Great Game Cleanup: Do You Hoard Games on Your PC?

deleteHaving huge hard drives is great. It’s been a while since I built the computer I have now, but seeing my hard drive says it has a 900-something GB capacity, it must be a 1TB drive. The only issue (for me) with all this space is that I just keep using it up, especially with hoarding games that I someday, in a blue moon, might find myself in the mood to play again. And then, there are those games that are just so large that I wince to think about uninstalling only to want to reinstall again sometime.

Syn gifted me a surprise 258GB SSD for Christmas this year. One thing my PC hasn’t had is an SSD drive, and she’s been raving about hers for years. So, I’m excited to give this drive a whirl, if nothing more but to get my OS running faster on a clean drive.

When she asked me how much space I had on my HD, I noted that of the 900-something GB, I only had about 200 GB free. She was aghast and asked what I could possibly be using all that space for.

I though for a moment and answered, “Games. Games. Games. Games. And more games.”

That’s when I kinda realized it was time to do a game cleanup. MMOs take a lot of space, and I had close to 10 of them installed on my machine.

The Log-In MMOs

Some MMOs are only there because though I don’t play regularly, I log in for daily rewards (GW2) or once a month to hold on to claimed land (Landmark) or make sure the game doesn’t pass my guild leadership off to someone else (GW1).

For a while, I was only logging in to EQII in fear of losing my character names before the server merge. I now log in to LOTRO for that reason, because with these staggered transfer-at-any-time things, someone could choose to merge into my server and swipe my name if I haven’t logged in in too long. I know… I know… I don’t play LOTRO much. But that doesn’t mean I want to lose character names I claimed back in beta!

So, I decided these games would go on my laptop. That way, I could pop on once a day or once a month to get the login credit, and those games wouldn’t be cluttering up my main computer’s HD.

This was easy enough… GW2 was already on my laptop. GW1 is funky and just requires you to copy-paste the GW folder to the new machine (a practice I’ve been doing for a decade now). Landmark was a beefy install, while EQII has that nice streaming install that is smart enough only to download what’s needed to boot up the game and stream the rest when you hit a zone. LOTRO took all night. It always did.

Saying Goodbye (For Now)

Then, there were the games I just had to up and swallow the idea that I’m just not going to play them anytime soon. A bunch of Steam games got cleared off for now – but those are usually easy to reinstall on whim and the save data remains. So I said goodbye to games like Don’t Starve, Kingdom, Skyrim and Civ V.

I kicked the Second Life Firestorm client to the curb since I probably won’t be messing about in SL until Halloween again. It’s a fast download if I ever need it.

MMO-wise, I finally came to terms that I haven’t logged into Neverwinter in two years… and my troop who were playing it along with me haven’t shown any interest in playing it for much longer. So out it went.

Trove. There was still a lot for me to explore in Trove and things I’d have enjoyed building in my club. I hope you don’t eventually lose all of that if you don’t log into it in a while. If so, that might have to go on my laptop, too. I enjoy piddling around in the game, but I just don’t see myself with time to dedicate to it. That also allowed me to get the Glyph crud off my machine.

I hesitated when it came to WildStar and ESO. They’re both still on my main machine, and as much as I’d like to explore them, again, I hear myself saying “one day, maybe.” They both have their fun quirks and all, but between single player games I want to try and FFXIV, I’m just not seeing it.

I also moved Diablo III off my machine because I haven’t played it in so long, but I’m wondering if I should have let it be. It didn’t take up that much space, and every now and then, I do enjoy a hack and slash romp. It sounds like their newest update is going to be interesting… and I still haven’t explored everything in the expansion yet.

Where’s That Space Going?

After cleaning that up, moving all the saved videos, archiving a lot of pictures and files from my art projects, I was able to clean up close to 150GB of space. That’s an improvement, but nowhere near what I was hoping to get. I thought these games took a lot more space than that!

What in the world could be taking up so much space on my HD? I’m going to have to go searching to figure it out. But I do know two games in particular that are quite space demanding.

FFXIV is one. In fact, a new announcement said that with upcoming patch 3.2, FFXIV is going to demand at least 30 GB of open HD space to install. Wow. What could be so large coming in that patch?

But the real culprit is ARK: Survival Evolve. Based on Steam properties, that sucker is taking up 40GB of HD space alone. What??? And yet, I’m loathe to delete it because I do enjoy a romp with dinos every now and then… and man, that long, long download to reinstall hurts.

Both Sims 3 and Sims 4 take a pretty large chunk of HD space… and that’s not including the massive amount of custom content and mods I own. And Sims 4 keeps getting bigger. I just can’t bring myself to uninstall Sims 3 yet.

What about you? Do you have any games just hanging out there because you might get around to them one day? Do you let games pile up on the HD or are you meticulous about cleaning them off when you’re done?


  1. I have a few that I don’t want to remove, but I do go through every so often to clean out games I’m no longer playing. It’s hard, but feels good afterwards because I’m no longer feeling pressure to play them.

    1. That’s what I keep telling myself. If I don’t see those icons staring me in the face on my desktop every time I boot up, I may not feel so pressured to play so many things!

  2. I go through periodic cleanups, but I was still using about 250 GB for MMO’s.. until recently. The end-of-December cumulative Win10 update forced my pc into a boot loop. 1st time it happened I was able to restore to prior the update, but the 2nd time the restore didn’t help, so I had to do a full “blow it all away” install of Win10.

    After doing that, I only reinstalled Endless Legend, Civ5, and FFXIV and my hard disk has got tons of space available again….

    When I had the things installed, I couldn’t be bothered to uninstall them, but when they weren’t installed it was just the opposite — I couldn’t be bothered to fill the space back up.

    1. Yikes! Sorry about your Windows 10 issues. At least you know you have a clean install now. That always feels pretty good.

      I know what you mean about reinstalling things. That’s part of what keeps me from uninstalling stuff in the first place. Then you have to jump through hoops to hope you remember your login name and passwords… I’ve started writing these things down, but it’s still a pain.

  3. My computer blowing up at the end of 2014 got me to a clean slate when it came to reinstalling games, so I haven’t been collecting quite so many on my drive, especially when it comes to Steam, where I always install games when I buy them, then leave them there forever.

    Even so, I was looking at the drive where I install games and have my iTunes library and even with the fresh start I seem to be eating up that 1TB of space pretty quickly. I might have to start thinking about an uninstall all the same.

    Oddly, I am always somewhat reluctant to uninstall dead MMOs. I still have Dragon’s Prophet and Need for Speed: World on my drive, because once I remove them they are gone for good.

    On a side note, it might be time for me to uninstall and reinstall LOTRO again. Their patch process ends up making the game clunky after a year or so. Bleh.

    1. I remember a time when there was some sort of tool that actually did something like defrag LOTRO files to help speed up the game. I don’t think it’s supported anymore, but a reinstall took several hours last night. :/

  4. I have 39 games installed on Steam on my laptop, and I think over 80 on my desktop… and I still have most of my hard drive free because probably half of those are little indie games that are only in the hundreds of MB. 😀

    Every now and again I do go through and delete games I’m sure I won’t come back to, but I don’t put icons on my desktop, so it’s just out of a sense of “Should probably clean up some space” than out of anything else.

  5. Hahahahaha I have been doing memory tetris for years, I don’t think I’ve had more than 40GB free since 2010. Except last year, when I also got a new SSD and moved/installed all my MMOs onto that instead. Then I was up to about 120GB free…now back to 35GB.

    Like you, the space is taken up by games. ALL the games. My music collection is pretty small by today’s standards, I don’t have many videos saved and image files (screenshots, etc) account for less than 1GB. So yeah. I have a problem.

    1. I actually have quite a bit of music on my PC. But, I’ve been hoarding that for over 15 years. I wonder if that’s where all my space is going. :/

        1. Oh absolutely! I use Illustrator and Photoshop for many hours, several times a week. I’ll have to check this out tonight! Thanks!

  6. Also, the vastly more powerful processor and graphics card. But most importantly, the hellspawn that possessed my speakers is finally silent. 🙂

    1. Ah, so you finally took the plunge! (Didn’t realize that comment above was yours). Congrats on the new laptop! 😀

      1. Yes, I forgot to put in my name in the first comment.

        I’m on my second attempt to not be horribly overwhelmed in Endless Legend now. 🙂

  7. I randomly came across this blog searching for something totally unrelated and whilst reading I thought wow, this could actually have been written by me. I haven’t played neverwinter for so long but won’t delete it. Can’t bring myself to delete ESO or wildstar. Love trove but again stopped playing and regret deleting Diablo 3.
    Didn’t realise ARK was using so much space.
    Games like skyrim have to go when I discover I’m using twice as much space with mods than the actual game.

    Only one I’ve not tried for about a tear and a half is ffxiv. Did a free trial and enjoyed it but never went back. Another clogging up the works is SWTOR, which as well as not playing I seem to insist on keeping a sub running. But I guess that’s another story…

    Anyway I’m rambling on, fun read, even just to see that i am not alone lol,


    1. You are certainly not alone in this! And yeah, ARK is a HUGE game! It’s just astounding how large some of these games are now days.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! 🙂

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