I don’t know if the lot of you understand what it means when I say “Steam Sale,” but if you’re heavily entrenched in the gaming community with your PC, you know just what I’m talking about. Valve’s beautiful little marketplace dubbed “Steam” is a Windows, Linux, and OS X client that allows you to purchase games of all kinds — whether they’re triple A titles or indie games — and share achievements, play with others, and more. The modification community really comes out on Steam as well, and with its “Workshop,” Steam invites users to manipulate and build their own versions of the perfect additions to their games as well as maps and more.
In Left 4 Dead, I made the tanks look like Donkey Kong — true story. Try it. It’s awesome.
Tell Me About The Steam Summer Sale Then!
Okay, okay, so check it out. You know all those games you keep seeing flash on your screen, through ads or through exciting news and details, but you tell yourself “Ugh, I can’t possibly spend X amount of money-dollars on that right now” and then you die just a little inside? This is that sale where you can possibly get all of those games (with the exception of console exclusives) for a steal. A steal, my friends. It’s almost like you’re ripping people off; the bargains are that good.
Last year, I spent all of 20 dollars and walked away with nine games that were absolute gems. Yes, with 20 dollars. A huge part of the Steam Sale is also wishlists and gifting. People will sometimes pick up games, leave them in their inventory, and trade or give them away later if they’re a super bargain. I know that I, personally, have done that with Dungeon Defenders on many occasions.
But How Do I Do This Smart?
I’m glad you asked, because the Steam Sale can be a fickle mistress and I’ve heard of people going broke within minutes without settling down, finding a pace, and keeping that rhythm going into the sweet spot. You’re not in a rush here. The Steam Sale lasts from the 11th to the 22nd. That’s not a bad amount of time. However, I’m here to help you avoid your possible financial demise with some quick tips and tricks into utilizing the summer sale to your best abilities without it bending you over and slapping your rear end with destitution.
1. Set a Limit: You can buy Steam Wallet cards at most local retailers and definitely GameStop. This stops you from having your credit card on file should you get a bit excitable. Keep yourself at a budget and don’t go over it. This will make you think twice and maybe three times. If you know you only have a certain amount of rupees to spend, you’re not going to be so quick to make snap judgments.
2. Keep an Eye on Flash Sales: Every eight hours, another grouping of games goes on heavy discount. Maybe that one you really want that was on sale went more on sale. Yes, that happens. That happens and will drive us gamers nuts. One time, I bought a game for a Steam Sale price of $12 only to find it dropped down to $6 an hour later. I was livid. Know what you want and keep an eye on those flash sales. If the price is too high for you to condone, wait a bit and see if it shows up or if it comes up as a Community Vote.
3. Build Your Wishlist: I know this sounds silly, but it’s important. Even if you don’t think people will gift you presents and such, Steam will email you when your wishlist games go on sale. No matter how often that is. Build a wishlist and, if the prices drop down below 10 dollars, give it a serious thought, and if they drop down to five and under, don’t be a doofus: get that game!
4. Be Aware of Your Friends: Sometimes little indie titles go on sale for under three dollars and you know they’re good games. Grab a couple and keep them in your inventory. An awesome part about Steam is that you can buy games and just keep them in your inventory without downloading them. This will mean you can gift them to people later and there are always times where I know I’ve dipped into my inventory when a friend was a bit down or a birthday came up and I gifted some fun, quirky games. It’s good sense! Try it!
5. Trading Cards Are a Go: Now this is the first sale that will be doling out special trading cards that can unlock items, and be sold and gifted all over Steam — and they’re awesome. By taking part in Community Votes, buying first-page games that are on sale, and even playing the Steam Sale games, you earn these cards. It’s an awesome new addition to something we already found heavily addicting. Get in on it. Trade cards back and forth to complete your Summer Sale collections!
Is It Worth It?
Like I mentioned in my article about PlayStation Plus, we live in an economic climate that makes us have to be a little more frugal from time to time. I’m no exception. Being a single parent to an up and coming teenager, I’m not really able to just drop mad ducats on huge, expensive video games anymore and I’m positive that most of you, if you’re responsible, can’t either. Sales and programs like this make the itch subside and we can still enjoy our hobby without the soul-crushing guilt of pinching that from your child’s lips and saying, “Tut, tut. Momma needs FarCry 3, baby,” like the shitheel you could be.
So, yes. In summation: Steam knows what you want, how you want it, and where you want it to go. (In your library; don’t be weird.) It will give it to you, make you happy, and then it will roll over and eight hours later, give you more again. (Okay, never mind. I kept this up. This is my fault.)
What do you think about Steam sales, and do you take part? What is your favorite item being offered this year, and have you started in on trading cards yet? Sound off below. Oh, and if you want to add your favorite sass-mouthed LockerGnome author and peruse my list, come check me out here! Add me (CandiceHatesYou)! Let’s get some games going, folks!
Images taken from author’s Steam page and modified by author