Guide to Surviving the Steam Summer Picnic Sale

Here are a few things to keep in mind before emptying your wallet.

If you're like most gamers, the Steam Summer Sale is a cultural holiday. It's like a festival; players from all over are gathering to see what's in stock. With serious low prices and convincing bundle deals, I understand it's hard to resist throwing your money away.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before making a purchase. The following information will help you survive the onslaught of low prices, bargains, and the pervasive temptation of frugality.

Steam Summer Sale

Daily deals are gone. No need to wait around for price drops.

All prices shown are final.

With the removal of Daily Deals, there's no longer a need to wait around to see if a price drops.

The prices listed are not going to change. They're going to stay that way for the remainder of the sale. If you see a game you want, go ahead and buy it.

However, if there's no discount for a game that you have your eye on, rest assured that this does not mean it won't receive a price-cut later on. Some publishers wait around before setting a discount. Add it to your wishlist and keep an eye open.

Be safe. Buy your games separate.

Did one of your purchases turn out horrible? Be careful when making a return.

Purchases made in the same transaction will automatically be refunded. A general rule is to buy one game at a time, otherwise if you ask for a refund, all your other games will be removed from your library as well.

For example, if I purchased Darkest Dungeon, Stardew Valley, and DOOM at the same time and I wanted to refund DOOM because I thought it was a terrible game (it's not), then I would be refunded for the other two games as well. 

I can imagine it would be annoying if you packaged a ton of indie games into one purchase and lost them all because you found one literally unplayable.

UPDATE: I've been informed that this may no longer be the case. Refunds won't refund your entire purchase, only the game that you want gone. Keep this in mind. 

It's always been said that buying games one by one can have adverse effects. Credit card operators may block transactions if there's too many small purchases. It may be wise to add money directly to your Steam Wallet instead. That also might help with on-the-whim purchases.


Jewels are hidden among the pile of discounted games.

Seek and explore!

Think of the Steam Summer Sale as a large convention or career fair. Sometimes, the jewels are hidden away in the far nooks and crannies of the festival grounds. You don't want to stay around where everyone is gathering; sometimes, it's rewarding to go off and explore on your own.

There are quite a few bundles and deals that have not been discovered yet. People are still tracking down what's on sale and what's worth buying. 

Last year, there were a couple of indie games that went for extremely low prices and never saw the light of day. Check 'em out! Do some searches, explore by tags -- you may find yourself a deal that nobody else has.

The subreddit /r/GameDeals is a great place to track what's on sale.

Unfortunately, the wallet suffers tremendously around this time of year. Do it a favor and keep these three basic rules in mind while you do your online shopping. Trust me, it will thank you later on.

The 2016 Steam Summer Picnic Sale lasts until July 4. Check out all the Day One discounts on the official Steam Store page.

Published Jun. 23rd 2016
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