Steam - can I copy game files from one Mac to another?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Ack, May 12, 2010.

  1. Ack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    #1
    Steam allows games to be installed on multiple computers as long as they're not both played at the same time. I'd like to get my Steam games installed on my laptop and on my desktop (both are Macs.) I have a somewhat slow Internet connection and I'd like to avoid downloading all of the games twice if possible.

    Is there any way that I can download the Mac versions onto my desktop, then copy the game files from my desktop to my laptop and make Steam on my laptop recognize that I'm entitled to play them?

    If so, how?
     
  2. ert3 macrumors 6502a

    ert3

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #2
    because of the way steam validates games you may have to re download the titles on each computer.

    Reasonably speaking copying your ~/Documents/Steam Content folder should work and is worth a shot but its most likely that you will have to download the games again.

    No worries though steam will not charge you for this EVER.
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    The Bamboo Forest
    #3
    You can on Windows so you should be able to on the Mac. Just copy your ~/Documents/Steam Content/ folder to your other computer in the same location. It may verify the files on the new computer and may download a bit, but it's usually only a few meg. I've done this on the Windows side many times with no problems.
     
  4. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #4
    I haven't tried this yet but there's a Backup and Restore option in one of the menus. That might be the "official" way to do it.
     
  5. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #5
    I'd recommend not using that. I used it for about 250GB of games on the Windows side and the restore completely failed. I checked the forums and people said that that's pretty much always been broken and never been fixed... so I had to redownload all 250GB...

    This was one of those features that was implemented way back when, when bandwidth was a premium and backing up to CD was king. Unfortunately I don't think they've really done anything with it since.
     
  6. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #6
    In your documents folder there is a steam folder.
    Copy the GCF files over to another mac. These are the file contents. Actual game data is small and steam handles that part.
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #7
    It still is, in some countries. However, if you can just copy the Steam Content folder then it looks like crisis averted :)
     
  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #8
    Pssshhh if it ain't Americun it's a vacation spot right? :D
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #9
    Be my guest. Lovely winter rain here at the moment :p
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #10
    I've had nothing but sucess with my restorations from Steam backups.

    It appears you can even use your game assests from Windows as well under OS X. You just need to download the OS X binaries after that.

    Time Machine or just a simple backup of the Steam Contents folder should be enough for most people. Though I do enjoy being able to take my notebook to work where there's FIOS, backup a game, and install it on my tower at home.
     
  11. jfanning macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #11
    I just tried it, but it seems to be broken. On the second Mac I can't restore anything because I haven't installed a game on steam yet??? And on the original Mac that I installed Portal it can't find the backup when I try to restore it.
     
  12. jfanning macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2007
    #12
    This method worked fine
     
  13. Ack thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 15, 2009
    #13
    Worked great for Portal, Torchlight, and Loom. Thanks!

    It's a lot faster to copy 5 GB over a 1Gbps LAN connection than to DL it through my ISP at 3mbps!
     
  14. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

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    #14
  15. agentsmithone macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #15
    I asked Google this yesterday. Doesn't look like that method works any more in the newer versions of Steam. The backup feature is of no use either because there is no restore feature on Steam for Mac, but it doesn't work that well in the Windows version anyway...

    I figured out to move games to another Mac without re-downloading you navigate to your home directory Library folder at ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/ then copy over the files containing the game's name over to the equivalent directory on your other Mac. When you get them copied over double click the game, Steam will check it and it will play.

    Add my SteamID: whoarethepatriotsocelet

    -Steveland Harris
     
  16. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    Location:
    London Ontario
    #16
    It still works...... The files are just no longer stored in the Documents directory.
     
  17. agentsmithone macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #17
    To move Left 4 Dead 2 from my MacBook Pro to my Mac Pro I moved:
    ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/left 4 dead 2, moved over the 3 .ncf files too. Thought it would be useful to know.
     
  18. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #18
    Do copies work with different Steam Accounts?

    I want to copy this to a laptop (MBP) but then log into Steam with a new account so I can play over LAN with a friend. I know I'll have to buy/gift a second license, but will I have to re-download the 11GB again or will it work if I register the game to that second account?

    Sucks that the game went from $6 back to $20, if I'd realized it was going to do that I would have bought 2 right away, but it took me 2.5 days to download the first copy...
     
  19. drunkenbozo3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    #19
    cant find steam content folder

    I can't even find my Steam Content folder. It's not in my Documents folder, and a search to display all invisible files with the name "Steam Content" have failed. I've also tried to "Go" to Documents/Steam Content but that hasn't worked either.

    Any ideas?
     
  20. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #20
    Go to /User/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps.

    Or, if you're in Windows, it should be Computer/Local Disk/Program Files/Steam/SteamApps.
     
  21. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #21
    It was moved in a later update but it's still in the user space and not in the system Library. Has anyone played with Steam on a multi-user Mac?
     
  22. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #22
    I have multiple accounts on both of my machines – Steam games are in the library folder of the user that you were logged into when you installed Steam.
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #23
    That sounds like a lot of redundant data.
     
  24. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #24
    None of it's duplicated, if that's what you're insinuating. I only use Steam under one account.
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #25
    I should have been more clear. Multiple user accounts under OS X and not Steam.
     

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