Friday, June 20, 2014

Steam Summer Sale: Tips and Tricks

Pretty accurate.
The Steam Summer Sale is, in this humble (bundle? Wait, no, stop that) gamer's opinion, the best holiday for gamers.

Sure, there are events and whatnot (the recent occurrence of E3 comes to mind), but they're not accessible to gamers everywhere. Steam, however, is.

We're in day two of the sale. Sorry if any of these tips I'm about to give would have been helpful yesterday. The way it works is that there are two time sensitive sets of deals:

Daily Deals

This is pretty self explanatory, but a selection of games are on sale for one day only. The sale prices range fairly wildly -- currently, there are games from 33% to 75% off.
6/20/14 Daily Deals

Flash Sales

These are titles that go on sale for only 8 hours, before giving way to the new set. Sale prices range again -- currently features sales from 50% to 80% off. These sales are generally better than if the same titles were to be offered as a Daily Deal. It also features games that don't always go on sale that often. The titles are unknown until released, so you need to check back every eight hours if your anticipating a specific game.

Beyond these two, there are two others kinds:

Community's Choice

These are selections of games that, similar to Flash Sales, change every eight hours. The difference here is that you can help determine what these games will be by voting before each selection becomes available. Usually there are two options to choose from, and each has a selection of games with a related theme or genre.

Summer Sale

Many titles on the Steam store go on sale, even when not featured on the three sales above. For example, Baldur's Gate 2: Extended Edition is 50% for the entirety of the Summer Sale (which will last until 6/30).

C'mon, Flash Sale!!
Alright, now for some tips:
1. Always wait for the Flash Sale. It is NOT guaranteed that the game you want will come on sale, so this is a gamble. If you see it on the Daily or Community, it's not a bad choice to grab it then, but Flash will have the best price.

2. Daily and Community are very good prices and no one will think less of you if you grab an item then. If you see an item on the Daily that already seems very heavily discounted, it's entirely possible this is the best deal you'll get.

My most valuable card... at 50 cents.
3. DON'T buy anything NOT on a Daily, Flash, or Community sale, even if it is on "Summer Sale." You have until the 30th to take advantage of standard sales, so wait until then! If, on the 30th, the game you want hasn't made its way a better sale, then go ahead and grab it (this is what I'll be doing with Baldur's Gate 2: Extended Edition).

4. If you want to be notified of a particular game going on sale, at it to your Wishlist and make sure your Steam account is set up to e-mail you notifications! Also, consider having your game-addict/Steam-addict friend watch the sales for you. Alas, I could avail myself of no minions, but you may have better luck!

5. Do you have trading cards but not use them, care about them, or appropriately understand them? Same here! Sell them now, and mark up the price! Steam will tell you what the current average is, but the hardcore Steam folks are trying to get as many cards as they can to make badges and whatnot. If you want to get in on that, go for it, or you could make a little (probably tiny) profit from it.

This sale is the absolute BEST chance to find the game you want at the cheapest it has ever been. Unless you are a pirate. Then you probably don't care that much. Don't be a pirate. Pirates are dicks.

That about sums it up! Hopefully you got what you wanted yesterday and will keep an eye out going forward.

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