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Screenshot of Steam application, with the new redesigned UI (in August 2023)
Screenshot of Steam mobile app (in August 2023)
Screenshot of Steam homepage (circa 2012)


Not to be confused with env_steam (the entity for the in-game steam effect).

Steam Steam is Valve's distribution platform, created to kick-start the digital distribution era for games. Steam allows users to easily purchase, download, play and update games online. It also helps developers by allowing them to break out of the innovation-crushing "retail and publisher" distribution model and offering them huge improvements to their profit margins and creative freedom.

Steam client is currently available for Windows Windows, macOS macOS and Linux Linux. A mobile version of Steam is also available for Android Android and iOS iOS/iPadOS.

Steam makes it easy to update software just like other similar software. Steam isn't the first software to do this, but it's become popular worldwide for gaming. Users had to visit separate websites that used to have their own steps and installers.

Some software had their own auto-updates, but they were pretty different from each other... This is mostly true for Windows, as some other OSes can auto-update their packages, but are not popular outside of some IT people.

Originally, Steam, at the time of it's releases, it only offered Valve games, or some games that use Valve IPs. This was later changed in 2005, when Steam starts to offers games from various third-party developers, whether they use Valve's engines, IPs or not.


Steam added PayPal as a payment option on 22 November 2006.

Steam Community and Achievements support was added in 2007. Around that time, Windows 98 and ME support has been dropped.

Steam added macOS macOS support in May 12, 2010.

In 2012, Steam Greenlight has been launched, allowing indie and small developers to publishing games on Steam and let users vote if the game was good enough to be published on Steam Store.

Steam added Linux Linux support in February 14, 2013. Around that same year, Steam dropped support for Windows 2000, and games were being transferred to new SteamPipe system around this time, which allow developers to publish new game updates without requiring Valve approvals, and to make most older Source Source games easier to mod while keeping the original game files intact (see Source 2013).

SteamOS SteamOS was launched in 2015, SteamOS is a Linux Linux-based distribution which was preinstalled with Steam. Since 2022, it is currently being used in Steam Deck Steam Deck, but previous versions are available for Steam Machines and other PCs.

Steam Direct was launched in 2017, which replaced Steam Greenlight.

Steam dropped support for Windows XP and Vista in Jan 1, 2019.

Custom Steam skins are no longer supported on June 15, 2023 as the entire VGUI has been replaced by Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF).

In Jan 1, 2024, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 are no longer receiving future Steam updates. Despite this, Steam is still being updated for both systems as of February 9th, 2024.

In February 15, 2024, Steam has dropped support for macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier. This also meant that all 32-bit games are no longer supported on all Macs after macOS Catalina (10.15).


Icon-Important.pngImportant:It's almost impossible to get older versions of the games without piracy or using retail versions of those games. This makes preservation of .dem files and Workshop Items which require specific versions of a game/software, that are impossible just with Steam Steam.
Warning.pngWarning:Steam Steamwill verify the files before launching the game after some Steam update. Users can't skip it at all. A 14.1 GB game may take up to 10-30 minutes on slower or busy PCs with some games.
Note.pngNote:Downloads are compressed; many updates take 11MB to download and 716MB to patch
Warning.pngWarning:Steam Steam cannot only download and install certain files that the user wants.

Steam Status & Statistics

For more information on Steam and how to get it, visit the official About page of Steam. To launch Steam, click here.

Install scripts

Blank image.pngTodo: How to find, create, debug them?

Games, mods, DLCs and Workshop items

Blank image.pngTodo: How are they compared?

System Requirements

Windows Windows
Windows Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Windows Windows 10 or later
Processor (CPU) Any with 1GHz or faster and SSE3 instruction set
System memory (RAM) 4GB+ (due to operating systems)
Hard disk drive (HDD/SSD) 1GB*
Video card (GPU) Any supported
Other Windows 7 and 8/8.1 are no longer supported since Jan 1, 2024, while Steam may get continued to be updated for these systems, some feature will eventually break or stop working correctly.
Windows 9x to Vista are no longer supported.
macOS Mac
macOS macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) macOS High Sierra OS X High Sierra (10.15)
Processor (CPU) (Intel x86) Any with 1GHz or faster and SSE3 instruction set
(Apple Silicon) Fully supported
System memory (RAM) 2-4GB+
Hard disk drive (HDD/SSD) 1GB*
Video card (GPU) Any supported
Other Support for Steam on OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra or earlier has been dropped.
Steam will also soon drop support for both 32-bit only Mac games and macOS 10.14 in February 15, 2024.
Linux Linux
Linux Linux
Operating system (OS) Depends on Linux distros
Processor (CPU) Same as Windows/Mac
System memory (RAM) Same as Windows/Mac
Hard disk drive (HDD/SSD) Same as Windows/Mac
Warning.pngWarning: Steam no longer supported Windows Windows 7, Windows Windows 8 and 8.1 in Jan 1, 2024. Despite this, Valve has yet to end support for these systems.

Support for Windows Windows XP and Windows Windows Vista and earlier has been dropped in Jan 1, 2019.
Support for macOS macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) and 10.12 (Sierra) has been dropped since Sep 1, 2023.
Supprot for both 32-bit Mac games and macOS macOS 10.14 (Mojave) will be dropped in February 15, 2024.

Chromebook ChromeOS (Chromebook)
Chromebook ChromeOS (Chromebook)
Operating system (OS) N/A
Processor (CPU) At least an Intel i3 or Ryzen 3 CPU
System memory (RAM) 8GB+ RAM
Hard disk drive (HDD/SSD) 128GB
Note.pngNote:Storage requirements would be changed over time depending on how many games/software you have installed.

See also

External links