Valve is overhauling Steam in an effort to make it easier for its customers to find the games they want. With more than 3,700 titles available on Steam — some 1,300 of which have arrived in just the last nine months, Valve says — it can be challenging to discover new games (or the right games for your particular tastes) when browsing the Steam store.
Enter Steam's "Discovery Update," which is more than just a prettier blue redesign of the service.
Some of the biggest changes in the Discovery Update come to the Steam home page, in the form of new customization options and filters. Steam will now deliver personalized recommendations based on recent gameplay, past purchases, suggestions from friends and select games highlighted by Steam Curators, the new "tastemakers" of the Steam Community.
The new Steam home page will still showcase discovery options like featured and popular new releases, sales and games that were recently updated. It will expand with the display of a Discovery Queue, a daily list of new, top-selling releases that Steam users can browse and use to further personalize future recommendations. Through the Discovery Queue, Steam users will be able to add a game to their wish list, follow updates on the game or ignore it.
Here's a peek at what the queue and Steam Curators suggestions look like.
A new series of filters will let Steam users display and hide things like Early Access releases, non-gaming software and games they already own, as well as downloadable content for games in their library.
Steam users can now follow curators, other Steam users who recommend and review titles on the service. Curators will be listed on the Steam home page and individual product pages, which is where Valve suggests users look to find curators who match their tastes.
In order to become a curator, a user (or a collection of users) needs to either start a new Steam Community group or be an officer/moderator of a group. Once that's done, users will need to make at least 10 recommendations on Steam. Curators can link to websites, YouTube videos, podcasts, tweets and more to flesh out their recommendations, and Valve says anyone can take part — developers, journalists, artists, critics, etc. Top curators will be highlighted based on how many followers they have on Steam, though that may change over time, Valve says.
Here's what a Steam Curators page looks like.
Valve says it will take feedback from users and continue to improve Steam's discovery options over time.
"We have made great efforts to increase the number of titles we can publish on Steam, which means more choices for customers," said Alden Kroll of Valve in a release. "This update introduces multiple features and functionality to help customers explore Steam's growing catalog and find the games they are most interested in playing."