As a long time, gamer, I have spent hundreds of dollars to play the latest games. Whether it’s the newest Call of Duty or Skyrim it can be expensive to keep up to date on the latest trends. No game from a major developer goes for under $20 even after it is years or even a decade old. In this article I will show you how to save hundreds of dollars buying your games on Steam. For those of you who are die hard Xbox or PlayStation fans you will have to deal with the used game market and trading with friends.
Steam is a major distributor of PC games with a long-standing reputation of quality games. If you are a computer gamer you probably have an account already. They also have a community section where you can make friends, join groups, follow your favorite developers, read reviews from fans, and enjoy fan made content for games in the Steam Workshop. The only downside with steam is you have to run all the games you buy from them through their launcher, which can cause problems if you are playing an older game or modding your games. There are work arounds but they don’t always work.
The most important feature steam offers is the Wishlist. USE THE WISHLIST! What this does is makes a list of games you’d like to purchase sometime. You can even just browse games to add to it while you are sitting at the doctors office or laying in bed. Your friends on Steam can view it at any time and buy games for you. It also will tell you if there are any discounts on games that are in it. Finally, and this is the most important bit, Steam will send you an email if there is a major sale or news about an item on your Wishlist. I had the Wrath of Malakai game in my Wishlist which normally sells for about $10 on Steam and it emailed me when the developer was having a huge sale and I got the game for 90% off. Because of the Wishlist I was able to get a game I wanted for $1. So, I will repeat, USE THE WISHLIST!
The next feature that Steam offers is their sales. They have a major sale during the summer break for schools, and during every major holiday. If you are lucky you can get a midweek sale or a publisher sale sometimes but they are rare. The best discounts on games take place during the Black Friday and Christmas sales. This is the only time I buy a games now unless Steam has a game on my Wishlist marked down heavily. I now save my money throughout the year knowing this will be my only game purchases for the year. I typically will spend $100-$200 on games, but I will end up getting about 100 games I wanted. One example is last year I bought their Star Wars Complete Collection Bundle during the Christmas sale. That bundle is normally $150, but by waiting on the Christmas sale I got the same bundle for $20. At the time of this article I just hit 323 games on Steam with all the DLC and extra stuff for under $1,000. If you want to check this yourself you can use the Steam Calculator and enter your account url. You can get the url by logging into the Steam website and going to your profile. The calculator will give the full breakdown of your money and time spent.
Another feature Steam offers is limited time free demos for games and the early access games. The free demos will be in super early development like a beta test demo or sometimes Steam will give you a full game to try for a limited time. One example that I frequently get is weekend deals to play Counter Strike for free on special weekends throughout the year. I get to try the full game but don’t own it until I purchase it. The other cool way to test games is Early Access games. These are as the name implies unfinished early tests of games. Sometimes these are free and sometimes you have to pay to try them. When you pay to try them though, once the game is finished you get it at the price you paid, which is usually under $30. Both of these are great methods for trying a game out before you purchase it.
The final feature I will be discussing about Steam is the gifting feature. What this does is allow you to buy games for your friends through steam. You can also regift a game if someone gets you a game you don’t want. Unfortunately to my knowledge there is no way to gift a game after it is in your library, but you can do account sharing which I will write a different article about.