Steam may no longer allow you to download older versions of the game

Newest steam The beta version has brought unexpected changes that may disrupt some parts of the user base. In short, this update adds a new way for the client to verify many core details about any given game/application.

Steam does this by matching the app ID, depot ID, manifest ID, branch name, and password with the latest app information. If a mismatch is found, the client can refuse the download. Although this is usually a good thing, by requiring this verification step, Valve effectively prevents users from downloading anything other than the latest version of the game/application.

As SteamDB Pavel Djundik explainedThis is especially a problem for mod makers, speed runners, and game protectionists, who often roll back to earlier versions for various reasons, including reverting to more stable pre-patch versions. It is not clear whether these restrictions apply to every game, or whether they are simply added as tools for developers to deploy when necessary.

However, Djundik pointed out that the old version may continue to exist in Valve’s storage, but it can only be accessed by developers, not end users.

It is worth noting that this concept is not new to Steam. Last year, Valve added a command to verify the same information, but the command only exists locally on the client. With the help of some third-party tools, savvy users can still download any game version they want from Steam’s CDN.

Djundik wrote: “Since Steam almost never removes old versions from their servers, it allows customers to legally obtain these old game versions.”

“Steam’s “undocumented” feature may be viewed as a disadvantage by developers and publishers, especially when it can be used to download pre-release versions, if there is a manifest ID for these versions.

“It’s not unheard of that people can get Denuvo-free builds because the developers didn’t use Denuvo to upload executable files before the game was released. Valve’s own games were also affected by this, where the deleted content/developer files still exist in the pre-release Version.”

This change may also have a significant impact on the type of information SteamDB can track and display. If you do not own each individual game, the site may no longer be able to read the file list and its changes.

If you are interested in how Steam handles authentication and file downloads and the impact this may have on the wider community, then the full blog post is worth reading.