PC game lovers always have a range of options when they are about to purchase or download their favorite video games. However, among those many options, the platform that is rising the most and gaining immense popularity is Steam.

Stream is an online platform for buying and playing PC games. It is the creation of Valve Corporation, the same name you are familiar with after the release of iconic games like Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Steam isn’t just an online store and a community hub for gamers. As of 2023, Steam is a platform featuring more than 50,000 games operating live. It continues to dominate the PC gaming market with its exciting game choices, incredible sales, and huge user base.

Despite how huge and diverse Steam is, using it is straightforward. Gaming enthusiasts can download the application for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux, sign up for a free account, and get started.

Here’s more about Steam Gaming and how to get started with it.

Steam Gaming – Introduction

Steam is a digital distribution service for PC games. It was created and operated by Valve Corporation and launched in 2003. Steam was initially a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games. However, soon in 2005, after gathering popularity, it expanded to include third-party game publishers’ titles.

Steam allows users to access a vast library of games they can purchase and download directly to their devices. In addition, it offers automatic updates and cloud storage for game progress. It also offers a community market and features like direct messaging and in-game chats. The best part about Steam is that it is available on a range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Moreover, Valve also released Proton in 2018 in partnership with CodeWeavers developers. Proton is an open-source compatibility layer that allows Windows games to run on Linux-based operating systems through Steam integration.

How many games are on Steam?

Steam has become huge in the gaming industry in the past decade, boasting an impressive number of games and gamers. Steam offers endless categories to choose from, and it is no secret.

As of the latest inventory in 2023, Steam boasts 50,046 games alone in its U.S. Steam store. Since 2017, every year, 6,000 to 8,000 new games have been added to this list. Steam games cover genres like adventure, casual, indie, simulation, sports, multiplayer, racing, role-playing, action, and strategy.

How to use Steam

Using Steam is a simple process. However, users need to first create an account before they begin exploring Steam.

Install Steam App

  1. Firstly, visit https://store.steampowered.com/ and click on Install Steam in the top right corner of the screen. Users with a Steam Account can click on Login and access directly.
  2. As you are redirected to Steam’s About page again, click the Install Steam tab.
  3. Once done with the installation process, launch Steam on your PC.
  4. By now, you have Steam installed in your system, but until you do not make an account, you won’t be able to access thousands of games under this platform.

Start a Steam Account

  1. Visit https://store.steampowered.com/ or launch Steam and click on the Login option.
  2. Now, on the next screen, scroll down and click on the Join Stream tab.
  3. Next, fill in all necessary details, including your Email address and country of Residence, complete the captcha, agree to the terms and conditions (read them), and then click Continue.
  4. Once you verify your email, you can choose your Steam Account Name and password.
  5. Lastly, click Done to purchase games or use other social features. (Please note that you must be 13 or older to sign up for Steam).
  6. Users who want to start buying games from Steam can add funds to their Steam Wallet. The platform allows adding at least $5.00 and more depending on pre-determined amounts. It accepts Steam gift cards, PayPal, PaySafeCard, Visa, or MasterCard for adding funds.

For purchasing games from Stream

Stream is known for its iconic interface, which hasn’t changed much in a long time. The platform is designed for the user’s ease, and it is pretty straightforward to use.

  1. Start by clicking on the Store tab from the top side of the Steam app, and it will launch the Steam Store page on your device. Here you will find a range of options. For moving forward, choose from top or side menus and search through the different game genres you want to play/buy.
  2. You can browse by category or genre, filtering them to your specific taste.
  3. Upon finding a game of your choice, click on it and then click on the store page for the game. The free-to-play games, which don’t require any purchase, will have a Play Game tab. Simply click on the same and start playing. Whereas for playing games available only after Purchase, click on Add to Cart.
  4. Next, click on Purchase for Myself and follow the other on-screen details before you make the Purchase. You can add more games to your cart before you make the final Purchase.
  5. Please note: Before buying the Steam game, ensure your device is configured to run it. You can learn about the same on the game’s system requirements on the game’s main page. Or you can also navigate to System Requirements -> About This Game to learn the same.

  6. Once you have chosen enough options, click on the Cart button -> Continue, tick I agree to the Steam Subscriber Agreement checkbox terms, and click on Purchase.
  7. After successfully making the payment, head to the Library tab, where you can see all the games you have purchased. Here, click on Install and follow the on-screen instructions on any of the titles (purchased one).
  8. Lastly, as the installation process completes, the Install button will turn Play, and here’s when you can start playing.

For Chatting with others on Steam

Steam allows its users to chat with a community of gamers worldwide. To do so,

  1. Launch Steam and click on the option Community tab from the main screen.
  2. Next, click Friends & Chat (at the bottom-right) and click the Add Friend icon to add new friends. On the other hand, double-click on your added friend to start chatting.
  3. You can also use a Steam friend code or an invite link and add your friends. Wait for your request to be accepted, and then you can chat.
  4. To remove a friend from your Steam communication list, right-click on your friend’s name and then click Manage > Remove as Friend.

Wrapping Up

Steam is a popular digital gaming platform, and its user base continues growing worldwide. Its vast library of games across different genres offers a power-packed gaming experience. Steam offer gamers to discover, purchase, and manage their game collections in one place. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can quickly get started with Steam and begin exploring the exciting gaming world.

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