Backup Steam, Origin and co - Sense or NonSense?

Hi guys,
iam asking myself if it makes sense to use restic for game backups. I currently use 7z due the standard backupsystems like the one from steam is very slow.
But due the game files are normally already compressed in the steam folder i dont know if it makes sense to use restic here. Additionally i dont know if deduplication works here, because of the big game binaries…

Has anybody tried this and got experience with this case ?

Best regards !


I would use it. It provides you with integrity checks and stuff that are very useful, and there might very well be some of your data that lends itself to deduplication and compression. Deduplication doesn’t care what type of data it’s processing, so it will indeed work.

If you have files and you are able to ensure that they are in a consistent state when backup runs (like databases for example) , do it with restic.
After some years now I can’t think of any case where restic wouldn’t do a great job.

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Just backuped 3 Steamgames:

  • Automobilista 2 , 88,6GB
  • Call of Duty WW2, 81,1GB
  • Project cars 2, 50,4GB
    in sum → 220GB

—> Repository size with default settings is 170GB

And the backup process was very quick. So i would say that is not a bad result. I i still think that the compression strongly depends on the kind of binary data. (as i said, the binaries are often already compressed)


Can you tell me what paths you back up? Does this include all of your Steam games’ configuration, data and their files as well, so if you install Steam and then restore these paths you will have it all back and ready to roll?

For testing i just backed up the 3 game folders in steamlibrary/common. But for a real backup this is not enough. Each game has a *.acf file which contains info about version, installation path and installation status. You must backup and restore this file, too.
In my case i would backup the whole steamapps folder without temp and downloading subfolder.

Additional info. Savegames are not included in my case. These paths are individual per game.

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So basically, aren’t you just backing up what you can just reinstall using Steam anyway? And not backing up things like game’s various saved data and such, that Steam cannot reinstall for you?

Most of my games upload the savegame into their own cloud. So there is no need to backup savegames. In my case i dont play very often. But i dont want to block more than 2 TB of data on my PC for all possible games for the case i want to play :wink: . Internet-Speed in my place is too slow to install via steam/origin etc on demand.

I know HDD storage is currently cheap. But i dont want to waste storage on data where i know i do not use very often.

I’ve read quite a few stories of Steam Cloud syncing old saves over the top of current saves. Remember that syncing is not a backup - it in fact makes backup all the more important.