Steam apparently keeps Steam games in my home directory of all places. That makes it very difficult to back up my home directory without also backing up Steam games (I have only one: Civ 5).
How do I tell Steam to install and store games in a legitimate location (like the /Applications folder)?
When you install a game, Steam places it in
~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/ and creates an alias in
~/Applications/ which you can use to launch the game. It does this because different games may have different directory structures—unfortunately, not all Mac games come in neatly-packaged app bundles. Because of this, it’s not really possible (or a good idea) to trick Steam into putting the game data in
It’s safe to exclude
~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/ from your backups since no user data is kept there, only the game installs. Save files are kept elsewhere in your home directory, depending on the game.
If you really want to keep game data out of your home directory, you can make a symbolic link at
~/Library/Application Support/SteamApps/ pointing to somewhere else on your disk, perhaps in
/Users/Shared/. Here’s how you do this:
- Shut down Steam.
- Move the
~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/folder to wherever you want it to be.
- Open up Terminal and change to the Steam folder by typing:
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam
- Create a symbolic link in this folder pointing to the place you moved the SteamApps folder to:
ln -s /Users/Shared/Steam/ SteamApps