Can You Install Steam Games on SD Card?

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By Eric Wilson

Are you running out of space on your computer’s hard drive but still want to install more games? Have you considered installing your Steam games on an SD card instead?

Many users wonder if it’s possible to install their favorite games on an SD card, and the answer is yes, it’s possible. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how to install Steam games on an SD card.

Why Install Games on an SD Card?

By default, Steam installs all the games and their associated files in the same directory as the Steam software. This means that if you have a limited amount of space on your hard drive, you’ll quickly run out of storage when installing several large games. Installing Steam games on an SD card can help solve this issue.

Requirements for Installing Games on an SD Card

Before we start discussing how to install Steam games on an SD card, let’s check whether your device meets the requirements:

  • Your computer must have a built-in or external card reader that can read and write to the SD card.
  • The SD card must be formatted with a file system that supports large file sizes.
  • You should have enough free space available on your SD card for the game(s) you wish to install.

Steps for Installing Games on an SD Card

Now that you’ve checked that your computer meets all requirements, here are the steps for installing Steam games to an SD Card:

Step 1: Format Your SD Card

Before using your SD card for game installations, make sure it is formatted in a format supported by both Windows and macOS. The most common formats are exFAT and FAT32.

Step 2: Create a New Steam Library Folder

In order to install Steam games on an SD card, you need to create a new Steam library folder and set it as the default location for future game installations. Here’s how to create a new Steam library folder:

  • Open Steam and click on “Steam” in the top left corner of the window.
  • Select “Settings” from the dropdown menu.
  • Click on “Downloads” in the left sidebar.
  • Under “Content Libraries,” click “Steam Library Folders.”
  • Click “Add Library Folder” and select your SD card as the location for your new Steam library folder.

Step 3: Move Games to Your SD Card

Once you have created a new Steam library folder on your SD card, you can move games to it. Here’s how:

  • Open Steam and right-click on the game that you want to move.
  • Select “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
  • Click on the “Local Files” tab.
  • Select “Move Install Folder”
  • .
  • Select your newly created SD card location in the displayed list of available libraries, then press “Move Folder”.

The Pros and Cons of Installing Games on an SD Card

Installing games on an SD card has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Pros:

  • You can have more space for game installations by utilizing an additional storage device

  • Your game data will be portable between devices with compatible built-in or external card readers available

  • You won’t need to delete old games because of limited space on your computer’s hard drive.

Cons:

  • The read-write speeds of an SD card can be slower compared to a hard drive, which can cause longer loading times.

  • SD cards are more prone to data corruption and failures than hard drives.

  • Some games might not work well on an SD card due to the lower read-write speed, and more demanding games may require faster storage devices like NVMe SSDs or HDDs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, installing Steam games on an SD card is possible and easy to do. It’s a great way to expand your storage capacity without having to upgrade your computer’s hard drive or delete previously installed games.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that using an SD card for game installations has its own limitations and drawbacks. Overall, it can be a great solution if you have a compatible device with good read-write speed capable of reading from external USB devices.