Steam may no longer let you download old builds of games

The latest Steam beta brought with it an unexpected change that may upset some sections of the user base. In short, the update added a new way for the client to verify a number of core details about any given game/app.

Steam does this by matching the app ID, depot ID, manifest ID, branch name and password with the most up-to-date app info. If a mismatch is found, the client can refuse the download. While this usually would be a good thing, by requiring this verification step, Valve is effectively preventing users from downloading anything but the most recent build of games/apps.

As SteamDB’s Pavel Djundik explained, this is specifically a problem for modders, speed runners and game preservationists, who often roll back to earlier versions for a variety of reasons, including reverting to more stable, pre-patch builds. It’s not yet clear whether these restrictions will apply to every game, or if they’re simply being added as a tool to be deployed by developers where necessary.

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