Many games and applications require shared components to be installed on the user's machine before they can successfully run.
Steam has long used install scripts
to allow these redistributables to be installed.
However, this meant that every developer was duplicating the effort of creating an install script, and users would see the same installers run several times.
Steam apps can now simply opt into common redistributables, which will be installed on their first run only if necessary. Valve creates and maintains install scripts for these redistributables, and updates them when patches become available. Where applicable, both 64-bit and 32-bit of redistributables are installed on 64-bit systems.
Using Common Redistributables
Using common redistributables is very simple. Simply head to the Redistributables
tab which is available under the "Installation" tab in the Steamworks App Admin panel and check the checkboxes for the redistributables which your game or application requires.
Don't forget to publish your changes when you're done!
Available redistributables include Microsoft Visual C++, .NET, DirectX 9, OpenAL, XNA, and PhysX.
The complete list of redistributables is always available on the Redistributables
Testing Common Redists
If you want to test your installation with your selected common redistributables, the ideal method is by using a clean OS image on a machine or VM.
You can also force Steam to reinstall common redistributables by deleting the following registry key:
- 32-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\Steam\Apps\CommonRedist
- 64-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\Steam\Apps\CommonRedist
A subkey is created in this key for each common redistributable which has been installed, so you can delete individual subkeys to test various partially-installed states as well.
What If I Need Something Else?
If you believe your game or application is using a redistributable which is not listed in the app admin, but might be used by many other apps, please let us know in the Steamworks Development Group
, and we might be able to get it added.
If your redistributable or installer is uncommon or custom, you can use an install script
to install it manually.