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Everything you need to know about Steam

Getting into PC gaming? Don't do it without Steam.

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If you’re a gamer, you’ll know all about Steam. Created waaaay back in 2003, it’s become one of the biggest digital game distributors in the world – with over 100 million active users. Woah. But if you’re not a gamer, you might be wondering what Steam actually is – and why it’s so popular.

What is Steam?

Put simply, Steam is a free platform that lets you download and play video games on your PC. Its library is huge, featuring everything from A-list games by major publishers to hidden indie gems. And, for the less organised among us, Steam keeps your games organised and up to date for you – so there’ll be no more waiting around for your favourite game to update.

Don’t fancy going it alone?

You’re in luck - Steam lets you connect with a whole community of like-minded gamers. It’s easy to team up with friends, play multiplayer games and read reviews from other players. Plus, you’ll get achievements for completing certain in-game goals, which can earn you goodies like trading cards, badges, avatars and more.

Why is Steam great for gaming?

Steam is one of the most popular PC gaming platforms - and for good reason…

  1. The large library: Steam’s got thousands of games. From old classics to new titles, there’s something for every gamer.

  2. Convenient updates: Like we mentioned above, you’ll always be playing the latest versions of your games.

  3. Multiplayer: Steam makes it super easy to play and chat with friends.

  4. Bargains: You’ll often find great sales and discounts on fan favourites and cult classics.

  5. User reviews: Steam lets users leave reviews of games, so you can get an insight before you hit add to basket.

  6. Community features: There’s no community like a gaming community! Get involved with forums, groups and other social features.

  7. Modding: Many games on Steam support modding, allowing players to create and share custom content.

How do I use Steam on PC?

Raring to get gaming? Steam is easy to use - just follow these simple steps.

  1. Download the Steam client from the official Steam website.

  2. Log in or create an account if you don’t already have one.

  3. Marvel at the vast library of games at your fingertips (no, really).

  4. Add games and other content to your library by clicking the “Add to cart” or “Buy” button.

  5. Once a game’s been added to your library, you’ll need to download and install it by clicking the ‘Download’ button.

  6. Game installed? Launch it from your library by clicking the ‘Play’ button!

  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you’ve got the gaming library of your dreams (oh, and to access your Steam profile, friends list and other features, click the Steam menu in the upper-left corner of the client).

Congrats! You’re now a Steam pro.

Can I use Steam on Mac?

You sure can. Download the Steam client for free from the official Steam website and get access to all the same PC features as above. Some games are even Mac-exclusive – you lucky Apple users.

Can I use Steam on console?

Consider yourself a PlayStation, Xbox or Switch gamer? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use Steam on console – it’s exclusively for PC and Mac. However, if you spot a game on Steam that you’re itching to play, don’t despair – some games available on Steam are also available on console. And then there’s the Steam Deck – Steam’s very own handheld console.

What about Early Access?

Ever wished you could play a game before it released? Meet Steam’s Early Access feature. Game developers can use Early Access to release their games whilst they’re still in development, allowing real players to give their honest feedback. It’s a great way to get involved with the gaming community – and to test out the newest games!

Ready to game? Pick up a Steam Wallet Card!

With a Steam Wallet Card, you can top up funds and spend them in the Steam Store – making it the perfect gift for the special gamer in your life. They’ll be able to pick up their next gaming fave or delve into a treasure trove of in-game goodies like emotes, skins and more.

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