At long last, you can add a free game or DLC to your Steam account without starting up the installation process for that game. I am ecstatic. I am truly, unreasonably, excited by this change. The new “Add to Library” button appears on the Steam desktop client beside free items on the storefront, including free games, Free To Play games, games that are temporarily free in a giveaway, and free DLC. No longer do you need to deal with the install dialogue or worse to get free stuff.
It’s a long-standing gripe of many Steam users and my personal pet peeve with the platform as a whole. I hate it. You know why? Because it prompts you to install, which means the program starts figuring out disk space and that slows down your rig, sure, yes, but if the game’s already installed and you click Play Game? It launches the damn game. There are games with dozens, literally dozens, of free cosmetic DLC I’ve never bothered to download because I hate the idea of clicking to close the install dialogue—or worse, catching the process to stop the game from booting—a dozen or more times.
Excitement about the new feature started circulating on social media (opens in new tab) after it was added in an update some time over the past few days. I don’t know which Valve engineer did this, but thank you so much and you deserve a raise. You hear that, Mr. Newell? You there? More money for that person. At least a bonus. A free lunch, even. We all know you’re good for it. (opens in new tab)