLibrary if you do not choose another one. Once this process is complete, you can move the games easily.
Find the game you want to move to another unit. Right-click on the game and select the properties, then choose the Local files card. At the bottom of this tab, click Move the installation folder and choose the new folder to which you want to move the game.
Once you have selected the folder, click Move the folder to start the process. Depending on the size of the game, this may take a few minutes. Note that if this folder is on an external drive, you will not be able to access the game if you disconnect it.
When you install games in the future, you can choose which drives you want to install. The games you play frequently should go to your main unit, but the games you don’t play are often good candidates for going to a secondary (potentially external) unit, so they don’t tarnish your memory.
How to play between multiple computers
There are some cases where someone can play on more than one computer. Maybe you have a platform in your college dorm and one at home, or maybe you play competitively, but you need your own Steam library to compete. Whatever the reason, you can house the entire library in an outdoor unit and take it with you.
If you want to keep your Steam library on an external hard drive, you’ll want a solid state drive for faster load times. To get started, follow the same steps as above. Open Steam> Settings> Downloads> Steam Library Folders.
Create a new Steam library on the external drive. Download or copy your Steam games to the external drive. Once this is done, you can use the drive on any PC. You will need to install Steam on the new PC and set the default folder on the external drive.
To do this, follow the steps to create a new folder, but instead of creating one, choose the existing folder and destination and click Select.
Sometimes it can take a few minutes to load all the necessary files, but once the game is up and running, you should be able to play with little or no latency.
Why should you move Steam games?
Many modern gaming computers have two drives: a solid state drive that contains the operating system and most played games, and a traditional hard drive with much more storage for non-essential files.
If you have a basic set of games that you spend most of your time playing, these are the best games to keep on your main unit. However, if there are other games you want to try, but don’t mind longer charging times, you can put them on a secondary drive.
That way, your most played games load quickly and play better, while games you don’t spend most of your time on will also take up space in the solid state drive. If you start spending more time with games on your secondary unit, you can move them to the main unit; do not use all storage space.
Because? Solid state drives load significantly faster than traditional hard disk drives. A game on a solid state drive will have shorter load times and better performance than a game on a traditional SATA drive.
If you want a good example of where it would be useful, check out any open world games. Skyrim, for example. Open world games have long charge times, but a solid state drive reduces the time you wait and increases the time you spend playing.