Over the years, Steam has become the central hub for PC gamers everywhere.
Game enthusiasts all over the globe flock to the Steam client to get the best deals on the widest variety of games all in one convenient place.
Of course, Steam’s main functionality is that of a storefront.
Users browse the Steam client for the games they want, then purchase and download them directly from the store.
However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that Steam offers a vast array of additional features to improve your gaming experience.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your Steam client.
One thing that draws so many people to Steam is the incredible gaming deals.
Steam always has a huge variety of games on sale, often for a mere fraction of the price you’d normally pay.
The “Wishlist” feature is an excellent way to stay up to date and get notified when the titles you’ve had your eye on go on sale.
Given the sheer volume of games available on Steam, you probably often find yourself stumbling upon titles that interest you.
Buying every title that you find appealing as soon as you spot it would likely put you out on the streets, so you’d rather wait to purchase them when they’re on sale.
You might want to consider putting these games on your Wishlist.
That is done by visiting a game’s store page and simply clicking “Add to your wishlist” under the featured videos and images. You can then access your Wishlist by clicking the “Wishlist” button at the top right corner of the store’s homepage.
This list will build up and become a collection of games that you don’t yet own but would ultimately like to play.
Not only is this data used to recommend similar games, but you can also opt to receive notifications whenever a title on this list goes on sale.
You can set them to come through email, the Steam smartphone app, or both. PC game sales often come and go very quickly — if you blink, you might miss them.
The Wishlist feature makes sure that this won’t happen again.
2. Discovery Queue
In addition to using the Wishlist feature to store the titles you want to revisit, Steam offers several tools to help you discover games that might interest you.
One of these is the Discovery Queue.
The Discovery Queue is essentially a list of recommended games curated by the data that Steam has collected about your gaming habits.
If you play a lot of action RPGs, your queue is likely to show you action RPGs; if you’ve put most of your time into FPS games, then it would reflect that as well.
The great part about it is that, since such a large portion of PC gaming happens through Steam, the client has a huge amount of data and statistics from the entire community to contribute to their suggestions.
For example, if people who spent a lot of time on a game that you play also tend to buy another particular game, Steam can use that information and let you know that perhaps you’d be interested as well.
3. Refined Searches
Another way to discover games on Steam is through the in-depth, flexible search function.
Of course, users who know what they’re looking for, exactly, can simply type the game’s title into the search bar and go from there.
However, Steam allows for much more than that.
Every game on Steam is “tagged” with different descriptors about the game’s genre, gameplay or art style.
For example, you might find a game tagged with “RPG, Story Rich, Pixel Graphics.” This game is likely to be a retro-looking, narrative-driven RPG.
The great thing about these tags is that they’re searchable!
If you search for “Strategy,” Steam is going to take you to a page with featured strategy games, strategy games on sale, top-selling strategy games — pretty much every strategy game you can think of.
From here, you can refine your search through additional tags to bring up a list closer to what you might be seeking.
Let’s say you add the tag “RPG” to your search. Now you’re looking at a list of strategy RPGs.
Throw in a couple more tags if you want to refine even further, and you can essentially pinpoint the games that are as close as it comes to what you’re seeking.
Additionally, once you’ve narrowed down your search through the tags that you’re interested in, it’s simple to sort the results by user reviews, top sellers, etc.
This way, not only did you find a long list of strategy RPGs, but you can bring the most well received or best-selling titles to the top of the page for your convenience.
4. Track Frame Rates
A lot of PC gamers are sticklers for game performance — it often comes with the territory.
Making sure that games are running at smooth frame rates with high-quality graphics is essential for most avid Steam users.
Luckily, Steam offers the ability to track your FPS in any game offered through the platform.
Navigate to this setting by clicking Steam > Settings > In-Game.
Locate the section that says “In-game FPS counter” and use the drop-down menu to choose where you’d like the number to be displayed. The indicator is small and unobtrusive.
This will allow you to adjust graphics settings within the games themselves in order to attain the frame rate that you’re looking for.
5. Steam Cloud
Steam also offers the particularly handy option of storing your game data in their cloud.
What this means is that you can save the progress that you’ve made in any of your Steam games to your account rather than your particular machine.
This not only backs up your data in case anything happens to your PC, but also allows you to use the saved data on your Steam games on other machines that you sign into.
Want to play on your desktop while at home and your laptop while you’re on the go?
No problem, the Steam cloud has you covered.
PC gamers all over the world use Steam on a daily basis.
It’s the go-to platform for everything from obscure indie gems to global franchise releases.
While it always serves the purpose of providing access to your favorite titles, it has much more to offer than many users realize.
Now you know necessary to make Steam one of the most useful tools in your gaming arsenal.