Steam, as one of the first game distribution services, has long been indispensable for PC gamers. With incredible sales and over 34,000 games available, Steam continues to power the PC game market despite fierce competition from other services such as GOG or the Epic Games Store.
Getting started on Steam is not that difficult, especially for newbies. If you want to get started using Steam to play games on your desktop or laptop, all you need is a computer or Mac with gaming capabilities. You will also need to purchase the games you want to play from the Steam store. Here’s how to get started on Steam
Setup and Install Steam
Creating a Steam account is the first step you will need to complete in order to use this gaming platform.
- You can register a free Steam account on the Steam website. Provide your account email address and confirm your country of residence. Steam prices vary by country and you will only be able to buy games on Steam for your country. You must also prove that you are 13 or older to be able to register. When you’re ready, click “Continue”.
- An email will be sent to your account to verify it for Steam Log into your inbox and wait for a Steam email with a confirmation link. After receiving the email, click on the link to verify your account.
- Provide a display name and a secure password for your Steam account, then click “Full Registration” to complete the account creation process.
- After you create your account, you will automatically be logged into your account on the Steam website. Click the Install Steam button at the top of the page or go to the Steam download page, then click the Install Steam button to start downloading Steam for your platform.
- The Steam client is supported on Windows, Linux and macOS. Run the client installer for your operating system by following the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
- The first time you launch Steam after installation, you will need to sign in. Enter the username and password for the account you just created, then click the Login button.
Purchase and install Steam games
The iconic Steam interface hasn’t changed much in recent years and has been designed to be easy for new users to navigate. When you first log into the Steam client, you will most likely be presented with your game library in the Library tab at the top of the Steam window.
- To access the Steam Store, click the Store tab. This loads the Steam store webpage in the client itself. Use the top or side menu to search for the game you want to buy across different genres.
- To purchase a new game, click on the game’s page in the store. If it’s a free game, click Play, otherwise, click Add to Cart to add it to your cart.
- Click the Buy For Myself button to start purchasing the game by following the onscreen instructions to provide your payment details. After purchase, the game will appear in the “Library” tab, and you can install it.
- To install a purchased game, go to the Library tab. Games that are currently uninstalled are grayed out in the left-hand list of your purchased Steam games. Click the game, then click the Install button to begin the installation.
- The configuration options for your game may vary slightly. Confirm that you want to add shortcuts, make sure you have enough disk space for the installation, then click Next.
- Accept the user agreement by clicking “I agree”. Once you agree to the terms, Steam will start downloading your game. Click Finish to close the installer options at this point.
- You can track the loading progress in the left menu on the Library tab. The installation will complete automatically after the download process is complete.
- If you want to uninstall a Steam game after installation (or stop an ongoing installation), right-click the game entry in the Library tab. From there click on “Manage”> “Uninstall”.
Playing Games on Steam
The availability of Steam games to play will depend on the platform you are using. If you are using macOS or Linux clients, you will only be able to play Steam games that are supported on those platforms. Windows 10 supports most games on the Steam platform.
- If you are using Steam on Linux or macOS and would like to see in your library the games that are supported by those platforms, click the “Library” tab. Games that you cannot install on your platform will be marked with a gray Install button.
- If the game is supported by your operating system, installed and ready to play, click your game entry in the Library tab. Click the green Play button to launch the Steam game and start playing.
Chat with others on Steam
- You can also use Steam to chat and play with your friends. Click the Friends & Chat button in the lower-right corner of the Steam window to access your Steam Friends list.
- Your Steam Friends list will appear in a separate window. Double click the added friend to start chatting. To add a new friend, click the Add Friend icon in the upper right corner.
- You can use your Steam friend code or invite link to add a friend, or you can find (and add) your friend manually. Once added and accepted, the new friend will appear on your Steam Friends list.
- To remove a friend, right-click the friend in your Steam Friends list, then choose Manage> Remove As Friend.
Stress-free games with Steam
The next step is to add new games to your Steam library. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this, so be sure to take advantage of the best moments to buy digital games to add to your library cheaply.