Steam synchronizes many save files to its servers. They’re automatically downloaded via Steam when you install a game, but that’s not the only way you can get them. You can download them directly from Valve’s website in your browser, too.
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1. Enable Steam Cloud Sync in Steam
If Steam isn’t automatically downloading your old save games after you install a game, ensure Steam Cloud is enabled for that game within Steam.
To do so, locate the game in your Steam library, right-click it, and then select “Properties.” Click the “Updates” tab and ensure the “Enable Steam Cloud synchronization” option is checked for the game. If this option isn’t checked, Steam won’t automatically download your cloud saves or upload any new ones.
If you don’t see a Steam Cloud option for a game here, that game doesn’t support Steam Cloud. Not all games on Steam do—it’s up to each game developer.
2. Download the Files in Your Web Browser
The valve lets you download your Steam cloud save files via a web browser, too. You can download just your save files without re-downloading the entire game. To find your save files, visit Valve’s View Steam Cloud page in your web browser and sign in with your Steam account.
You’ll see a list of games using your Steam Cloud storage. Locate the game in the list hit Ctrl F to use the browser’s search and click “Show Files” to see all the files for a game.
Each game has a page showing all the files it’s storing in Steam Cloud, as well as the date they were modified. To download a file, click “Download.” Download all the save files for your game, and you’ll have a copy of its save games. This is especially useful for multi-platform games that don’t automatically synchronize save files between platforms.
For example, Borderlands 2 is available for both PC and Mac. It synchronizes its save files with Steam Cloud, but both the PC and Mac versions sync save files separately. You can download the Mac (or PC) versions from Steam’s website, and then manually import them into the correct folder to move your Borderlands 2 save games between platforms.
Without using the website, this would require downloading Borderlands 2 on one platform, extracting your save games, and then downloading the game on a second platform!
This is a known problem for other games, too, for example, it also seems to be required when moving to save games from Torchlight for Windows to Torchlight for Linux.
What are the different methods of utilizing the Steam Cloud?
First up is the Steam Cloud API. The Cloud API provides a series of functions which allows you to directly integrate the Steam Cloud into your game. The Cloud API also does the task of isolating individual Steam user files from each other and also provide better control over the Steam Cloud as a whole.
The second is the Steam Auto-Cloud. This feature was primarily designed for legacy games where it was hard to use the Cloud API. It is a quick way to get started with the Steam Cloud but it lacks the flexibility and power that the Steam Cloud API provides.
It is recommended by the developers to use the Cloud API instead of Steam Auto-Cloud as it provides deeper and effective integration and customization. It enables you to get the most out of the Steam cloud.
How do I resolve a Steam Cloud conflict?
A Steam Cloud conflict occurs when the Steam Cloud content doesn’t match with your local game files stored on your hard drive. This can occur on the machine you were using at that time or it may have occurred in another machine previously. Because the file was modified in two different locations without the synchronization between them, Steam cannot determine which file to keep.
You will most likely pick the file which was modified most recently. Meaning the latest developments in your game will be saved. You should carefully inspect the data previewed in the window. Carefully review the date and time of the context and correspond this to the last time you played a game on Steam. This context can help you in determining which version to keep.
Note that playing games in offline mode will keep your games from syncing and this is the most probable cause of the Steam Cloud conflict.