Steam is a popular digital distribution platform that allows you to download your favorite PC games straight to your computer. Normally, you will need an internet connection to play your downloaded games. You can however play several Steam titles even without an internet connection as long as they are single player or a local multiplayer game.
You will first need to setup your computer so that it can run Steam in offline mode. Take note that you will initially need an internet connection to do this.
How to play Steam games offline
- Open the Steam application. Make sure the “Remember my password” box on the login window is checked.
- Make sure that all of your game titles are updated. To check if a game needs to be updated you can launch it as this will automatically check and download the updates. Once the games have been updated you should close them and return to the Steam client.
- Go to Steam > Settings > Account to ensure the “Don’t save account credentials on this computer” option is not selected
- From the main Steam window, go to the Steam menu and select Go Offline
- Click Restart in Offline Mode to restart Steam in Offline Mode.
In case you experience a problem when trying to play a Steam game in offline mode then you should try the following troubleshooting steps listed below. Take note that you must perform the steps listed above before proceeding with the troubleshooting steps.
Change the date of your computer
Steam has a date counter which is usually set for two weeks. When this counter runs out you won’t be able to play games in offline mode. To reset this counter you will need to connect to the internet. If your computer is unable to connect to the internet at the moment then you can simply change its date.
- Press Windows + R button to launch the Run application.
- In the dialogue box type “ms-settings:”. This will launch the Settings applications.
- Once in the Settings application, look for the option named “Time & Language”.
- After clicking the option, you will be taken to the Date and Time menu. By default, your pc will have “Set time automatically” and “Set time zone automatically” checked. Uncheck them and click on the option which says “Change date and time”.
- After you click Change, a new window will pop up where you can change the date as well as time. Change the date to one week or a few days early and save changes.
- Launch your Task Manager by pressing Win + R button.
- In the dialogue box write “taskmgr”. This should open up the task manager.
- End all Steam related processes starting from the process “Steam Client BootStrapper”.
- Re-launch Steam. You should be able to use offline mode.
Open the game in its main folder
You can bypass the Steam client by directly opening the game executable file from its folder.
- Open your Steam directory. The default location should be C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam.
- Navigate into the following folders Steamapps then common.
- You will see different games which are installed in your PC. Select the game in which Steam overlay isn’t working.
- Open the folder named “game”
- Open another folder named “bin”
- You will see two folders named win32 and win64. Open win32 if your computer has a 32-bit configuration or win64 if it has a 64-bit configuration.
- You will the game’s main launcher. Right click it and select the option Run as Administrator.
Add –offline to your Steam shortcut
You can manipulate the Steam shortcut so that it will open in offline mode.
- Locate your Steam client. The default location is C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam.
- Create a shortcut of Steam in the same directory.
- Click “Properties” and head over to the “General” tab.
- In the ‘Target’ dialogue box, add ‘offline’ in the end. The final result looks like this “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe”-offline
- Open task manager and end all Steam processes
- Re-launch Steam