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.

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Steam Instant Play

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.

Steam Logo

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.

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I possess the dexterity of a toddler when it comes to fighting games, but the confidence of a hundred Jay-Z's. Absolutely love narrative-driven games - with a particular obsession with indie side scrollers and retrowave scores. Currently playing: Disco Elysium for probably 5th time in the last 6 months.