Steam is the most widely used PC gaming platform on the planet. Since its launch in 2003, the platform has undergone many evolutions through the addition of new features and improvements. Today, Steam can feel quite daunting to a newcomer who’s just looking to start buying and playing games on their own and with friends as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, all of this is very easy to do on Steam, despite all the bells and whistles.
How to Buy Games on Steam
After going through the quick and easy process of downloading and installing Steam, you’ll want to start getting your hands on some cool games. Steam offers a variety of ways to find titles that suit your tastes. First and foremost, you need to make sure you have Store selected on the main menu. Once you’re loaded in, you can use a variety of handy-dandy discovery functions. If you know what games you want to buy, you can just simply type in the titles in the Search bar on the top right. Not decided on what you want yet? No problem. The left menu of the Steam store has a list of filters, that include listing games by genre, rating, release date and other factors.
Once you’ve found your heart’s desire, you can view its Game Page by selecting its title. Here, you can view all sorts of information about the game by scrolling down. Once you’re ready to drop some coin, you can select the green Add to Cart button. At the next screen, you’ll be asked if you’re buying for yourself or gifting it to someone else. Make your selection and then you can proceed to pick your payment method then select the Continue button which will take you to the final Checkout screen. Here, you can review your purchase then select Purchase to make it final.
Congratulations! Your game is now in your Library.
How to Play Games on Steam
Now that you have a game in your Library, you’ll probably want to play it. Select the Library from the main menu. Here, your collection will be organized by your most recently played games as well as purchases and updates. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t find where your game is, just scroll down to the All Games section. Once you’ve found it, simply select that sucker and you’ll be taken to its own page. You should see a blue Install button. Hit that bad boy to download and install your game into your designated Steam folder. After the download bar has finished doing its thing, the Install button will become a green Play button.
Now you’re ready to start enjoying your freshly bought video game on Steam. But what about your friends?
How to Add Your Friends on Steam
Playing with friends on Steam is a good ol’ time and connecting with them is super simple. On the bottom right of Steam, you’ll find the Friends & Chat function. Select that to open up a small chat window. Here, you can see which of your friends are online and what games they’re playing. To add your own friends, locate the Add Friend button just next to the search function and click it. This will take you to a section of the Community menu where you’ll have a few options. You can send your friends your unique Friend Code to add you or you can use their code to add them on this same screen. Alternatively, you can share the invite link or even search for their Steam name instead. Either of these options will add your friends to your Friends & Chat list so you can easily find each other and get your game on together.