How to Download and Play Steam Games at The Same Time

If you're downloading while playing online games, this slows you down

by Madhuparna Roy
Madhuparna Roy
Madhuparna Roy
A diploma holder in computers and with a keen interest in technology, Madhuparna is passionate about writing How-to guides and helping people solve the most intricate Windows issues.... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • When trying to download and play Steam games at the same time, you may notice that the game download is paused in the background. 
  • While previously there was no option available in the Steam preferences to allow game downloads in the background, the client soon came up with it.
  • You can now download the game in the background while you play another game on Steam, and even play games in the offline mode. 
steam download and play at the simultaneously
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Are you trying to download and play Steam games at the same time, but fail to do so? Well, then we have the solution for you.

So when you launch a game using the Steam client, the other game downloading in the background is automatically paused.

But if you are facing an issue like Steam won’t go online or it’s stuck in offline mode, you can refer to our detailed post for quick solutions.

In this post, we will address that and more that will help you to understand how to download and play games on Steam at the same time.

Can I play Steam games without downloading them?

Yes, you can play Steam games in offline mode through the app when there’s limited or no internet access.

Before you proceed with the below steps, make sure Steam remembers your login credentials. This will allow Steam to automatically sign you in next time without an Internet connection.

  1. Launch Steam. It will now skip the usual login screen and try to connect to your account.Steam log in prompt
  2. Since there is no active internet connection, you will now see a Connection Error prompt.
  3. Select Start in Offline Mode.start in offline mode
  4. Now, as the Steam window opens, navigate to Library and play the desired game offline.

However, not all games or a Steam client feature will be available while offline, because they require an active connection. Also, neither the store page will work nor you can download any games.

Besides, if you’re asking can Steam games download while in sleep mode, the answer is no, it cannot.

Because as your laptop goes into sleep mode, it’s effectively shutting down all the main processes of the CPU. So it would ideally run in the background.

Can I install a game while playing?

Yes, you can install a game while playing if your PC has a good enough CPU and RAM.

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However, it’s usually not a good idea to play a graphically intense game while installing another. This may cause huge FPS drops in the game you’re playing and hence, you may experience lags.

If you still want to play a game while installing another, you can close any unnecessary programs running on the system to reduce the load and boost the game performance.

How do I download and play at the same time on Steam?

  1. Open Steam, click on the Steam menu, and select Settings.steam settings
  2. In the Settings window, click on Downloads on the left.
  3. Now, on the right, go to the Download Restrictions section and check the box next to Allow downloads during gameplay. Allow downloads during gameplay
  4. Press OK to save the changes and exit.

It’s a global option where you can change the Steam settings to allow downloads during any gameplay from the settings of the download.

This method is also applicable, in case you want to play a Steam game without updating.

Note icon
NOTE
At the same, you can pause the game that’s downloading, launch the game you want to play, press Alt + Tab to return to Steam, and resume all downloads.

Press Alt + Tab again to return to the game and continue to play as the other game downloads in the background.

How can I improve my Steam download speed?

While you can close any unnecessary processes or disable any 3rd party antivirus on your PC to speed up the download speed on Steam, if it doesn’t work, you can give priority to Steam downloads:

  1. Make sure that Steam is running. Now, right-click on Start and select Task Manager.open task manager
  2. Under the Processes tab, go to Background Processes and look for Steam Client.
  3. Right-click on it and select Go to details. szteam client go to details
  4. It will take you to the Details tab. Here, right-click on steamservice.exe, select Set priority, and click on High. steamservice.exe set priority

This method will prioritize Steam over other processes while increasing the download speed considerably.

You can also follow the methods in our detailed post, to fix the slow download speed on Steam permanently.

As seen above, it is indeed possible to play Steam games and download or install games on the app simultaneously.

But, if you are facing an issue like the Steam download is stopping, you can follow the solutions in our detailed post on the issue.

For any other queries on Steam or any errors that you may encounter while playing a game, you can let us know in the comments box below.

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