What is Steam?
Steam is an online digital distribution platform for video games, developed by Valve Corporation. Steam provides players digital rights management – allowing users to play titles purchased on the service on a variety of computer systems, including Microsoft Windows, macOS (OS X), and Linux. In 2016 it had over 125 million registered accounts. [Source]
It’s pretty much the same thing as services like Apple’s App Store or Google Play store – you can buy all sorts of games digitally, and they will be delivered to you online. You can either download them directly to your computer, or you can stream them using Steam’s built-in digital rights management (DRM).
Steam’s Biggest Disadvantage in Today’s Gaming Market
One of the biggest benefits to using Steam is the ability to have a central account to manage purchases from Valve’s online marketplace. The problem with this is that people can buy as many games as they want without worrying about “disk space issues”. People no longer have to choose wisely on what games to buy, because Steam does that for you. We will list top reasons why Steam is a “disk space hog” below.
1. The main reason why Steam is a disk space hog because it automatically downloads portions of games that you have purchased without any option to turn this feature off (it may be optional for new accounts, but people who have had an account for several years or longer are out of luck). Essentially, if you buy a game on Steam, the entirety of that game is downloaded to your hard drive whether you play it or not. If you don’t want this game taking up disk space on your hard drive, then uninstall the game.
2. Steam does not have an option that allows you to manage your games from the user interface, so people can not see which games are taking up the most space on their hard drive. Since nobody at Valve seems to care about this issue, game developers can basically “do whatever they want” with their game files and they will get away with it.
How to Find the Best Deals on Steam Games with the Lowest Download Size
Comparing prices can seem like a good idea, but in the long run you are better off getting the game cheaper from the Steam Store. The reason we believe this is because of Steam’s system to determine how much each game costs. Steam demands users pay a native (or retail) price – and encourages users to buy games that they want, not necessarily the ones that are cheapest in stores.
However, while some stores charge the same amount for a game on the shelves as it does from Steam, there are others that offer discounts for customers getting all their games from them. How do these stores get away with charging so much? Can Steam be beaten when it comes to offering the best deals?
We can’t think of a better way to start off this article than by comparing prices.
Video games are becoming more and more expensive in stores, but the prices can vary wildly on Steam. It’s always important to look at the difference between two competing stores.
Usually, you would only be paying retail price for a game if:
You live within a certain area or country of the world (Australia has some amazing deals on AAA games due to its location) You’re getting it from an official store that runs on Valve’s platform (like Green Man Gaming, Gamefly, etc. – which aren’t the best options) You’re getting Trading Cards.
So, here are some comparisons between Steam’s average price, RRP (retail price), and discounted ‘Green Man’ prices.
The main ways that gamers use to download their games onto their computer
There are several ways that gamers can download their game onto their computer. For example, one of the most common ways to do this is either on an external hard drive or from a USB stick. People also purchase games directly from Steam’s digital marketplace to play games on the Internet. We will list the benefits and downsides of these methods below.
1. The freedom to access the games anywhere – since Steam is a digital distribution platform, gamers are able to download their game onto a PC, Mac, or Linux computer. Some people like this method because they are more comfortable downloading their games to an external hard drive or USB stick because they can access them anywhere in the world. This makes it really easy to download a new game for travel purposes.
2. It’s easier to access – The files for Steam games are stored directly on the computer’s hard drive (in My Documents or My Games). Once the installation is complete, gamers can use their Steam username/password to log into their account and begin playing.
Conclusion: How to Choose Which Option is Right for You and Your Computer
There are several ways for users to get their games on Steam. Users can buy games from the external marketplace, a hard drive, or a USB stick. Users should always choose their most affordable and convenient options to save money and time. Users can find the cheapest way to buy games in our guide How to Buy the Cheapest Games on Steam . Users can also use multiple devices at once. For example, users can install games from the external marketplace and from a hard drive at the same time.
The last option is to buy or access games through Steam Family Sharing . If users are participating in Family Sharing, they can play any game in the library of their Family Sharing friends. Learn how to get started with Steam Family Sharing on How to Share Your Steam Games with Friends and Family .