Steam Is Making It Harder For You To Access Old Patches Of Games

A new Steam Beta appears to remove the ability to load older versions of games. This change will have a huge impact on modders, preservationists and speedrunners.

Steam is testing a beta version of its software. It appears that the beta changes the way players connect to content delivery networks, as reported by NME. This change appears to block players from switching to older versions of the game.

steam logo
Credit: Valve

SteamDB explains the change in more detail:

“This method takes app id, depot id, manifest id, branch name, and the branch password. All of these parameters have to match in the current app info for it to return a valid manifest code, if something mismatches, or you don’t own the game it will return AccessDenied result. When a non-zero code is acquired, it is appended to the manifest download url. If a valid request code is provided, the manifest can be downloaded. Otherwise the content server returns an unauthorized error.”

Why is the change a problem? Well, it effectively destroys a record of games progress, which is a blow to preservationists. Additionally, speedrunners who rely on particular versions of games with specific glitches will lose access to these – ceasing the ability to create new speedrun records. Also, modders who’ve built complex mods for older versions of games will have their work destroyed and disabled.

Remember this is still a beta. It’s possible that Steam may reverse this change for the full release.

What do you think about these changes to Steam? Are you a modder, speedrunner or preservationist who will be affected? Let us know via our social media channels.

Don’t forget you can find great games and more on the GameByte Shop! We’ve stocked our store with the latest games, merch and accessories. We might even have a new-gen console or two! Sign up to our newsletter to be notified of our console drops, deals and more. Please note the GameByte Shop is available for UK customers only.

Featured Image Credit: