Coping with Steam: Artistic Commentary on Our Shared Affliction
Most Frequently Asked Questions
1. Steam's search tool is cumbersome and not very informative. Is there a website, other than Steam's, I can go to find out what's on sale?
2. Can I register this copy of (Insert Game Here) on Steam?
Here's a list of games you can register on Steam
3. If I buy a game pack that already includes a game I own, can I gift that game?
. You can always add a non-Steam game to your Steam games list, so that people can see you playing it. You can also use this to add your own shortcuts with fake names to your Steam games list to make it look like you're playing Episode 3. Hilarious
Not usually. You're welcome to ask in this thread, although if you Google it it'll probably be answered even faster.
4. Why isn't __Insert Game Here__ available in my horrible little corner of the earth?
Many Steam games might be unavailable in your country if you have the temerity to live outside of the United States. This is not Steam's fault. Regional game availability is determined solely by the publisher, who should be the source of your ire. Gifting works regardless of region so you might find some helpful person in North America who can gift you the game.
5. How do I get an invite to the Penny Arcade Steam group?
The most convenient way is to just post a link to your Steam profile page (getting one of the swank signatures described below makes it easy) and ask for an invite. Just as a word of advice, we tend to prefer that you be a regular contributor to get an invite to the group. The rule of thumb is 6 months of activity on the forums. We are well known for our generosity, and like to make sure any new additions are here for the good of the community, and not to leech during sales. That said, we're a friendly group, so make yourself at home and start posting and you'll be there in no time!
6. How does trading items/games work?
Trading is now built in to Steam, hurray! Read all about how it works right here
Some Words on Gifting
If you receive a game or pack via a gift or a contest, remember to thank that person either through a PM or by announcing it in the thread
. This is not optional
. We are classy gentlemen and will act as such.
Steam's new gifting features allow you to store up games in your gift bank when you purchase them, instead of having to email yourself the gift link. It'll be an option during checkout.
A few things to remember as a giftee:
1. Make it possible to track you from PA Forums to Steam. A link directly to your steam ID is usually the most convenient. Remember, your Steam ID is different than your steam name. If you just include text to your steam name, we have to search and scroll through 5 pages to find you (and we may not find you if you're not using the same name/avatar combo!).
2. Make it possible to track you from Steam to PA Forums. Best bet is using similar avatar/name. Understandably, some people don't want to do that. In that case, you should have "I'm ______ on Penny Arcade Forums!" in your profile blurb.
Generally speaking, if you're selected for a gift from a stranger on here it will be, usually, one of two ways:
You will either post in the thread (so they will go to your profile to friend you and then to the store to send a gift.
Someone will want to gift a certain game and go to the store page where you can see everyone who has it on their wishlist.
Also, remember that a gifter can see when you added a game to your wishlist. If you add it on the day of the sale, you might have a smaller chance of being gifted it than someone who has been interested in it since release. Gifters should also make sure they are identifiable from Steam to PA Forums. Some people are shy and are too nervous to message a gifter and say "hey thanks, I have no idea who you are on forums!"
An Important Word on Contests
If you decide to run or participate in a giveaway contest for gift copies of games, please remember that all entry submissions must now be made via PM.
The forum mods have stated that pages of the thread being filled with pictures, videos, etc. submitted as contest entries will lead to such contests being banned. So please, for the sake of the thread – take it to PMs.
Does your Steam library have 800 games? Do you wish you could move some of those games to different hard drives instead of deleting them entirely and then downloading them again when you want to play them? Steam Mover
is here for you.
Steam Price Guide
Do you have the misfortune to live somewhere other than America? Steam hates you! Luckily, this cool website with prices for Steam games all around the world
is here to help, so you can know if you want to ask an American friend to buy the game for you or not.
You need this program.
It reconfigures your Windows IPSEC settings (run it as an admin) to block out all but the servers which don't count towards your download quota on Steam. Now supports a bunch of ISPs through a graphical interface.
Basically guarantees you won't add to your download quota with Steam.
Also: Download TCPview: TCPView
Then, use TCPview to close all Steam TCP servers (this is important, NOT the UDP ones, just the TCP ones). Steam will then reconnect to a different server, which will hopefully get you a better speed. If you don't go faster in a couple of seconds, retry until you get a speed you like.
I've also been told you Aussies might want to try Angus Wolfcastle's SteamManager
. Setting it up is easy is you follow the instructions here
. If you find you're still being charged for your steam downloads, try changing the setting like in this link here
Cool Community Add-Ons
With such a cool service, someone must have done some extra things to build on it. The forums have one such man, who made some super cool Steam signatures. Suds is his name and killing is his game
. Except for the killing. The signatures automatically use backgrounds for the games and the correct icon. Pretty neat, and they're 100% free!
You can also use a script on his Steam Calculator page
to see how much your Steam account would be worth if you had taken advantage of some obscure, arcane combination of special deals that nobody could ever have taken advantage of. Or something sort of like that.
Having trouble picking a game out of your burgeoning [strike]backlog[/strike] gamebank to play? Let VicWhiten's Steam Roulette
decide! Just type in your Steam community ID (easier if you set up a custom URL on your Steam profile page), and Steam Roulette will read your library and randomly pick one game every time you hit "Spin the Wheel!" It even connects to Steam to allow you to install or start the game with a single click.
What's all this about serving "The Newell?"
It started with this comic:
And now it is our unofficial official motto.
Winter Achievements & Giveaways
During the Winter Sale there will be special Christmas Achievements posted every day. Each one you complete nets you a coupon, a free game (at random) or a lump of coal, eventually redeemable in bulk for better prizes. A full list of the winter achievements can be found right here
Just note that you can complete the achievements any time, even before they appear on the Steam homepage, but you won't get the reward until the day Steam posts it.
//credit for the op contents goes to the ever classy @TychoCelchuuu