Downloading Steam Mac games on Windows
May 30, 2011 3:48 AM   Subscribe

Via Steam, is it possible to download a Mac game on a Windows machine?

I went on a spending spree on Steam, and now I have many gigs of games to download to my Mac desktop. If I downloaded them all at home, it would eat up half my monthly data cap. I thought perhaps I could burrow a friends Windows laptop and download it from a public access WiFi downtown. Is it possible to download the Mac version on a Windows PC?
posted by WhackyparseThis to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 4:12 AM on May 30, 2011

I think you have missed the mark there aloysius. Steam play means I can download a game to my Mac in Mac format and my PC in Windows format. It isn't designed to do what the OP asked.
posted by dougrayrankin at 4:17 AM on May 30, 2011

posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 4:35 AM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: It's not set up to do that, but send an email to Valve. Their customer service is top notch and I'll bet they'll be willing to help you out.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:40 AM on May 30, 2011

I really doubt it. Also, I think you're underestimating the amount of time it would take to download multiple gigabytes worth of games -- Steam is an awfully convenient way to get games, but it's not always fast.

If you can download the games on someone else's Mac, it's fairly trivial to copy the files over (Steam won't freak out, it'll just notice the games are now installed -- at least it works this way on the Windows version).
posted by neckro23 at 6:22 AM on May 30, 2011

Just download them as you play them? I buy tons of games on Steam, too, but I don't download them all at once.
posted by dgeiser13 at 7:00 AM on May 30, 2011

One option is to install Parallels or some other virtualization package that is known to support OSX/Server. Acquire a copy of OSX Server and install a virtualized instance on your Windows laptop. Boot up the server instance, install Steam and download away. When you're done, shut down the server instance cleanly and copy the disk image to your Mac desktop. Mount the image, copy over the Steam data and voila, you're done! I've never done this, but see no reason why it wouldn't work.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:32 AM on May 30, 2011

Just take your iMac to the local coffee shop and set up camp. I've seen people do it. Or go over to a friends with it. I wouldn't mind a friend coming and leeching bandwidth like that.

This will be faster than any Parallels or trying to get Valve to help you.
posted by lakerk at 9:19 AM on May 30, 2011

Who is setting this monthy data cap? Steam, or your ISP? Either way, since you're right at the end of the month, could you download some of them now, and some of them in a couple of days, when the calendar flips over to June?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: From the Steam Mac forum FAQ:

Can I drag my CrossOver/Bootcamp/Other Windows files (GCF.'s) into my Steam Content folder on the Mac, so I don't have to download the whole game again?
It appears as though you can, Although Steam (On your mac) will update the Game Cache Files to include the mac binaries, but it does save you from re-downloading the whole game again

And the instructions given for moving the files:

1.Copy the whole of...

C:/Program Files/Steam/steamapps

Copy that folder and paste it's contents into...

2. ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/Steamapps

~ is another sign for your own directory. So this would be:

/Users/YOU/Library/Application Support/Steam/Steamapps

posted by vasi at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: It really depends on which game it is that you wish to download.

I have successfully performed this manouver downloading Portal 2 (except the other way around, OSX to Windows). Other games that are available on both platforms and are mostly platform independent assets should work similarly.

All I did was download the game on my Mac then copy across the relevant files in the steamapps folders to my Windows machine. Steam updated a little at the end (several tens of MB) and it was good to go. (As vasi has mentioned above)

Again, depending on which game it is that you are attempting to download YMMV.
posted by Five O'Clock at 2:57 PM on May 30, 2011

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