Ahh yes, the steam summer sale, the glorious and magical two weeks of wallet crushing sales and bundles, whether you are new or a grizzled veteran, there is always something to be found at a price you thought was impossible. But wait, it’s dangerous out there, take a read through this before you head out into the tsunami of sales tags to make sure you get the most out of your summer sale action.
Quick Details on the Summer Sale
What: Large discounts on hundreds of video games from the largest PC gaming platform
Who: Anyone who owns a computer
When: June 22nd 1pm est until July 5th 1pm est
Changes and Updates to the Summer Sale Format
Veterans of Summer Sales will remember daily deals and flash sales, which are missing from this years sale, instead Steam will curate a list of games already on sale that they think you should take a look at. This unfortunately limits what Valve can do with the sale, instead of like previous years with games for users to play, like the monster clicker game or being split into colored teams, they have decided to release limited summer sale stickers. What are stickers you ask? Stickers act in a similar way to Trading Cards, but instead of dropping from time spent in game, they drop based on certain activities that Valve want to encourage (check steam each day during the sale, etc) and if you fill up your sticker book, you may get a special surprise. Trading cards are also back this year, and seem to be dropping in the same manner as previous sales, based on how much money (currently each $10 increase gets you a card) you have spent during the sale, with a special badge that can be crafted if you collect all the cards.
Tips for New Commers
Your first Summer Sales is almost always the most memorable sale, seeing hundreds of games that you want for 60%~95% off embeds a nostalgic feeling that is hard to shake. Many veterans will complain that the sales aren’t like they used to be, but in reality it is more likely that they’ve picked up the games that they want, and as such it seems to loose a bit of luster to them. But to the newbie it is all brand new and very easy to get lost in the fray. To keep you from getting burnt out from the first week of sales I suggest you check out the r/steam and r/pcmasterrace (disclaimer: PCMR is a reddit group by and for pc gaming, there are no political allegiances, mac heathens and console peasants are welcomed) subreddits and the Summer Sale megathreads to keep up the special sales and answer any questions that you have.
Even though it is a bit outdated I suggest keeping this flow chart in mind as planning your purchases can help keep you from breaking the bank. Another tidbit is that Steam has a refund option, as long as you have owned the game for less than 14 days and have less than 2 hours of playtime you can refund it, but be careful, Steam refunds whole purchases and not single games, so if you buy 5 games on sale and want to refund 1, you will have to refund the other 4 as well. Once you get down to playing with your new games, don’t forget to include other people, discord/teamspeak/mumble are great ways of voice chatting with your friends if the steam VOIP service doesn’t interest you and can provide structure if you are playing squad MMO’s.
Remember to stay safe out there, it’s a big sale but with a bit of planning and some self control you and your wallet should stay intact.