Steamworks Common Redistributables:

All You Need to Know

This article contains all you need to know about Steamworks Common Redistributables.

Specifically, you will learn:

  • About Steamworks Common Redistributables
  • How it works
  • How to fix slow downloads
  • Is it required
  • Lot's more

So, if you are ready to go "all-in" with redistributables, then this article is for you.

Let's delve into it.

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What is Steamworks Common Redistributables?

The Steamworks Common Redistributables package is just a collection of one-time-install programs that games need in order to operate properly. Valve develops and maintains the install scripts for the redistributables, which are updated on a regular basis.

Steamworks common redistributables reside under your Steam Library. If the Common Redistibutables folder is not visible under your Library then just make a search and it will show up like below.

steamworks common redistributable

These days, it is easy to get your favorite games and applications running on a computer. Before you can do this though there are certain shared components that need installing onto the system. Install Scripts have been used by Steam for a long time to install these redistributables, however, this process meant that developers were getting multiple copies of the same installer instead of generating one single install script.

Now Steam users can join common redistributables which will be installed only if necessary. Valve generates and updates install scripts for these redistributables and they are available immediately after a patch is released.

It’s easy to use redistributables. Simply head over the Redistribution tab which can be found under the “Installation” tab in your Steamworks App Admin panel. Check the checkboxes beside the redistributables that your game or software requires. And as the last step, publish the changes when done.

The list of available Steamworks Common redistributables files are:

  • Microsoft Visual C++
  • .NET
  • DirectX 9
  • OpenAL
  • XNA
  • and PhysX

Reinstall Steamworks Common Redistributables

In order to test the installation with the selected redistributables, a clean OS image of the machine or VM is recommended.

Steam can be forced to reinstall the redistributables by the following method:

Step 1: Determine whether your Windows is 32 bit or 64 bit

Step 2: Delete the registry key for 64 bit Windows

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\Steam\Apps\CommonRedist

For 32 bit Windows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\Steam\Apps\CommonRedist

How does Steamworks Common Redistributables work?

Steamworks is a collection of tools and services that may assist game developers and publishers in creating their games, as well as optimizing the experience of releasing on Steam.

Developers used to have to include the above files as part of a game and create another script so users could install it. What this meant though was each time a game was installed, the script reinstalled those files, even if all the games needed to use the same file.

Earlier, developers were required to include the redistributable files (Microsoft Visual C++, .NET, DirectX 9, OpenAL, XNA, and PhysX) as part of a game and develop another script so that users could install it. What this meant, though, was that each time a game was installed, the script reinstalled those files regardless of whether or not all the games required them or not.

Let’s take the PhysX which is essentially an SDK developed by Nvidia that is required by four games you want to install on your machine. Every game would install the same file on your PC using its own installer, resulting in multiple duplicate files.

To overcome this concern, Steamworks introduced Common Redistributions. Each time you install a new game, it will recognize the redistributable file and will not install multiple copies. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about maintaining the install scripts as Valve will do that for you. It releases all new updates through patches and the process is seamless.

How do I hide Steamworks Common Redistributables?

Steam decided to make the Steamworks Common Redistributables folder visible after a patch update. So, if you do not want to see this folder, you’ll need to take some additional steps.

Step 1: Click the Library tab

Step 2: Right-click on the “Steamworks Common Redistributables” folder

Step 3: Go to Manage

Step 4: Tap on “Hide this game”

You will now be able to hide the Steamworks Common Redistributables folder from your Steam library.

hide steamworks common redistributable

Should I Keep them Installed?

The short answer is Yes. If you don’t have the Steamworks Common Redistributables, your games would crash when you try to launch them. When downloading games, using the Steamworks Common Redistributables can save you time and storage space.

Steamworks Common Redistributables slow download or keep downloading

Steamworks Common Redistributables might seem to slow down your download speed or keep downloading even after the game is installed. Not only this, you are experiencing crashes while playing a game!

This problem can be frustrating, especially when you just want to play your game! Many gamers have reported this issue in various forums.

In such cases, you can let Steam verify if the game files are correctly installed on your computer and also clear the Steam client cache.

Fix: Verify integrity of game files from Steam

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Do a fresh Windows reboot.

Step 2: Re-open Steam and go to the Library tab.

Step 3: Right-click on the Game

Step 4: Among the various options available, Tap on LOCAL FILES

Step 5: Click on “Verify integrity of game files”

Step 6: Steam starts the verification process and it is normal to take several minutes to complete

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In the verification process, a few files may fail to verify. This can be safely ignored.

steam library local files


How to use Steamworks Common Redistributables if you’re a developer?

To use Steamworks Common Redistributables as a developer, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Open Steamworks App Admin panel

Step 2: Head over to the “Installation” tab

Step 3: Click the “Redistributables” tab

Step 4: Check all the checkboxes beside each redistributable that your game or application requires

Step 5: Publish the changes

Is Steamworks common redistributables needed?

The answer is Yes. If you don’t have the Steamworks Common Redistributables, your games will crash when you try to launch them. Using the Steamworks Common Redistributables while downloading games may save you time and storage space.

How do I run Steamworks common redistributables?

To run Steamworks Common Redistributables, you must have Steam installed on your computer. Then follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Open the Steamworks app admin panel
Step 2: Head over to the “Installation” tab > “Redistributables” tab
Step 3: Make sure all the required redistributables in your game or program are checked. Publish the changes.

What is _commonredist folder?

common redist folder

_commonredist folder contains installers that are run once for every new game that is installed. Go to the game folder you installed and there should be a folder called Steamworks Shared inside which the _commonredist folder resides. When I last checked it was 125 MB size.

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