Steam Cloud

In September 2008, Valve introduced Steam Cloud, a cloud computing file share that can automatically store game saves and related custom files on Steam. This means users can then access this data from any other machine running the Steam client.

You can use it for personalized settings like keyboard, mouse, and gamepad configurations, multiplayer sprays, or even saved games. Because it's on Valve's servers, rather than on your home computer, you don't lose them when you reinstall. Whether you log onto Steam from your PC, your friend's PC, at a LAN center or anywhere else, you will always have your preferences and saved games. This doesn't work for every game however, games must use the appropriate features of Steamworks for this feature to work. Users are able to disable this feature as well on a per-game and per-account basis. Steam Cloud is now offered to third-party developers as part of the free Steamworks suite, so you can expect to see it in many future titles released through Steam.

"For some time now, Steam has allowed gamers to log on from any computer in the world and access their applications. This also makes it easy to upgrade a PC without worrying about losing your games," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "Steam Cloud is a natural extension of the portability Steam affords gamers and developers, and we intend to expand its feature set as it is used in Left 4 Dead and other games coming to Steam."