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Steam – Most Unreliable Gaming Network Known To Nerd?

Your state is set to Offline.
Bob is now Offline.
Lost connection to Steam, will rejoin chat automatically when connection regained.
Connected again and rejoined chat.

Looking at such digital services as Origin, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and OnLive, you can’t help but notice a nearly perfect uptime ratio.

Sure, everything tends to go down eventually, as no network can ever be truly perfect. OnLive, although still relatively new to the gaming industry, has never had a single network-related downtime since it launched back in 2010. That’s quite impressive, considering how the entire OnLive service relies on a steady connection to the internet, and without that connection, the service as a whole would be entirely inaccessible.

Same goes for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live services. Yes, these do go down from time to time, but it’s normally for a short scheduled maintenance period, which in itself only occurs once or twice every six months.

Each network has its’ own faults and weaknesses, and, except for OnLive, each network has a 99.9% uptime ratio. That ratio seems to be the global average. An average which Valve’s Steam service simply does not abide to.

Steam Powered services, including the Steam Community, Friend Interaction and ‘Item Services’ (if the game supports it), has a surprisingly low uptime ratio of less than 65%, with the Steam Networking services going offline multiple times a week.

The unreliability of the Steam network has been a common topic on the official Steam forums, as well as other third party forums and blogging networks.

With a new ‘Steam down’ thread being posted on the official Steam forums every couple of days, it’s no wonder Steam has such a low reliability rate. What bothers me is, quite honestly, the fact that hardly anyone who participates on Steam cares to bat an eye towards these problems, and simply shrugs them off as a minor inconvenience. There comes a time when an inconvenience becomes an unintentional feature, and although I truly hate to say it, I think that time is now. 


To conclude, Steam is, although the most popular online distribution and social community platform on the Windows and Macintosh, also the most unreliable.


When was the last time you were disconnected from the Steam Network? Tell us in the comments!