Steam focuses on providing a user-friendly experience to anyone looking to download and play games with just a few clicks. It also has one of the most welcoming communities among gaming-related platforms.
When you think of the best ways to bring gamers together, Steam is likely near the top of the list.
With that said, when your Steam Friend Network is down and displays an error, you miss out on a major part of the Steam experience, especially if you primarily play games for social interaction.
The good news is that this issue is common and easy to solve. The guide below provides all the solutions you could need.
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Fix 1: Modify Steam’s Shortcut Properties
As there has been no official answer from Steam regarding this issue, users have experimented and discovered their own solutions.
One of the most efficient methods to solve the Steam friends network down error is to modify the shortcut properties. Here’s how you can do that.
- Right-click your Steam Shortcut and click “Properties” in the menu that appears.
- In the panel that opens, find “Shortcut” and click it.
- In the field where it says “Target:” type “-nofriendsui” without the quotation marks.
- Click Apply and then OK to save the settings.
You shouldn’t delete anything already in the field. Just add “-nofriendsui” as a separate function. The image below is an example of how the final result should appear.
A Reddit user found this solution. You can see the original thread here.
According to the comments in the Reddit thread, if adding “-nofriendsui” doesn’t solve the issue for you, also adding “-nochatui” might help.
Make sure to add them as separate functions, with a space between them.
Fix 2: Clear Steam’s Cookies And Cache From Within The Client
According to Steam users, this method is a possible solution for the problem you’re experiencing. You can clear Steam’s browser cookies and cache by following the steps below.
- Start Steam on your PC and log in with your credentials.
- In the top-left corner, click on Steam and then choose Settings from the menu.
- On the left side of your screen, select Web Browser to open the required panel.
- Here you will see two options, Delete Web Browser Cache and Delete All Browser Cookies.
- Using both options should help you solve the problem. Restart Steam to see if it did.
If you are still seeing the Friends Network Unreachable error, check the remaining solutions in this guide.
Fix 3: Opt Out Of Steam’s Beta Mode
The Beta version of Steam is known to have some bugs and errors, which is normal as it is not yet considered a “stable” release of the client.
Beta versions are for users who want to experience new features and changes before other users do. The negative side of this is that they are more likely to experience issues here and there.
If you are currently using the Beta version of Steam’s client, it might be a good idea to opt out to fix the Friends Network Unreachable Error.
Here’s how to do that.
- Log into your Steam account and go to the Steam button in the top-left corner.
- Click on Steam and then Settings. A panel will open, and you should click on Account.
- Under the Beta Participation tab, select “NONE – Opt-out of all beta programs”.
Save your changes and exit the Steam client. Restart Steam and the problem should be gone.
Fix 4: Use A VPN To See If The Problem Is Related To Your ISP
If none of the above methods solves your issue, you should use a VPN to see if the problem is related to your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
It’s not uncommon for ISPs to block certain services in some countries. This block might not be permanent, but knowing whether or not the problem is caused by your ISP will save you a lot of time and effort.
If you’re unsure which VPN to choose, we have a guide that covers the topic in great detail.
VPNs can help you stay secure on the internet and can also help you have a better connection to game servers from some locations.
The above methods should help you solve the Steam Friends Network Unreachable problem. While there’s no official answer from Steam about this particular issue on their platform, there is an amazing, hard-working community that often manages to devise brilliant new ideas and solutions.
Remember that the problem could also be on your end, so check your internet connection before attempting any other fixes!