Looks like Steam is configured to support peer-to-peer downloads over LAN

If there’s one thing Valve likes to do, it’s add new features to the already hefty mass that is Steam with little warning.

A future feature seems to have been revealed in a recent release. Uncovered by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik while poring over the app’s latest update, it looks like Valve is preparing to introduce peer-to-peer downloads over LAN connections.

Peer-to-peer LAN downloads are essentially a direct connection for downloads over a private network. This would mean that, rather than creating a Steam backup, transferring it to another PC and reinstalling it there, entire installs could be sent across your private network from one machine to another.

Why would Valve want to include features like this? The current idea is that this is to help speed up the installation process on the Steam Deck. Rather than having to download games to the device via the internet, anything you have installed on the PC app can be quickly sent to the Steam Deck. Obviously, in countries like Australia where the Steam Deck is not available, this feature is a bit less exciting than in territories where you box get it, but it would still be a useful feature and would save a little extra time for those with a meticulously wired LAN at home.

Much of the code required to make the P2p functionality work appears to be in place. Some replies to Djundik’s tweet indicate that some people have managed to get it to work with minimal tinkering.

It’s unclear at this point when Valve intends to make this feature available on the live version of Steam.

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