Steam gaming is immensely popular on Windows, macOS, and even on smartphones. Steam is a service that connects your videogames into a single client. It offers matchmaking servers, digital rights management, social networking services, video streaming, etc.
Although it’s widely used by many people around the world, most are aware only of its most basic functions. In reality, Steam has so much more to offer and you should definitely learn how to make the most out of it. Here are some neat tips for all you Steamers out there.
How to Save Screenshots
In the age of YouTubing and social media, you’ll want to capture some of your personal gaming’s finest moments. There are many software solutions that allow you to turn your Print Screen keyboard key into an instant screenshot command. You could always go with one of these software solutions but Steam indeed offers its own solution.
Only it isn’t that apparent. The platform tells you to press F12 to make screenshots. Therefore, the option is clearly available. However, the moment you start looking for your screenshots, you’ll realize that things aren’t that obvious.
Naturally, you’ll check Steam’s Screenshots section but you’ll quickly realize that the screenshots aren’t there. You’ll likely go to Steam’s settings, a bunch of menu options and turn up empty-handed.
The screenshots are actually saved into a directory inside the Steam client itself. You can access this directory through the View tab towards the top of your Steam client. This will prompt you to select the game that you have saved the screenshots.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to have to open the Steam client to access your screenshots, go to File Explorer and then C:\Program Files. Next, navigate to Steam, userdata, your Steam ID, 760, remote, the game ID, and, finally, screenshots. You should find them there.
Add Games to the Steam Library
Although Steam is a big-time, influential gaming client, not every game is on Steam. There are indie titles, Origin exclusives, EA games, etc. Now, if you’re used to shuffling between different gaming clients, you can continue doing what you’ve been doing so far.
However, some people socialize and game almost exclusively through Steam. This can become quite annoying for running certain games. Fortunately, Steam has a solution for this. You can add every single game to Steam, even if it wasn’t purchased on Steam. That said, keep in mind that Steam won’t provide automatic updates for “rogue” games and won’t store the saves on Steam Cloud.
To add a non-Steam game to your client, go to Games while in Steam. Then, select Add a Non Steam Game to My Library. Find and select the game’s folder and .exe file. You can even set a custom image for non-Steam games.
One cool yet relatively unknown benefit of using Steam is its ability to install and uninstall games for you in bulk. That’s right, with Steam, you no longer have to delete or add games title by title and you can go through the whole process much quicker.
Doing this is very simple and straightforward. Just open the Steam library and select List/Detail view and select the game titles that you wish to install. Do this by holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking the titles. When you’ve selected all the games that you want to install, right-click on any title and select Install. This will commence the bulk installation process.
You can uninstall titles by selecting Uninstall after you’ve highlighted the titles that you want to delete.
This is one unique and convenient feature of using Steam.
Categorize Your Games
When you’ve installed multiple games, they’re categorized alphabetically by default. After you’ve installed heaps and heaps of games, you’ll quickly realize that finding the right title is a headache. Luckily, Steam offers you a categorization option to help find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, this is all pure manual work.
To categorize games, select one or more (use the Ctrl key for selecting multiple titles), right-click on any of the selected titles, and select Set Categories. This will open a separate window, prompting you to create the category name or add the games to a particular category. You can sort your games by series, genre, or anyhow you like. It’s still manual work, though.
Backup the Games
Now, this feature might not be something you’ll be crazy about but it’s still very useful. As you know, Steam backs up your saved game files to Valve’s Cloud servers. However, this backs up nothing but your saved game files and it only does so for the titles that support this feature.
As we know, there can be a lot that goes wrong in the world of PC gaming and you’ve probably experienced such moments of huge frustration.
Well, you’ll be happy to learn that Steam handles your game backups. It’s as simple as right-clicking any of your installed games and selecting Backup Game Files. In the window that pops up, you’ll get to choose which games to backup. It’s all straightforward thereon.
To restore a backup, log into your Steam account, go to the backup folder, and simply run the steambackup.exe file. From there, just follow the instructions.
Keep in mind, however, that Steam’s backup option won’t back up your custom configuration files, mods, and games with third-party installers. Oh, and if you’ve just added a game manually and it’s not a Steam-native title, you won’t get the backup feature for it, either.
Either way, having a restore point for your Steam games can be a neat perk.
Using Steam to the Fullest
These are some of the main Steam features that aren’t all that common. In truth, Steam is home to many other cool tweaks that can boost your entire Steam experience. At first glance, you may think of Steam as just another road bump in your seamless gaming experience. In truth, it handles a whole lot for you and tops it off with some unique perks.
Did you know about these cool Steam perks? Which one did you find the most useful? Do you have another one that wasn’t mentioned here? Feel free to hit the comments below with any questions, tips, and opinions.