Welcome to another installment in our Mac Gaming 101 series, where we try to enlighten the Mac gaming audiences about important topics. A couple of weeks ago we posted an introduction to Steam, with some basic information and a promise to go more in-depth later. That time has come, as we detail Offline Mode and its benefits, as well as review some general troubleshooting tips to help you get Steam running as best as it can.
What Is Offline Mode?
Offline Mode is a method of playing games through Steam when you don’t want to reconnect with the Steam network or an Internet connection is not available. It’s also helpful if you’re playing a single player game and would rather not be bothered with Steam trying to download updates. It essentially ensures that your games are playable at all times.
Keep in mind that some games have built-in, online-only features that you will not be able to access if you play in Offline Mode. For example, Borderlands 2′s Shift Codes will work ONLY if you are connected to the network and NOT if you are in Offline Mode.
Offline Mode Myth-Busting
One of the biggest misconceptions about Steam is that it forces you to always be online and “logged in” in order to play games. This is NOT true! The first time you play any game via Steam, whether purchased through Steam or retail, it must go through an “authentication” process. This basically ensures you are who you say you are and that this game is in fact in your library. However, this is the ONLY time you are required to be online for a Steam game. Once this process is complete, you can launch the game in Offline Mode forevermore. You don’t need an Internet connection to play any game after the first time. Yes, it’s an extra step, but it’s certainly a far cry from the always-online practices of ‘Diablo III’ or the latest ‘SimCity.’ (more…)