Steam: Game Buying Guide [Tips & Tricks]

Learn some crucial points which will lead you to making better purchases in Steam!

Steam is the main go-to digital space for all gamers. Buying games, checking reviews, or shopping through a holiday sale, Steam is every gamer’s Candyland! However, there are a few pointers that every gamer should know while buying games on Steam. These are the things the Steam Buying Tips & Tricks guide will help you out with:

  • Buying the Right Game.
  • Never getting Disappointed with your purchase.
  • Buying Steam Games at a cheap price.
  • Searching for your favorite Game.
  • Downloading Steam Games the proper way.
  • Learning the Basics.
Key Takeaways
  • Some of the things every gamer should know about while shopping on Steam are:
    • You can try the Steam Refund System, which allows you refunds within two weeks, under two hours of playtime; in-game downloads count towards this limit. This allows you to know if the game is to your liking.
    • You can check Steam reviews which provide player reviews and provide insights; consider ratings like “Overwhelmingly Positive” or “Mostly Positive.”
    • Watching streams and videos for gameplay insights before buying can drastically help your judgment.
    • Check Steam sales and wait for seasonal sales (Spring, Summer, Halloween, Winter) for discounts.

How To Know If A Game Is Worth Buying On Steam

The most common and hesitant question while buying game users think of, “Is this game worth it? Should I buy it?”. Well, there are numerous methods through which you can get to know the game, and it can help you get over these thoughts.

Firstly, there is the Steam refund system, now if you are a person with discipline, simply go with the two hours threshold and give the game a try. Make sure you close it before it exceeds the playing time.

Steam Buying Tips & Tricks Reviews
Reviews on Steam [Image by Us]
Secondly, there are Steam Reviews that can give you a deeper look at the game from a player’s perspective. These reviews aren’t paid like the majority you will find on YouTube and many other sites. These reviews are given by the players who purchased that specific game.

You can see the reviews by simply opening that game’s listing, and scrolling down to the review section. Here are the Reviews for Battlefield V, which was recently added to Steam.

Through these reviews, you can find the positive and negative features of the game. I personally only go with games that have Reviews Rating above Mixed. The ones that have at least “Mostly Positive Reviews” can be considered as an entry point to good games. Here are the Steam Review Rankings.

  • 95-99%: Overwhelmingly Positive.
  • 94-80%: Very Positive.
  • 80-99%+: Positive.
  • 70-79%: Mostly Positive.
  • 40-69%: Mixed.
  • 20-39%: Mostly Negative.
  • 0-39%+: Negative.
  • 0-19%: Very Negative.

Note: If the game has mixed reviews, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. You have to look at the reviews, mostly there is optimization and bugs issue which are fairly normal for new games. With time, everything gets well.

The Witcher 3 is one of the best games to be ever released, featuring the highest-ranked review status, “Overwhelmingly Positive”.

Thirdly you can also get to know a lot about the game through Twitch Streamers or YouTube Videos. This will allow you to get further insight into the game, and based on gameplay you can decide if it’s worth it or not. Lastly, also ensure that the game is getting new updates and your PC can cope with its system requirements.

Buying Steam Games At Cheaper Prices

Steam Has a Special Deal Tab, which allows players to buy games at really cheap price [Image by Us]
Moving on with the Steam Buying Tips & Tricks, the most common question is how do we buy games on Steam at Cheaper Price? Well, I won’t lie but some months ago there were many regional methods through which you could have gotten Steam Games at a cheaper price.

However, with new policies and updates. The older methods no longer work. Anyhow, we still have those classic available options that can get us Steam Games at Cheaper Prices.

The first method is of course Steam Sales. When buying a game, always take a look at sale dates, and see if you are near to one. Subsequently, if there is a sale in the future. Never buy the game at the present moment, and save more money.

In Steam sales, there are massive discounts just to give you a perspective. In Steam sales, you can buy two games instead of one at the same price. Other than this, Steam sales also feature discounts on many bundles and DLCs. Here are the Steam Sale Dates, that you should always consider before purchasing a game.

Steam Yearly Sale Dates:

  • Steam Spring Sale: May
  • Steam Summer Sale: mid-June, lasts for a couple of weeks
  • Steam Haloween Sale: End of October
  • Steam Winter Sale: December

Games From Humble Bundle

Ridiculously Cheap Killing Floor Bundle [Screenshot by eXputer]
Now other than Steam Sales. There is also the Humble Bundle option through which you can also get dozens of titles at cheaper prices.

If you don’t know, well Humble Store or Humble Bundle is a website where every day there are dozens of game bundles from specific publishers, comics, and audiobooks on sale. Most of these bundles are sold to raise money for charity.

Guessing from this, you will get an idea that games are extremely cheap. However, there are drawbacks as well. Most of the games are Indie and there are very low chances you get to buy games like GTA V or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Other than this, the bundles are different every week and month, so it’s all luck.

On the bright side, I can assure you that prices are cheaper than ever. Games are easy to purchase and redeem on Steam. You also get to choose from options, where you can pay any sort of amount and get related games from the bundle. Lastly, everything at the Humble Bundle is legit, so do not worry.

Buying From Other Retailers And Marketplaces

Green man gaming purchasing
Green Man Gaming [Image taken by eXputer]
Other Than Humble Store, and Steam Sales. You can also buy Steam Games at a significantly lower price on either game marketplaces or retailers. The difference between Marketplace and Retailer is that the games being sold on Marketplace aren’t entirely authorized and legal.

On the other hand, Retailers are often authorized and are allowed to sell the games. Game marketplaces are like eBay, where you can re-sell something. If you want to buy cheaper Steam games, get them from game marketplaces like G2A, Gamivo, Eneba, and Kinguin.

Game Retailers like Greemangamng and 2game are also good sources for purchasing games. These stores often have games at cheaper prices than Steam. Along with that, they also feature numerous sales and deals that have different timing in comparison to Steam. 

How To Explore Games On Steam

Go To Steam, and on the left side, you will see these navigation tags. [Screenshot by eXputer]
Usually, this isn’t a big problem, but if you are a newbie to PC Gaming, and you are having trouble finding games in the Steam Store. Just simply open the store, and from there you can navigate through these various tabs and explore games.

Most of the time, you can use the Search Box In Steam and find the game you are looking for. Just note that these days Epic Games Store is getting access to all sorts of Exclusives out there, so some new titles might not be available.

Secondly, always make sure that your Steam Library for Games is on your SSD Drive. That is because games installed in SSD run at better frames and overall performance is significantly better in comparison to the games installed in Hard Drives.

The Right Way To Download Games On Steam

Steam library games Buying Tips & Tricks
Steam [Screenshot by eXputer]
Once you are done with your purchase decision, and afterward, you have gotten the game at a decent price. It is time to get a few things straight about downloading games on Steam. Firstly, there is no advanced thing or any gimmick involved. All you have to do is after you have redeemed your Game. Go To Library > Home, and from the list choose any game you want.

Now Click on Download Button and the game will begin downloading. The games download from servers, therefore if your PC Suddenly closes, you will be able to continue from the last spot.

Steam Buying Tips & Tricks downloading
Steam downloads [Screenshot by eXputer]
In addition, make sure that your Steam Library for Games is on your SSD Drive. That is because games installed in SSD run at better frames and overall performance is significantly better in comparison to the games installed in Hard Drives. Here you can add a Steam Library Folder to your SSD.

  1. Open Steam > Settings.
  2. Proceed to the Downloads Tab and Click on Steam Library Folder. Now you can click on “Add Library Folder” and make a folder in your SSD Drive. Once done, your future games will all download in this folder.

Adding Friends, Joining Communities, Uploading Screenshots & Much More

Steam Buying Tips & Tricks features
Steam Friends [Screenshot by Us]
Lastly, in the Steam Buying Tips & Tricks guide let’s review the social features of Steam. One of the most heavily criticized features of Steam is that it does not allow you to add friends to a new account.

Along with this, there are also more limited features with new accounts, such as accessing community, groups, buying skins, and many more. According to Valve, this feature prevents spammers from joining their platform, thus the community remains clean.

Now to get full access to Steam and its features, you must spend at least $5.00 within Steam Store. You can either purchase a game on the store or simply add a $5 Wallet to your account. Once done, you can access the following features:

  • You can add anyone between the game or after the game by searching for their name. Players who you add are going to appear on your profile, and you can chat with them, make groups, send gifts, share gameplay, and do a lot of things.
  • You can also upload screenshots, videos, make groups, sell/buy skins, manage inventories, edit profiles, upload artwork, leave reviews, and much more.

Steam is fairly very easy to understand. I think that Steam is perhaps the most important video game service on PC. Without Steam, I don’t know what gamers would be doing. Maybe buying one game from Origin, a Second from Uplay, a third from Riot Client, and maybe a fourth from Bethesda Net.

On the other hand, Epic Games Store is now also working its way to the top and one day it might challenge Steam for the leading digital store. For now though, if you are going to join the PC Gaming Community. Make sure that you are starting with Steam and hopefully, this Steam Buying Tips & Tricks guide will help you get started with purchasing games on Steam.

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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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