If you’re like most people, you’re either looking to buy cheap Steam games, or you’re looking to buy an immersive, action-packed game that will provide you with hours of gameplay. The Witcher 3 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are two games that come to mind that may not have been cheap, but I logged over 100 hours playing each.
That’s $0.50 or less per hour of gameplay, which is a bargain in today’s world. But you can still find cheap Steam games that are fun, low-cost and also provide an immersive environment.
How do you find these games?
SteamDB is a great third-party tool which has a large database of packages and applications in Steam’s database. When you go on the platform, you’ll find a list of the following:
[list_item]Most played games[/list_item]
And if you want a quick and easy means of finding a great game that is low cost, this tool is a good start. I am viewing the hot releases category right now, and I can easily find a dozen games to purchase with my Steam gift card.
A few titles and their current prices are:
[list_item]Exertus – $2.24[/list_item]
[list_item]Dungeon Scavenger – $3.99[/list_item]
[list_item]Plunge – $7.19[/list_item]
[list_item]Biolab Wars – $0.99[/list_item]
[list_item]WildKids – $1.39[/list_item]
You can also find a nice sales section, which will tell you the best titles that are currently on sale, their ratings and when the games were released.
Locate Trending Games
Trending games are the games that everyone is playing. You might want to play these games, or you might not want to play the trending games due to the games being overcrowded. You have a few options to find trending games:
When you go on Steam DB, you’ll need to scroll down a bit until you find the Trending category. You’ll be able to see a variety of trending games and how popular the game has been for the past seven days.
You’ll also be able to see how many players are currently playing the game.
Dying Light is extremely popular right now, with 11,103 players connected. If there are 11,000 players currently playing a game, you know it’s a great option.
You also have Steam’s own section for News and Trending. What’s nice about this section is that you can see the games that are trending, prices, genre, platform and even if the game is on sale.
Filters allow you to refine the listings even further.
What I really like about the trending category is that some of the games are actually free. If you’re a little short on money, download a free game and start playing.
That’s why I really believe that Steam makes the perfect gift for gamers. You can use your balance to purchase a new game, but if you don’t find something that you know you’ll like, you have plenty of free options available. You can also get cheap Steam gift cards here.
Find the Most Played Games
One of the main reasons people buy a Steam gift card for friends or family is because they know that there’s a popular game the person wants to play. But if you’re a casual player or someone who has just gotten back into gaming, a good choice is to look for the most popular games.
The most popular games have a reputation for being good games. Keep in mind that these are very specific genres, so you may not like a battle royale, but you may like a fantasy RPG. I recommend using filters or reading up on the most played games so that you can find a title that you want to play.
A great place to start is Steam Charts.
You’ll be able to see the most popular games based on:
[list_item]24-hour peak users[/list_item]
[list_item]All-time peak users[/list_item]
Steam Stats also has a list of the most popular games based on current player count. DOTA 2 is currently the most popular game followed by PUBG, CS Global Offensive and GTA V.
The number of concurrent players is how many players are currently logged into a game. Concurrency players is a good way to be able to find the most popular games, but you can also use it to find lesser-known games that you may want to play.
You can sort by most and least concurrent users to find some games that are worth playing that may not be a MOBA.
ARS Technica also conducted their own study on the most popular games in mid-2018, and while the list may be slightly outdated, it includes over 1,000 of the most popular games on Steam.
You can argue that the most popular releases are the games that are the most played. But I am going to argue that the most popular releases are often the games that have the best reviews. Reviews are a great way to determine if a game is a hit or miss when purchasing.
If everyone rates a game poorly, it may not be a great game for you.
You have a lot of options to check ratings, and we’ll start with the SteamDB rating algorithm. If you go to the link, you’ll be able to find the highest rated games with the following information:
It’s almost impossible not to have negative reviews because people are always going to complain about something. The games I see that have the best ratings include:
[list_item]The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt[/list_item]
I know all of these games very well, and they’re all great options. I want to mention that the rating is respective of how many ratings the game has had. For example, 96.62% rate The Witch 3 positively, with 232,795 positive reviews and 5,316 negative reviews.
By comparison, Factorio has a slightly higher rating, with 54,359 positive reviews and 812 negative reviews.
What does this all mean?
If you want to find the most popular game, you can opt for choosing by rating or the number of positive reviews.
Steam also has their popular new releases section. You should use the filters on the side of the screen to narrow down your results further. What I don’t like about the “popular new releases” section is that it doesn’t give you a good indication of the most popular games available.
You may love some of the games that came out a year or two ago – a lot of people are still playing them.
But the new releases section does not include these games.
Top On Twitch
We’ve covered a lot of options when trying to find the most popular games, but there’s another option that’s available to you: Twitch. If you’ve never heard of Twitch or used the platform before, it’s a streaming platform for gamers.
If a lot of people are streaming a game on Twitch, you can be sure that it’s a popular choice.
Since there are so many streamers, I do recommend that you spend the time to watch some of the streams to see if you like a game. The top streamed games that are available right now include:
[list_item]League of Legends[/list_item]
[list_item]Dead by Daylight[/list_item]
You can view all of the top games being viewed on Twitch here. If you go on Twitch itself, you can go to the Twitch directory which has all of the top games being played based on how many viewers there are.
World of Warcraft is currently dominating the site because there are people clamoring to log into Classic.
If you find the top games on Twitch, these represent the most popular games. I really appreciate the fact that you can watch others players play a game before you buy the game yourself. These feeds allow you to judge if you’ll like the game or not based on gameplay.
Our Secret to Finding If a Deal is Truly a Deal
You know when there’s a sale, people flock to retail stores to make purchases. People want to save as much money as they can on games, but how do you know if a deal is really a deal? It’s hard to tell when a retailer says that a game is “50% off.”
Is the game always marked down in price? Has the game’s price fallen over time and it’s really a sale based on how much the game cost three years ago?
That’s the question a lot of people are trying to answer.
SteamDB’s amazing database allows you to see if the current price or sale is really a discount or not. I recommend going to The Witcher 3’s page to understand what I’m talking about here. When you go to the page, you’ll be able to see the following information by country:
[list_item]Lowest recorded price[/list_item]
In the US, I can see that the game is currently priced at $39.99, and the lowest price was $11.99. You would want to purchase the game at $11.99 if possible, but this 70% discount must have been during one of the biggest Steam sales of the year.
These timelines provide you with a general idea of how much a game’s price may fluctuate throughout a year.
But let’s dig a little deeper into this comprehensive pricing list.
Click on the currency that you’ll be using when making your purchase. I clicked on the US Dollar, and I can see a graph of the game’s price history. This is an invaluable graph because it allows me to see when games go on sale.
The title’s price was $11.99 on June 10 and again on June 25.
Why did they discount the game on June 25?
It was the first day of the company’s annual summer sale. Imagine having the price slashed by 70% a day after you purchased it?
If I were you, and I didn’t mind waiting, I would try and purchase the title during one of their annual sales for the steepest discounts.
Hunting Out Steam Sales
You can find games on sale all year long, but there are some sales that are known to the community: annual sales. Sales occur throughout the year, including:
[list_item]Spring sale, which usually starts at the end of May (skipped in 2019)[/list_item]
[list_item]Summer sale, which occurs at the end of June[/list_item]
[list_item]Halloween sale, which occurs towards the end of October[/list_item]
[list_item]Black Friday sale, which begins on November 20[/list_item]
[list_item]Winter sale, which is usually December 19 or 20 for the start date[/list_item]
Keep in mind that the dates are not confirmed, and there have been times when a sale is not offered. Spring, Black Friday and winter sales are almost always going to go on, and these are the times we recommend waiting for to snatch a great deal on your game.
But there’s also a daily deal which you’ll be able to claim by going to Steam’s main blog page. The company just ran a 66% off deal on Dying Light.
Game Developer Updates
If you’re a hardcore gamer and want to know about which games are going to be most popular or that are changing quickly, I recommend developer updates. The updates allow you to almost forecast which games will be good or bad.
Steam has their own Popular Upcoming section, which can help you find upcoming games that people are interested in playing.
But if you have a game that you may want to play or like a certain developer, you may want to follow them on social media or follow their blogs for new updates.
Developer updates allow you to take a sneak peek inside a game to see if the developer plans on releasing additional content and what plans are for the future of the game.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has their own news and update section, which shows you that the game keeps improving. The company has released the following information:
[list_item]Patch 1.5.0 is being released[/list_item]
[list_item]Fate of Atlantis Episode 1 is available for free for a week[/list_item]
[list_item]An August update was just pushed through[/list_item]
You can find these types of updates for upcoming games, and don’t be afraid to join some of the communities that these developers have available. When you join a forum or page, you’ll often get insight into the game’s direction and also news on upcoming releases.
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