Iso Made Me Add Up The Size Of My 16-Year-Old Steam Library

Iso Made Me Add Up The Size Of My 16-Year-Old Steam Library

This article has been sponsored by Optus.

I’d wager most people buy games digitally these days, particularly on PC. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I physically purchased a PC game. And while consoles are likely keeping that market alive, larger storage capacities and faster internet connections have those days numbered.

Being a Very Lucky Boy with a fast cable connection, downloading something like a 40GB game only takes about an hour and a half. It makes the act of going outside to physically buy a game (at a higher price, mind you) way less convenient. Plus, reinstalling games via a single button is way easier than than fumbling around with multiple CDs or DVDs.

In other words, the majority of my games are purchased via platforms like Steam that facilitate this convenience.

If I’m ever in need of some quick hard drive space, I’ll look to my library of Steam games, find a few things I haven’t played in a while and uninstall them. After all, it won’t take me long to reinstall them later on. I generally only have between 20 to 40 games of various sizes installed on Steam at any one time. If I go above that — especially with any modern AAA game that eats up 60GB or more — then I start to run low on space.

Right now, I have 37 games installed on Steam, totalling 453GB of space. Almost half a terabyte, and that’s not counting games installed through Epic Games or Battle Net (both of which include some very hefty titles).

It got me thinking — how much space would I need to install my ENTIRE Steam library?

I’ve had Steam since 2004. I remember this because it was the year Half-Life 2 came out and if I wanted to play it, I had to install Steam. Classic Valve. Since then, I’ve amassed a total of 168 games and counting, which is definitely too many to have installed at any one time. I highly doubt anyone could — or even want to — have that many games on the go.

I did a little snooping around to see if I could find an easy way to add up the total size of my 168-game library and came up with pretty much nothing. One site seemed promising, but it was either broken or my Steam ID is too old, so I was left to manually add everything up in a spreadsheet. Please recognise the effort this took.

So, after tallying everything up, my entire Steam library is 2.43 terabytes in size. That’s a lot of hard drive space. I simply do not have the willpower to add up the libraries on my other game platforms, but I’d estimate it would send that total well into three terabytes, maybe four.

In any event, there’s absolutely no way I could download all of this in a single session, even if I wanted to. I could buy enough hard drives to facilitate the space, but I’d also go way over my internet data cap, which isn’t at all ideal.

If you do find yourself needing to reinstall a bunch of games, make sure you have a data plan that facilitates it or a telco with some decent optional perks. Optus, for example, will let you get an Unlimited Data Day* add-on for an additional $5, which, as the name suggests, will let you ignore your data limit for that day.

*For use on mobile phone devices in Australia only. Fair Go Policy applies. Not for commercial use. Add on may be withdrawn from sale without notice. Full terms and conditions here.


    • Yeah that’s the one I tried. My profile comes up but there’s no data.

      Over the last 16 years, you’ve spent 0 hours playing this selection, which includes 0 items, is valued at $0, and requires 0 GB


    • “Steam Gauge is working, please be patient…”
      “Steam Gauge is suffering from a hernia, you monster.”
      “Steam Gauge is reconsidering all its life choices to this point.”

      One sandwich, and a youtube browsing session later:

      “Over the last 16 years, you’ve spent 25574.2 hours playing this selection, which includes 1911 items, is valued at $21474.99, and requires 6049.5 GB”

      Right, then! Time to go order a 6TB drive for the next PC.

      • I was a late hold-out, buying everything off Steam and just saying no when there was no other option. Since I finally caved in 11 years ago:

        Over the last 11 years, you’ve spent 13562.1 hours playing this selection, which includes 3393 items, is valued at $36745.68, and requires 8558.3 GB

        Luckily I can find enough space across my five hard drives, although I’ll have to delete some of the torrents I downloaded a decade ago and are still there because buying a new hard drive is easier than sorting through everything, and you never know what you might need come the zombie apocalypse.

  • oh I did this once a few years ago and it was over 5TB, I’d wager that’s probably has gone up by now lol

    I’ve wanted to upgrade my old 2TB mechanical drive for at least the past 3 years but it seems the only only 7200RPM drives greater then 2TB i can find are WD Black

  • Is this promoted content or partner content?

    Because at the end of this article you throw in a completely unrelated plug for a product that’s also currently advertising with you.

    This feels… uncool.

    • I don’t know if the page didn’t load correctly or what, but there is a banner/label at the top of the article that says, “This article has been sponsored by Optus.” Are you blocking images? That might be what’s hidden it?

          • It matters to Pedestrian Group because it’s a search engine optimisation strategy that increases the chance that people will unintentionally click on their ads, and it matters to typical web users because it means they’re being fed ads instead of actual unbiased search results while also crowding out genuine articles.

            Part of Google’s search algorithms include allocating a lower search ranking to advertorial content by screening for phrases such as “This article has been sponsored by”.

  • “If you do find yourself needing to reinstall a bunch of games, make sure you have a data plan that facilitates it or a telco with some decent optional perks.”

    I know this might mean you don’t get that juicy little pay off from Optus but the way I avoid having to re-download games is to copy them to an external drive when I’m not playing them. That way I just copy the files back when I want to play it again and all I need to download are any updates. You can do this for any computer too (there’s a bit of finagling you need to do if the game hasn’t been installed on the machine before) so it saves a lot on bandwidth if you’re juggling games because of limited SSD space.

    • I avoid the extra charge of exceeding data caps by not downloading with mobile data, since the majority of home plans these days don’t have caps.
      Even Optus in this ad/article know that spending $5 for unlimited data only matters for mobile plans.

  • those are rookie numbers son 😉

    Over the last 15 years, you’ve spent 4477.4 hours playing this selection, which includes 6177 items, is valued at $52293.06, and requires 10994.7 GB

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