The main companies like Ubisoft, Activision or Electronic Arts trusted it (until they created their own), and that pushed countless more modest developers to see Steam as their perfect showcase to quickly and easily distribute their video games. Over the years, Steam had become synonymous with PC gaming. and its store, in the main one for tens of millions of players.
But what exactly is Steam and why do gamers like it so much?
Buy all the games you want
Apart from other considerations, Steam is, above all, an online store to buy video games. In other words, thanks to it we will be able to get hold of any novelty that comes onto the market and have all those acquisitions centralized over time in a single personal account. To make things easier for us, it has a specific showcase in which we can see the latest news, sales or discounts, the recommendations made by the platform or the community and, of course, a search engine to reach any old or new title by which we want to be interested in.
One of its advantages is that these titles are subject to strict publication conditions and the developers usually guarantee us extra content that we can also buy on Steam, as well as Critical updates to fix game issues and even future adaptations to specific hardware that could reach the platform. For example, with the new ray-traced cards, some manufacturers have improved the performance of their releases, completely free, and those downloads are handled automatically from the Steam client with virtually no notice. So we don’t have to be attentive looking for files to download or anything like that.
How safe is it to buy on Steam?
Since 2003, Steam has been offering its users a secure payment environment, that we can do with our bank card or with PayPal-style platforms. In any case, when we buy a game or downloadable content, we do not pay the developer, but we pay Valve through our store account. In this way, we guarantee that no one except Gabe Newell knows our data and therefore there is no danger of bank information running from hand to hand.
Trust in the platform has been forged throughout its almost 20-year history where after hundreds of millions of transactions, there have been no incidents related to problems with payments or the security of the information stored in our accounts. Still, if you’re still hesitant to enter your card numbers in the Steam store, you can always buy prepaid cards with balances of 20, 50 or 100 euros that you can later redeem to buy the game you want, or directly purchase CD key that are sold in some specialized portals for specific video games.
The steam community
Another part that has been improving over the years is the community. Steam has enhanced this area and allows us users to share content, threads, problems, help, tips and tools with which to create mods for any game we like. The idea is that we have a personal wall, where we can choose what we see and even upload and publish our contributions. It is a very interesting area and one that you probably haven’t seen yet, because what interests you is playing, right?
Safe play, the key
Steam is essentially a platform that not only allows us to buy video games, but also it also makes it easy for us to download, update and keep us safe of potential threats, in addition to guaranteeing a fair game ecosystem when we access multiplayer. In this way, when we download a new purchase we have the certainty that all those files have already been verified as safe and that they do not contain any malware inside. To date, there is no news of releases that have infected computers or caused attacks with negative results for their users.
But in addition to the above, in the case of multiplayer titles, Steam has software that is responsible for verifying the integrity of the games that we dispute online, verifying that none of the participants uses cheat to gain advantage. Both on the one hand and on the other, the user is always kept safe from the action of certain users who are always looking for shortcuts so as not to compete on equal terms.
Are Steam games yours?
This is an old refrain that accompanies Steam and it is true. To what extent is a game purchased from your store ours? When we pay the price they ask us, that title goes to our personal library and it will always be accessible as long as Valve does not decide to close the store. Because of the DRM (copy protection) that it uses, every time we start any video game, the platform verifies our license and gives permission to run it, so we must be connected.
If Valve in the future had to be forced to close their servers, would we still have that game? At the moment the theory tells us that, although we must not rule out that in this disastrous scenario, the same from the companies could decide to eliminate the DRM to allow us access to all our purchased content without prior download limitations. So for now, let’s pray that something like this doesn’t happen…
How to redeem a steam code
Steam not only allows you to add games purchased in its store to the library, but to have your entire collection centralized, it is also possible to register others that work outside of it. In any case, if you choose to buy prepaid cards, or redeemable game codes, what you have to do is very simple. The first is to open the Steam application and click on the bottom left of the window, in Add a product.
Tapping on it will bring up a menu with three options. We are left with the second one, which is to Activate a Steam product. Next, several windows will appear, which indicate the conditions of service: we accept them. Finally, we will arrive at a window in which we have a space to write the code of the card that we have bought. If we type it correctly, the process will conclude with a new game in our library (which will start downloading instantly) or with a balance of money for the prepaid card.