If you notice that a Steam download is sluggish, here is the first thing you should do. Always compare the download speed on Steam with some other site or app. For example, you can launch Uplay, Blizzard Battlenet, Origin, Epic Games Launcher, etc., and observe your download speed on those platforms.
Additionally, you can test your download speed on an official, high-speed site such as NVIDIA’s driver download page. Try downloading a driver for your graphics card and see if your download speed is still slow. If it is, then the problem is on your end.
Steam Download Region
Your Steam account defaults to a download region based on your location. However, the option it automatically selects isn’t always correct.
As a result, it’s a good idea to double-check that yours is set to the right area.
You may be trying to download multiple things at the same time. Whether from the same site or not, that takes resources: network resources, processor resources, motherboard transmission lane resources, or hard drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD) resources.
One of the easiest ways you can speed downloads is by pausing or stopping other downloads. The fewer simultaneous downloads you run, the fewer computing and networking resources you encumber. For older or slower computers, phones, or tablets, this might be incredibly helpful.
Non-Working Download Server/Region
If you find that the Steam server or region you are connected to is not working correctly, hope is not lost. You have an option that allows you to switch to a different server. You can use this solution if the selected server (the one nearest to your location) is undergoing maintenance. Also, go through the region list, choose a different download location, and check to see if this resolves the issue.
If your local network is connected to many devices simultaneously while you are playing a game, this can severely reduce the download speed. Therefore, if you have different computers, smartphones, or even consoles using your connection at the same time, you will experience issues with low bandwidth.
Fragmented hard drive
If you’re not using a Solid State Drive (SSD), and instead you’re using a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD), you may be experiencing performance issues due to fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when your files are spread out across your hard drive rather than stored in a contiguous location. This can make it harder for your computer to access the data it needs, leading to slower performance.
While HDDs are fit for purpose, SSDs are considerably faster at recovering and transferring data due to their design, so it may be worth investigating whether an upgrade would benefit.