A Personal Tip For Steam Sales

The Steam Sale will start either tomorrow or Friday, and along with my list from Monday I might as well share my own personal approach I’ve taken to the events. It’s helped me not only save money but also cut down on the growth of my backlog. It’s a pretty simple position to take too.

The usual thing everybody on Steam tells you to do is wait for the daily deals which is basically a cardinal rule at this point. And if what you’re aiming for doesn’t appear on a daily, grab it on the last day. One small tip I’ll also give is that you should put your main targets on your wishlist so you’ll get alerts, either through e-mail or mobile app, whenever their prices go lower.

The main tip I want to give though is something I stated a while ago when arguing in defense of these sales: Only buy a game if you’re actually ready to play it in the near future. More specifically, only buy a game if you actually plan to play it before the next big sale. All you have to do is ask yourself “When will I actually play this game? Will this game go on sale again before that time?” If it will go on sale again before you plan to play it, it’ll probably be at an even lower price.

Really, it’s the very least bit of long-term thinking you can bring to sales. These sales work because they hit you with prices shocking enough to sell you on before you’ve really thought about it. Just a while ago I seriously contemplated buying the new THIEF when it was on a Steam sale for $15, mostly because just a few months ago it was $60. But then I thought back to when I bought Hitman Absolution for that price mere weeks after its release in 2012. I haven’t even installed Absolution yet and it’s been on sale multiple times since at much lower prices.

For most people, taking advantage of Steam sales is basically just investing in a library of games they may or may not click on one day. I think taking the above approach leads to more immediate enjoyment of games and thus a greater appreciation for the deals. Luckily I just closed the book on ArmA II so I’m pretty much free to start playing whatever I pick up during this sale.

Oh, and one more tip is that when buying an indie game you should check that game’s official website to see if it has a Humble Widget (or check the Humble Store). Humble prices usually match Steam sale prices. I like buying through Humble because not only does more of the money go to the actual developer, but you also get a DRM-free copy of the game in addition to a Steam key.

BULLETS:

  • Nice article on the status of Arcades in North America today. http://t.co/gCVJghqBz8
  • Man if you don’t get Gunpoint now that it has Steam Workshop support, a new engine, and is currently $2.50…
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