I was going to write a review on how to backup steam games without the backup utility, but i wanted to submit it for review first, to be 100% sure that everything there is absolutely correct.
1 - First off, you want to compress the game's folder. Here's how
, using the window's built in software. I recommend winrar for this. We're going to use Skyrim as an example.
I'd go to the steam's installation folder/steamapps/common and compress the elder scrolls v skyrim folder and copy it to my hard drive. Step 1 is entirely optional, the only purpose this serves is to save disk space.
The best way to backup is on a fresh download. What i do is, as soon as it's finished, i'll start the game once to finish the installation and backup the game right away.
Now let's assume you formatted your PC, and re-installed steam.
2 - You'll now start your game's installation and stop it and make sure no file is downloaded for best results. After that, you want to close steam so it doesn't interfere with step 3.
3 - Now, we're going to fool steam into thinking it downloaded all of the files. Extract the compressed files and move them to the download folder of the game, that is located on steam's installation folder/steamapps/downloading
4 - Open steam again, and finalize the game's installation. You're probably thinking, why don't i simply backup the steamapps folder instead of doing step 2, 3 and 4? Well, by doing step 2, 3 and 4, you ensure the proper installation of the game, that includes the registry files, the uninstaller entry, among other things.
5 - Now you'll want to verify the game's integrity cache by right-clicking the game, and hitting verify integrity game's cache (in steam). This ensures the game's 100% there (it's normal that on some games, steam will ALWAYS redownload 1 file, regardless of corruption) Voilà
, you're finished!
What do you guys think? Did i write it well, or is there a confusing part?