By Courtney Bothun
While there are several ways to buy PC games, one stands out above the rest – Steam. As most of our readers know, Steam is a software program which sells and manages digital games and their communities. There are several programs like this, but Steam is the best known, and for good reason. When choosing a PC gaming platform, there are several things to consider.
The biggest concern for most gamers is selection. There’s no use jumping on board with a client that only has a few games for sale, after all. Steam wins big in this category, with a catalog of thousands of games including new releases, indie games, and early access titles. A huge variety of developers sell their games on Steam, from brand-new indie devs to major companies like Bethesda and Rockstar. Steam is also a pioneer in virtual reality (VR) technology, and their catalog includes a rapidly growing number of VR-compatible games.
The next thing to consider is price. For everyday prices, Steam usually in the middle ground. There are some cheaper options, like Green Man Gaming or Humble Bundle, but their selection is pretty limited in comparison to Steam’s. However, Steam’s sales make the platform competitive, price-wise. Steam sales take several forms – weeklong deals, weekend deals, and major sales that apply huge discounts to games over the course of a week or two. These major sales happen two to four times a year and are treated as holidays of their own by many gamers.
The last thing to think about is integration. This is a big topic, which includes several aspects, but we’ll focus on two. Firstly, community integration. Steam provides community services such as discussion boards, game guides, reviews, and friends lists all within its client. It also provides a framework for user-created communities and groups. Secondly, there’s mod integration. Modding Steam games is, for the most part, very easy. The Steam Workshop allows users to download and install mods to their Steam games automatically, and keeps those mods up to date for them. No other PC platform has integrated modding as well as Steam has.
So, although there are a lot of ways to buy PC games, if you’re looking for the best of the best, download Steam. For more information, online catalogs, and client downloads, visit http://www.steampowered.com.