The Steam Summer Sale has started, and that means it’s time for the Steam servers to slow down again. If you’re wondering why Steam is going so slow right now, you’re not alone. The service is relatively reliable. It should be considering the majority of PC games are bought and played through it. However, several times a year, Steam inevitably grinds to a halt coinciding with its sales.
Why is Steam slow right now?
The Steam Summer Sale just began, which means tens of thousands more users are loading the store page than usual. This logically creates a strain on Steam’s servers that makes the site load slower than usual. Fortunately, this isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. In years past, you could go a full 24 hours or so after the sale started without being able to load the store page or purchase anything. Now, Steam’s load balancing kicks in pretty quickly and brings more servers online to pick up the slack.
Even if you have issues with the Steam store page taking too long to load, other parts of the service shouldn’t be affected. I’ve found that you can still download games at full speed and play multiplayer, even if the store page has ground to a halt. If Steam is hit by a particularly brutal surge of traffic, that may not be the case. However, the Summer Sale isn’t as popular as the fall and winter sales, so it’s doubtful that’ll happen.
The lower Steam downtime is also helped by the fact that there are no longer Steam Flash Sales. When the service first started its seasonal sales, you had to check back each day to see the new deals, which caused Steam to slow down multiple times a week. Now, all the deals go live at the same time, meaning you only really have to worry about server strain on the first day.