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Advanced Steam Components

What are the various components of Steam? How does Steam work?

Steam is a digital content management system that provides content delivery, component revision control and data security to developers of such content. Steam is embedded within a Steam-enabled application giving it a virtual file system from which it can obtain "resources" (not files) from a local cache, CD, or the Internet.


Files and variables used by Steam:



Each Steam game has a Steam AppID which can be used when setting Steam launch Options to automatically start the game when loading Steam.



Choke occurs when the server, factoring in your rate setting, determines that it can't send you an update yet because doing so would start to flood your connection.



The Clientregistry.blob file saves some account-specific settings (corruption of this file or outdated information may interfere with installing and updating Steam games). This file can be found (by default) under your Steam installation folder.



The developer's console allows you to enter commands in Source-engine games which are sent directly to the game engine. The console is a text-based input/output interface to execute commands or change global settings in a game.



Steam allows you to store a game server's information as a Favorite when browsing internet servers - thus allowing you to easily visit the server to play again.


Friends List

The Friends List stores a list of contacts you have authorized to message you over the Steam Friends network.


Game cache file (GCF)

Game cache files (GCF's) store encoded game content after it has been downloaded through Steam. These files (by default) may be found in the SteamApps folder.



HL2.EXE is the Source engine's executable file. This file is used to launch nearly all Source engine games created by Valve.


Offline Mode

Offline Mode allows you to play games through Steam without connecting to the Steam Network - this is particularly useful if you do not plan on playing over the internet and would prefer not to download updates for your single-player games.


Steam client

The Steam client or Steam client application is the program which connects to the Steam network for game registration, updates, and multiplayer gaming.



The Steam.dll file contains general functions which Steam and Steam games use to perform common tasks (such as connecting to the Steam network). The majority of error messages referencing Steam.dll are firewall-related.



The Steam.exe file is the main executable for launching Steam.



The SteamApps folder stores downloaded game content, user settings for games, and custom maps and sounds downloaded from game servers.



Every Steam Account has a unique SteamID. This identifier allows server administrators to manage bans on servers and perform other administrative tasks without knowing a user's account username.



Problem with Steam?

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