With the holiday season approaching, I started thinking about the fact that I will soon become a Voyager as I go to visit family and friends. This reminded that I needed to plan ahead a bit if I intended to be a Survivor on my journeys.
In the past, before I had a gaming capable laptop, I remember being marooned at a relatives house with nothing to do while people slept off their holiday meals. I also remember thinking that it sure would be nice to have access to a computer and to my Steam account and be able to play my games. If you have a nice large flash drive, like a Flash Survivor® Stealth USB 3.0 or Flash Voyager® GT USB 3.0 then you have a solution that will fit into your shirt pocket!
If you have ever tried it, you know that Steam will not allow installation to a USB flash drive. However, this is not an issue. With just a tiny bit of simple copying and pasting, you can take your Steam folder and all your game saves with you and be fully mobile without the need to carry a PC or laptop around. It's also great to have a pocket sized backup for emergencies if you find yourself out and about without your laptop.
Ideally, you'll want a fast flash drive which is why I have chosen to do this with our fastest USB 3.0 drives. If your USB drive is a slow drive, you may have issues playing the more graphically demanding games and this process will take a while. In my testing, I had no issues using the Flash Voyager GT 3.0 or the Flash Survivor Stealth 3.0 and it was fast and painless. Also, you'll obviously need a drive with the capacity to carry your Steam folder around. In this example I have used the 64GB Survivor Stealth and the 128GB Flash Voyager GT. With that, let's get to the gaming.
First, you'll need to copy your primary Steam folder to your flash drive. If you have done a standard Steam install, this folder is located in your C: drive @ C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam in my example using Windows 7 64bit. If you have installed it to a secondary drive, you'll need to navigate to that drive and find your Steam folder there. Copy and paste this entire folder to your USB flash drive as seen below.
I used Crysis: Warhead in this example. By default, Crysis: Warhead creates a game folder for game saves and profile information in the Documents/My Games folder. If you want to take your saved games and player profiles with you, you'll need to copy this folder to your USB flash drive also. Some games may differ in where they save the game saves and player profiles so you may need to find them manually if they do not use the My Games folder. If you do not wish to take saved games or player profiles with you, skip this step. Otherwise, copy and paste as seen below
You are now completely mobile with your Steam library. All you need now is a PC. Keep in mind that your gaming experience will be determined by the PC or laptop that you intend to use. So don't expect to play Crysis: Warhead at full resolution on your parent's old 486 DX2 machine.
At this point you could start gaming but it would be gaming from scratch so to speak. If you want to use your saved games and profiles, you'll need to copy and paste your individual game folders into the My Games folder on the system drive of the system you are using.
After you have moved these game saves, simply go to your Steam folder and launch the application.
At this point, you'll need access to the email account that Steam uses to communicate with you. When using Steam on a new machine, you'll be prompted to enter a code sent to that email address by Steam for security purposes. This is intended to prevent some haxor from accessing and using your account. First, you'll see the text box asking for the code.
Now go to your email box, and copy or memorize the code they have sent you.
Select NEXT, then enter the code, and select NEXT again. Steam will validate your new access point and you can move on to the next step.
If Steam has never been run on this machine, you may have to go through some preliminary steps before you can launch your game. For example, if your chosen game uses Punkbuster, you will be prompted to install it. Once any necessary preliminaries are done, it's game on!