What is Steam?
Steam is a distribution platform developed by Valve Software and offers them the possibility to work independently from resellers. With this either the products can be offered for a more favourable price, since the costs for packing, manual, CDs and transport can be saved, or the profit margin of the developers rises.
Steam also offers the possibility to update the versions of the player’s games, because before a game is started it downloads the newest data from the servers.
Security holes can be fixed immediately to prevent that cheaters exploit these to gain an unfair advantage. With this it’s not necessary to wait for such a fix for several months until a new patch comes out.
How does Steam work?
The Client-Version of Steam is only a few hundred KB big and updates itself after installing. After that the user has the possibility to create a new Steam-account.
By creating an account you’ll get a non-ambigious Steam-ID which substitutes the WonID which was used to identify the players before.
After you have registered yourself successfully you will see the Steam Interface. If you click on ‘Games’ you can choose one of Valve’s titles that you want to play and after you entered a CD-Key the needed files will be downloaded from the Steam server.
If you have already installed a normal version of Half-Life then a lot of the files will just be copied and then completed by the newer files on the Steam server.
The Steam client will always keep your Half-Life, CS, TFC, etc version up to date.
How do I get Steam?
The Steam client can be downloaded from the official Steam website. To use this you have to log in and download your game, after that you can kick off.
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