Steam is one of the most popular digital game distribution services in the world, and you can find almost every new game released for the PC, Mac, and Linux on it. Steam can be installed on any operating system, although the games available on Linux and the Mac may be limited. However, more and more games are available every week! Steam even has its own operating system, called SteamOS, that can turn your computer into a powerful game console.
Method 1 of 5: Windows
Step #1. Open the Steam website
You can download Steam from steampowered.com.
Step 2. Click on 'Install Steam'
This button is green and located at the top of the Steam webpage.
Step 3. Click on 'Install Steam'
This will download the EXE installer.
Step 4. Run the installer and follow the prompts
You must accept the license agreement and confirm that you are 13 years of age or older.
By default, Steam is installed in C:\Program File\Steam. You can change this during the installation if you want. You can also set games to install to a different folder, which is useful if you want to save your games to a different partition. See the steps below for more information
Step 5. Launch Steam and wait for it to update
After installing Steam, you will be prompted to launch it. Steam needs to be updated the first time it is run, which can take a few minutes.
Step 6. Log in with your account or create a new one
If you already have an account, you can use it to log in. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free.
- Follow the prompts to create an account. You must choose a username and password and enter a valid email address. You must confirm this email address after creating your account by following the verification link sent to you. If your desired username has already been chosen, you will be presented with several alternatives or you can try to create a new one.
- If you already have an account, you will probably be asked by SteamGuard to verify your identity. This is to prevent unauthorized access to your account.
Step 7. Use the tabs along the top of the Steam window to navigate
When you first launch Steam, the store page will open. You can go to the other sections by clicking the tabs at the top of the window. Move the mouse over the tabs to choose from the different subpages.
Step 8. Set a new location for the games to install (optional)
By default, the games are installed in the same folder where Steam is installed. You can change this if you prefer to store your games elsewhere, such as on a second hard drive.
- Click on the 'Steam' menu and select 'Settings'.
- Select the "Downloads" tab in the "Settings" menu, then click "Steam Library Folders."
- Click "Add Library Folder" and then select a folder where you want to be able to install games.
Step 9. Open the Library tab to view your purchased games
In the list of games on the left, the removed games are grayed out, while the installed games are white. Selecting a game will open the game's information page so you can check out achievements, DLC, news updates, and more.
Step 10. Double click on an uninstalled game to start installing it
You can use the drop-down menu in the installation window to select in which folder you want to install the game. You also get the option to create shortcuts directly to the game on the Desktop and Start menu.
- Depending on the size of the game and your internet connection, downloading and installing the game can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
- You can check your current downloads by hovering over the Library tab and selecting "Downloads".
Method 2 of 5: Mac
Step #1. Go to the Steam website
Go to steampowered.com with your browser.
Step 2. Click the 'Install Steam' button in the top right corner
Step 3. Click 'Install Steam' to download the installer
If the Mac version won't download, click the "Mac" link under the "Install Steam" button.
Step 4. Double click on the downloaded installation file and agree to the terms of Steam
Drag the Steam icon into the Applications folder. The Steam client will now be installed on your computer.
Step 5. Double click on Steam in the Applications folder
Click Open to confirm that you want to run the program.
Step 6. Wait for Steam to update to the latest version
When you run Steam for the first time, update files are downloaded first. This may take a few minutes. Steam will occasionally install updates when you start it up.
Step 7. Log in with your Steam account or create a new one
If you already have an account, you can use it to log in when Steam has finished updating. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free by following the account creation instructions.
- When you create a new account, you must create a username. If the name you choose is already taken, you will be given several alternatives, or you can try to create another one. You also need a valid email address to confirm the account. This email address will be used if you need to reset your password in the future and for SteamGuard verification.
- If you already have an account, you will likely be prompted for a SteamGuard verification code. You will receive the code at the email address of your account. This is to protect you from unauthorized access to your account.
Step 8. Use the tabs at the top of the Steam window to switch sections
Depending on your account settings, you will be taken to the Store or the Library page when Steam starts. You can click the tabs at the top of the window to switch sections. Mouse over the tabs to see the different subpages for each section.
Step 9. Open the Library tab to see your purchased games
Removed games are grayed out, while installed games contain white text.
Note that not all games on Steam support the Mac. If you've bought a lot of games on Steam in the past, you probably won't see them all in the library window. When purchasing a game, look for the Apple logo and the "Mac OS X" section of the System Requirements on the Store page
Step 10. Double click on an uninstalled game to start the installation process
You will be informed about the size of the game on your hard drive and given the option to create shortcuts.
Note: The estimated download time is almost always incorrect. You will usually download faster than the indicated time
Step 11. Wait for the download to complete
Depending on the size of the game and your internet speed, the download can take minutes to many hours. You can follow the progress in the list of your games. You can close Steam in the middle of a download and pick up where you left off when you start again.
Method 3 of 5: Ubuntu
Step 1. Update your graphics drivers
While some games will work without updating, most newer games will not perform well or even start at all unless you have the latest drivers installed. The process varies depending on whether you're using an Nvidia or an AMD/ATI card.
Nvidia: Open Software Resources, then click the "Additional Drivers" tab. Select the latest version of the 'experimental' driver and then click 'Apply changes'
Step 2. Open the Ubuntu Software Center
In Ubuntu, Steam can be downloaded directly from the Ubuntu Software Center.
Step 3. Search for 'Steam' and then click on 'Install' at the item 'Steam'
This will download the installation of the Steam package to your computer.
You may be prompted to install the beta software. If so, click on 'Start Steam Beta'
Step 4. Log in with your Steam account or create a new one
If you already have a Steam account, you can use it to login. You will usually be asked to enter your SteamGuard verification code to confirm your identity. If you don't have an account, you can follow the prompts to create one.
Step 5. Use the tabs at the top of the window to change sections
Usually you start Steam in the Store or in the Library window. You can click the tabs to switch sections or hover over the subpages of each section to view them.
Step 6. View your Linux games in the Library tab
When you open the Library tab, you'll see a list of all the games you've purchased that support Linux. Since not all games support Linux, you will probably see fewer games than usual if you have a large library.
Step 7. Double click on a game to start installing it
You get to see how big the game is, as well as the given options to create shortcuts. The download time will vary greatly depending on the size of the game and your internet connection.
Method 4 of 5: Mint
Step #1. Open Software Resources
Steam is not included in the Mint repository, so you have to add it manually before you can install it. You can install Steam from the Steam website without doing this, but then you will have to update it manually every time an update is released (which happens quite often).
Step 2. Select 'Additional Repositories' and click 'Add'
Step 3. Paste
deb http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam in the address bar.
Step 4. Open the Terminal and type
sudo apt-get update. This will update the repositories.
Step 5. Type
wget -O - http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/signature.gpg. Press ↵ Enter to execute the command. This will download the signed key for the file so you can install software with it.
Step 6. Open the Software Center and follow the indicated instructions for the Ubuntu installation
The rest of the process is the same as the Ubuntu process. Click here and follow the steps to install Steam and download some games.
Method 5 of 5: SteamOS
Step 1. Understand what will happen when you install SteamOS
SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system designed for TV sets. Installing SteamOS will delete everything on the target computer, with SteamOS not allowing dual booting or multiple partitions. Make sure you don't need any data on the computer you want to install it on.
Step 2. Download the SteamOS Beta installer
You can download it from this link. The installation file is 1 GB, so it may take a while to download completely.
Step 3. Plug in a USB stick with at least 4 GB of storage space
Make sure there are no important files on it as everything will be erased.
Step 4. Right click on the USB stick and select 'Format'
You need to format the USB drive so that you can load its recovery image. Select 'FAT32' as the file system. Click Start and wait for the USB stick to be formatted.
Step 5. Double click on the downloaded ZIP file to open it
Drag all contents of the file to the USB stick.
Step 6. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS menu
You need to press the BIOS key when you see the manufacturer's logo. Typical BIOS keys are F2, F10, F11, or Del.
Step 7. Enter the BOOT menu in the BIOS
Set the UEFI option as the primary boot device. This will allow you to boot from the SteamOS recovery image on the USB stick.
If you don't have a UEFI option, you may need to enable UEFI for the motherboard. If you can't enable UEFI, then you need to download the ISO file and burn it to a disc. You can then boot from this disc to start the installation. You can download the ISO file from repo.steampowered.com/download/
Step 8. Save your changes and restart your computer
You will see the SteamOS boot menu if you have set up your boot settings correctly.
Step 9. Select 'Install automatically' and press
↵ Enter. The rest of the installation process is automatic. You can view the screen to check the progress of the installation. The computer will reboot after the installation is complete, and after a while the SteamOS desktop will appear.
Step 10. Wait for Steam to install
After the computer boots to the desktop, the Steam client will automatically start downloading updates so that Steam can be installed.
During the installation of Steam, you will see a window with Terminal data flash by as the files are installed and configured
Step 11. Select 'Reboot' when Partclone is finished
A program called Partclone will run automatically at the end of the installation to back up the system. When it's done, you'll be prompted to select an option from the menu. Select 'Reboot' to reboot the computer.
Step 12. Launch SteamOS
After restarting, SteamOS will load drivers for your hardware, which may take a while. This will only happen the first time you boot. Once it's done, you'll be guided through the SteamOS installation process, where you can select your language, customize your display, set the time zone, and view the license agreement.
Step 13. Log in or create an account
Once setup is complete, you can log in with your Steam account or create a new account. If you don't have an account, follow the prompts to create one in minutes. If you already have an account, you will likely be prompted for the SteamGuard verification code, which will be sent to your email address as known to Steam.
Step 14. Use your controller or mouse to navigate
SteamOS has built-in support for the controller and the interface is designed to be used with a controller. The tabs at the top allow you to switch between your library and the Store page. SteamOS is a Linux operating system, and only Linux games work with it.