Steam Working on “Instant Play” Feature That Allows Players to Play Games Before They Finish Downloading

Valve has filed a patent for an "instant play" feature.


Steam, for the most part, has been the primary go-to platform for PC gamers to get their gaming fix and it looks like Valve is trying to make things a little more comfortable for its users. A patent spotted by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, Valve is currently working on bringing a new “instant play” system to Steam that allows players to play a game before it has finished downloading.

This isn’t exactly unheard of as console games have been doing something similar for a while now. For instance, the PS4 allows players to play a game in limited capacity after the download has reached a certain point. Valve could be going for something similar for Steam, but there has been no official word from the company as of yet.

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Steam is apparently working on a “instant play” feature

According to the patent, the “instant play” system will free up space by removing unused blocks of game data to free up local memory resources and/or pre-fetch game data to reduce latency during gameplay. All of this sounds incredibly exciting and something that could be a major improvement to quality-of-life on Steam.

Valve has only filed a patent, which is indicative of it at least being in the works, but we are quite far from an actual rollout just yet. It will be probably be a while before Valve is able to work out all the kinks and intricacies of the “instant play” system and makes it available for users.

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At this point, Steam has become the primary go-to for PC gamers, but it is a positive development to see Valve stay on the ball and improve in key areas that helps improve the overall experience on the platform.