Why is Steam using so much storage?

Answered by James Kissner

Steam is using a significant amount of storage for a variety of reasons. Let’s dive into the details to understand why this is the case.

1. Game Library: One of the primary reasons for Steam using a lot of storage is the number of games in your library. With 63 games, each game can vary in size, ranging from a few hundred megabytes to several gigabytes. If you have multiple AAA titles or games with high-quality graphics, they tend to be larger in size. Additionally, if you have installed DLCs or expansion packs, they can further contribute to the overall storage usage.

2. Game Updates: Steam frequently releases updates for games to fix bugs, introduce new features, or provide additional content. These updates can be substantial in size, especially if they include major changes or additions to the game. Over time, these updates can accumulate and occupy a significant amount of storage space.

3. Mod Content: Many games on Steam, including Garry’s Mod as mentioned, have a vibrant modding community. Mods are user-created modifications that enhance or alter the gameplay experience. These mods often come with additional assets such as textures, models, and sound files, which can quickly increase the size of the game. Garry’s Mod, in particular, is known for its extensive modding capabilities, which means it can consume a considerable amount of storage space due to the sheer number of mods available.

4. Saved Game Files: Whenever you play a game, it usually generates saved game files to record your progress. These files can accumulate over time, especially if you have multiple playthroughs or save files for different game modes. While individual saved game files might not take up much space, collectively they can contribute to the overall storage usage.

5. Temporary Files: Steam also creates temporary files when you download, install, or update games. These temporary files are necessary during the installation process but are typically removed once the process is complete. However, if the installation or update encounters any issues, these temporary files might not be deleted, leading to unnecessary storage consumption. It’s a good practice to periodically clear these temporary files to free up space.

6. Workshop Content: Steam’s Workshop feature allows users to share and download additional content for games. This content can include mods, maps, skins, and other user-generated creations. Similar to mod content, Workshop items can contribute to the overall storage usage, especially if you subscribe to a large number of items.

7. Preloaded Assets: Some games on Steam come with preloaded assets to reduce loading times during gameplay. These assets are stored on your storage device to ensure a smoother gaming experience. While they are beneficial in terms of performance, they do occupy a certain amount of storage space.

To manage your storage usage effectively, you can consider the following steps:

– Regularly review your game library and uninstall games that you no longer play or need.
– Keep an eye on game updates and remove older versions or unnecessary patches once the updates are installed successfully.
– Delete saved game files for games you have completed or no longer play.
– Periodically clear temporary files generated by Steam during installations or updates.
– Evaluate the mods and Workshop content you have subscribed to and remove any that you no longer use or need.

By taking these steps, you can optimize your storage usage and ensure you have enough space for new games and updates.