What is the Steam Game Client – A Guide and How To
If you’re wondering what the Steam Game client is, then you’re in the right place. I’m about to tell you exactly what Steam is, what you can do with it, and how it works. First, Steam has nothing to do with steam (hot water vapor) or S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math). If you are looking for either of these two options, please look elsewhere on this site for great information. This article is about Steam, the game playing client, Windows game store, and game network. So, what is Steam? Let’s get started.
What is Steam
Steam is first and foremost a game store. The Steam Client was created to allow you to play games purchased on the store and to help prevent you from pirating other games. You can play games from a disc, you can play games purchased from Amazon or other game store. However, you cannot share games with friends, and you can only play your game from your Steam client. That means no sharing the game unless you know how to strip the DRM. Some Steam games also come with SecureROM, which limits the number of times and places that you can download your game. While limiting for the player, these are essentially anti-piracy methods. If you can live with that, then you can enjoy purchasing and playing almost any game you want right from the Steam store. That means no waiting, just a quick download and then you can play a new game release, or an old favorite. You can also earn achievements through your games and share them with your network, similarly to the PLaystation Network. With an online social wall you can also share updates, screenshots, and comments on your favorite games.
Steam also has a very unique forum known as Steam Guides. Here you can write and release how-to guides for anything and everything game related, or look them up and read them yourself. This is a gamer helping gamer community, and just one of the benefits of Steam. Each game also has its own community hub where you can talk about and discuss parts of the game.
Benefits of Steam
- Instant Access to Games
- Tons of Sales
- Almost all major games
- Free game demos
- Early game access
- Multiple Platform Gaming
- Community Support
Download & Install the Steam Client
If you’ve decided to install the Steam game client then you can do it from right here! Just click the button below to download your install client. Steam is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can also connect Steam to your TV and your mobile so that you can play anywhere.
The Steam Client will take a few minutes to install and offer you a couple of options. Read through each one carefully and then make your selection. Importantly, Steam will also ask you to agree to their DRM. The Steam DRM is mainly that each game is locked to your account. You cannot trade or sell it in any way. Another consideration is that some games have issues with offline play, although you do have to enable offline mode for your computer. Overall install is a fairly easy process and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.
To get started playing you will have to create an account. To do this you have to create a Steam Account username. You should choose carefully because whatever you choose will represent you to all of your friends on Steam. You will also need a valid email address, your name, a password, and the answer to a challenge question. Once you create your Steam Account, you will have to confirm the email but then you are all set. You can then log on either online or via the Steam Client to get started.
Adding Games – If you have just installed steam and would like to import the games that you already have then you can add them in a fairly simple process. Make sure your Steam client is open, click ‘Games’, and then click ‘Add Non-Steam Game to My Library’.
This will bring up a full list of programs installed on your computer and you can choose the games you want to add. Importantly this only adds a shortcut to your computer so you will still have to make sure that any discs are in the computer as necessary in order to play. You can also browse to add additional games.
Buying Games on Steam
Steam is first and foremost a store and the client is its form of DRM or Digital Rights Management. You can choose to buy almost any games you want on Steam but it is important to keep in mind that the prices can sometimes be a little high. Most of the time it is a good idea to compare the value cost of the game with what Steam is selling it for. The website SteamPrices.com is a great place to check the value and cost of games on Steam. The website also keeps a full list of daily deals and sales on Steam so you can save some money.
Steam has its store organized into sections so that you can browse through games based on your preferred genre.
Sales – Steam is famous for its sales but usually the games that are the best deals are the ones that are already a few years old. For example you can probably grab a copy of Torchlight for under $5 or a copy of Dead Space for $19.99. Prices do of course vary, but you can likely get good deals on Steam if you look.
You can also think outside of the box and compare Steam prices with those on Amazon which typically (along with GOG.com) has the best prices for games outside of Steam Sales.
Free Games – Steam has a range of free games and some of them are even great. If you don’t want a mainstream game then try looking at Steams huge library of free games for inspiration. You can play and download these just like you can with the store purchases.
Steam is also home to software that you can buy, download, and use. Software ranges from accounting and budgeting applications to high end audio software, so you can usually find pretty much anything you’re looking for.
Hopefully this quick guide to the Steam client explains what it is, how it works, and what you can do with it. Check back later for more information about sales and deals, the Steam Box, and more.