3 Crucial Tips for Navigating a Steam Game Sale

steam autumn sale

Avoiding SGPR (Sale Game Purchase Regret) on Steam

By Enemy Crab

It seems like every other week Steam is forcing some sort of new sale down my throat. We are currently in the midst of the Autumn sale on Steam, and while I can’t say I’m upset about it, I do think it’s strange that they’re having a sale just because it’s Fall. I like the theme of the Summer sale, and obviously there needs to be a “25 days of Steam-Mas” or “Steammukkah” sale of some sort but this sale they threw in the middle seems a bit excessive.

Steam Autumn Sale

The fact of the matter is that there’s no avoiding the lure of buying a game you once had your eye on for 80% off it’s original price. Some games are so cheap you almost feel like you’d spend more money not buying them. I found this to be especially true of Tropico 4 despite lacking an interest in both city simulators and communistic rule of tropical islands during the 1950s. However, despite Tropico’s $5.99 price tag (down from $29.99) I was somehow able to resist the lure of becoming the next virtual Castro.

So how do I avoid snatching up every single sale game that has steam user’s wallets begging for mercy? It’s a many layered approach, but take the following steps to heart and you too can avoid paying (meager amounts) for games you probably will never play.

There are a few factors I consider when buying a game. If I’m going to shell out sixty bucks of hard earned cash I better know that I’m going to get some sort of return on investment. Before I make a purchase, sale or not, I consider three crucial factors and cross reference them with a few handy web resources to ensure I remain an informed consumer.

steam salesFactor #1: Is the game actually good? Seriously. This is something you want to consider when buying a new game. While it may seem obvious, too many times I’ve purchased a game based on the merits of what it claims to be and not on what the product actually delivers. This was exemplified in my purchase of Lead & Gold: Gangs of the Wild West. I expected Team Fortress 2 in the old west; I got a clunky third person shooter with confusing mechanics. My solution for this is to look up game reviews online, something I will delve deeper into shortly

Factor #2: Is this a game I will actually play? Everyone likes different game mechanics in different combinations. I might prefer playing Borderlands 2 over Counter Strike: Global Offensive because I think weapon customization options are more important than trying to determine who has the fastest reaction time on a given server. Someone else might hold the opposite opinion because they believe in precision and skill over kitschy gimmicks. The way I find out if a title will feature the types of mechanics I prefer is to watch gameplay videos. The video reviews on GameTrailers are especially helpful. This way, I get a peek at what I can be doing in game without buying, downloading, installing, launching, and ultimately regretting.

Factor #3: Will I get some bang for my buck? This factor is easily overlooked. A game might fit the mechanics you’re interested in, be a quality title with good reviews from an established studio, and cost peanuts to boot, but that doesn’t mean you’ll play it. A game none of your friends or steam buddies play could be fun but you’d have no one to share it with (not an issue when 4-packs cost the same as the title by itself at standard price). If you buy a game that requires has a hefty learning curve you might never make it over the barrier because you didn’t spend enough to buy it in the first place.

Hopefully you are now equipped with the tools and knowledge you need to not waste your money on Steam games that won’t be worth your while. Simply put, if you like what the game is about, know it doesn’t suck, and have the time to give it a chance to become one of your all time favorites, go ahead and click buy. Or if it costs $3.75 on Steam then just purchase the damn thing and skip the meal deal next time you hit Subway.

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