Discovery Update makes Steam a lot more personal

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Steam just got a whole lot more personal with its latest interface update. Dubbed The Steam Discovery Update, it rolled out last night and has changed the client’s interface quite a bit to ensure games you’re more likely to want, based on what you already own and are playing, are more prominently displayed.

It’s like they scienced the art of click-bating for each individual gamer’s tastes in a bid to make more sales, the clever buggers. And what’s worse, it’s working: I really like it so far and will probably end up spending more cash there. My poor, poor budget.

Valve has also introduced game curators, people who hand-pick games for others to browse and consider, and you can choose to follow people whose recommendations match your gaming sensibilities. You can even become one yourself, and show the world your superior taste in games and earn yourself a following in the process.

Curators and The Queue
Your new Discovery Queue and a list of curators to follow.

Also new is a “Discovery Queue” system that lines up a list of 12 games that Steam thinks you’ll be interested in. You can go through it and tell Steam whether you’re interested in following each game’s updates on the Community tab, whether you want to add them to your wishlist or if you’re not interested at all. The games that appeared in my queue were apparently there because they were popular at the time (that’s what Steam indicated via a small notification), so this is less a personalised addition than it is a way for Steam to show gamers what others are interested in according to their stats.

Keep scrolling down on the main Store page, and you’ll find even more personalised recommendations that appear based on what you’ve recently played or viewed on the store. It’s basically a list of “If you like X, you’ll like Y because it’s a similar type of game” recommendations, and I was pleasantly surprised at how many games I’m genuinely interested in appeared there.

Clearly, I like zombie games.
Clearly, I like zombie games.

At the top left of the main page are a list of genres and genre recommendations, and Steam clearly knows me very well as Zombies, Co-op, Comedy, Gore and Open World were the five they suggested I explore.

I highly recommend firing up Steam sometime today and taking a closer look at the Discovery Update yourself to see just how eerily right Valve probably is about what you’re likely to buy based on your browsing and gaming habits.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.

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