Tips For The Steam Summer Sale

The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing, which means deals out the proverbial wazoo. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to come away with plenty of games and a not entirely empty wallet.

Check out this guide

Lifehacker wrote a pretty comprehensive Steam Sale guide. It covers all the basics. Consider this a complement, or perhaps a compilation of more advanced strategies to beat this festive pinata until all its goodies fall out.

There are no more daily deals or flash sales

Recent Steam Sales have adopted a "what you see is what you get" policy. All deals stay as they are until the end of the sale. If you missed a highlighted deal, don't worry: The game's price will remain as it was until July 4. So there's no need to wait around for deep discounts. If you see a game you've been wanting on sale, grab it.

Know what you're buying

All PC games are not created equal. This goes double for ports, and there's nothing worse than buying a shiny new game only for it to nosedive into a flaming heap. When in doubt, try reading reviews or checking places like PC Gaming Wiki for performance analysis, potential issues, Steam features and the like.

Resources are your friend

Steam is a vast, labyrinthine series of stores and sub-stores. To those planning to brave it alone, I say good luck and remember that the minotaur can only harm you if you fail to solve its riddles. If, however, you'd like some assistance, let me recommend a couple of good resources.

On Reddit, r/GameDeals offers a daily Steam Summer Sale thread with ample information about games' prices in different currency, price history, trading cards, bundles and hardware. It's good for getting a broad overview of the Steam Sale on a daily basis.

SteamDB's sales page, on the other hand, is great if you want a quick flyby of the entire Steam Sale. They have graphed out which games are for sale, the length of the sale and each game's Steam review rating.

Meanwhile, David Arcila put together a great Steam Sale Survival Kit, which will help you with deal lists, browser extensions, trading groups and hopefully also the aforementioned minotaur. Also, for shits and giggles, he included a site that tells you how much it would currently cost to buy everything on Steam.

If you're selling trading cards, download the Steam phone app

Love it or hate it, Steam's phone app security policy looms heavy over this year's Steam Summer Sale. If you don't verify trading card sales through the app, you're looking at a 15-day hold period. That's longer than the Steam Summer Sale, meaning that there's really no point to going through with it at all.

Sell trading cards early, buy later

Folks like somethinghaha — who've been involved in the trading card, er, trade for a few years now — have observed that Steam Sale trading card prices tend to go down with time. So sell toward the start of the sale and buy closer to the end.

Buy gift cards

THECapedCaper points out that retailers occasionally have deals on Steam gift cards. That's essentially free money. Those sorts of deals aren't always easy to come by, but keep an eye out for them.

Do you have any good Steam Sale tips? Sound off in the comments below!


    Another tip, check G2A before you buy anything, even on sale you will still probably get it cheaper there.

      Except some of those keys on G2A can be stolen, even invalid (has happened to me at least twice now).

      I would only use G2A for bigger ticket items are have a rather inflated price, for example Dying Light series, a title that is forever selling for a high dime even thought its quite old now and has a terrible Linux port IMO.

      Only if you feel like supporting a company that knowingly resells CD keys bought with stolen credit-cards, which due to callbacks means the developers get nothing.

      It's actually worse than just pirating it as this means the developers have to deal with unhappy payment companies who - as Valve's said with their own issues with the problem on steam - will threaten to not work with the company.

        then tell steam to put US pices on there stock, US and the AUS(even tho the prices are in US) have 20% sur charge for littry no reson we have 0% tax on ALL digitial product including games.

          So you're literally stealing from the Devs? Even Pirating doesn't do that.

      Yeah, you can also pick up cheap hacked Minecraft accounts at the same time while you're on there, like the one of mine that hackers sold through G2A last year.

    For sure!
    Also, just because it says '60% off' doesnt mean its the cheapest around.
    Steam is well known for upping the prices just before a sale then putting on the discount to make the discount % seem larger than it is.
    Iv noticed this a fair bit over the years with items on my wish list checking prices before, during and after sales and at least half my wish list wasnt actually reduced more than 5%

      Business' in general do this a lot.
      Not justifying it by any means, just saying it's something you should keep in the back of your mind in general and not just with Steam.

        Still didnt stop my going a little bit silly on some old wish list items :P

    Also use chrome with steam helper plugin..

    Tips for Steam Sale:
    1) Buy all the indie games you want form the GoG sale the week before
    2) Buy DOOM from EB, $47AUD
    3) Shake your head in wonder that Origin, Uplay and EB Games are now cheaper than Steam (before sale)
    4) Show Steam/Valve that we are NOT ok with paying inflated Aussie prices in $USD, by not buying from Steam

      I knew I should've gotten Darkest Dungeon from GoG while it was on sale.

      I'm sad I can only upvote this once.

    My method: Make a wishlist of all games I'm interested in in (it can also import your Steam wishlist), type in the percentage of discount or fixed cost that you are willing to pa for that game and that's it. Forget about it, let the sales come and go. Whenever a game I want is discounted (at Steam or any other platform) beyond the value I entered, I get an email. it also keeps track of historical lows so you know whether a game has a chance of being discounted further than its current sale price.

    Seems to me 70% of big releases are console exclusives.
    So what are you buying that you dont already have from past sales??

    A very important point is to keep an eye on the Aussie dollar conversion rate, especially with Brexit throwing the market into turmoil. Steam shows prices in USD so while you might think you're only paying $10 you will more likely be paying $13. It can pretty quickly mount up if you aren't careful.

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