10 Steam Features You Must Use

Steam is the most popular store and multiplayer platform for PC games, packed with features to enhance your gaming experience. Here are ten Steam features you should be using that you might not have noticed.

Use Storage Manager

It can be hard to tell which games are taking up the most storage space in your library, which is why Steam has a somewhat hidden Storage Manager feature. You can open it by going to your Steam settings, then Downloads> Steam Library Folders.

Storage Manager lists all installed games and their total size, along with a graph at the top showing how much space is left on your drives. Steam also splits the size of games between the base title and any downloadable content (DLC). There are checkboxes in each game to uninstall it or move it to another library folder.

Steam Storage Manager image with many games included

The only problem is that Steam can’t keep track of all the files created by your installed games, especially if they save some data outside of the Steam library folder. Many games on Windows save files to the “My Games” folder in the Documents directory, which Steam can’t easily track. for example, fallout 76 It saves screenshots and configuration files in this location instead of Steam.

Try some beta updates

Some Steam games have beta update programs, which you can subscribe to to try out new features and changes before they’re all ready. Right-click on any game in your library, then go to Properties> Beta. If a beta program is available, it will be listed in the drop-down list.

Team Fortress 2 beta window on Steam

There are no demos available in most games, but they can be useful when game publishers offer them. for example, Yakuza 0 Graphical fixes rolled In beta update Before a wide release, the Persona 4 Golden He also has beta release for the same purpose.

Sell ​​your trading cards for free cash

Steam periodically gives you trading cards for the game you’re playing (if the game has them), which can be collected to create badges for your Steam profile. If you don’t care about beautifying your Steam account page for others, you can sell them on the Steam Marketplace – each one is usually worth at least a few cents.

Sell ​​a card on Steam

You can see all of your trading cards by hovering over your name in the top Steam bar, then clicking Inventory on the popup. Clicking on a card will reveal the current starting price in the Community Market. If you want to sell them quickly, see the recent sales graph, put the last price in the “Buyer Pays” text field, and click “Sell it for sale”. Some games cards are worth more than others.

Add games to your Wishlist

You probably already know that Steam has a Wishlist feature, which contains games you’ve saved to buy (or look at) later. It’s more than a simple list. If you add an unreleased game to your Wishlist, Steam will send you a notification (and an email) when the game is available for purchase. Steam will also notify you in the same way if a game on your Wishlist is put up for sale.

Finally, depending on the file Profile privacy setting, your Steam friends can see the games in your Wishlist. This makes giving gifts for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions a lot easier — assuming your friends on Steam are coordinating gifts, anyway. You can check your wishlist by hovering over the large ‘Store’ link in the top bar, and clicking ‘Wish List’ in the dropdown menu.

Check Linux (and Steam Deck) compatibility

Steam is available on Linux operating systems, which includes the SteamOS platform that runs steam surface Control unit. If you’re planning on getting a Steam Deck at some point, or want to know what games you might be missing out on if you replace Windows on your PC with Linux, there are a few places to check out.

First, the store page for each Steam game has some information. The list of supported platforms is located next to the “Add to Cart” button or the “Play Now” button, represented by icons. The Windows and Mac icons are straightforward, but the Linux support icon is just the Steam logo. That’s how it was tuxLinux mantra, but the symbol was changed in 2015. You can also scroll down to the System Requirements section of the Store page to see the specific requirements for Linux and SteamOS.

Picture of Two Point Hospital listing on Steam
icons on Two Point Hospital The page (from left to right) indicates support for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

However, the Steam icon only appears if the game developer has a fully supported original Linux version available. Many popular games can only be played on Linux with protonValve’s fork of Steam’s Wine compatibility layer.

To see if the game is working or not Specifically on Steam DeckYou can browse all games verified by Valve Using filtered Steam search. Some of these games run locally, others use the Proton layer, but all verified games will be fully playable. There is also a “Steam Deck compatibility” box on the right side of each game’s store page, if you scroll down a bit.

If you want to know the compatibility of the game on linux desktopYou are better off with the third party ProtonDB. It assigns a rating to each game based on reports from Linux players, and many of the comments include troubleshooting steps and other tips. ProtonDB also includes feedback from Steam Deck players, so it’s worth checking out even if the game has been flagged as a verified Deck on Steam.

Check someone’s name record

You can change your Steam name any time you want, which means that you may end up running into a problem where you don’t recognize someone in your friend list. Fortunately, it is easy to check the previous names that someone has used on Steam.

Steam profile with name history

From the list of friends, click the down arrow on a person, and click View Profile. Then click the down arrow next to their name on their profile. will not appear All Names that someone has used in the past, but it will display the most recent names.

Give your friends nicknames

Another solution for not recognizing people in the friends list is to assign nicknames manually. The other person won’t see any nicknames you’ve given them, they’re just for reference – like creating a contact card for email or text.

Set an alias in Steam

It’s easy to set an alias, but it requires a few clicks. Open the friends list, hover over a person in the list, click the down arrow, then go to Manage> Change Surname.

Skip the store on startup

When you start Steam, the Store page will open first – probably because Steam wants to buy more games. Fortunately, there is a setting to open other pages by default. Simply go to Steam settings and click on the Interface tab.

Image from the drop-down menu in the settings of the Steam interface

You can choose between Store, Library, News (which shows your game updates), Friends, Friends Activity, Community Home, and Servers. Changing it to Library gives you faster access to all your games, if you haven’t already opened them from your PC’s app list.

Check the price history of the game

Although sales on Steam are a common sight, big discounts might lead you to believe that some offers are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check if the sale price is a great deal, or if it’s the same 60% off discount that appears every few months.

Picture of the Portal 2 price chart on Steam DB
Gate 2 Record prices on SteamDB SteamDB

this is Technically Not a Steam feature, but a third-party game search SteamDB The site will show you the price history in all regions. Several games drop to the same discount during all site-wide Steam sales, such as Gate 2 in the screenshot above, but SteamDB can give you a better idea of ​​what to expect from future discounts.

Install multiple games at once

After installing Steam for the first time on a new computer, you’ll probably want to start downloading several of your games. The good news is that you don’t have to click on each individual game to start the download.

Choose multiple games at once in Steam

Steam has the option of queuing multiple games to download at the same time. You can click-and-click your library list to select multiple games (click one game, then click another below the list while holding Shift), or you can select them out of order by holding down Control while clicking. Once you have selected the games you want, right-click on any of them and select “Install Selected”.