Steam Summer Sale 2023: How to Find the Best Deals


The 2023 Steam Summer Sale is in full swing, and there are thousands of deals to take advantage of during one of gaming's biggest events of the year. Over the next few weeks gamers have the chance to save big on top-shelf releases and a huge selection of hidden gems. Here's how to get the biggest bang for your buck during the Steam Summer Sale.

The Steam Summer Sale, along with its counterpart the Steam Winter Sale, is the most comprehensive sale on Steam. Steam frequently puts titles on sale in small batches every week as part of promotions and special events, but the summer and winter sales expand the scope of discounts dramatically, even discounting high-profile titles 50% or more, sometimes even crashing the store.

Steam Summer Sale 2023: How to Find the Best Deals

With the huge volume of titles up for grabs during the sale, searching for the best deals can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips for shopping smart on Steam.

1. Start With Your Wishlist

It can be tempting to dive headfirst into the Steam catalog, but a great way to start looking for deals is to look at games on your Wishlist. Not only is this a curated selection of games, but it also has handy tools for sorting through titles, such as most recent release date or lowest price.

2. Set a Budget

Before you start adding games to your cart willy-nilly, it's a good idea to set a hard limit for how much you are wiling to spend. The sale's limited-time offers might make it seem like you need to buy everything now, but Steam has sales year-round, and there are always new games coming out. Budgeting out beforehand (with a little wiggle room for tax and uneven prices) saves a lot of hassle and will probably prevent you from making an ill-advised purchase with eyes bigger than your stomach.

3. Look for Highest Discounts, not Lowest Prices

This might seem like an odd thing to say about a sale, but the reality of the Steam Summer Sale is that many of the deals aren't very good. Discounts have attractive green markers on them and slashed-out prices, but a 10% discount might just be a buck or two off full-price, hardly anything to get excited about. The best deals are those for 50% or more, and though these are rarer, they lead to real savings on high-quality games.

4. Try Games Out. Refund if Necessary

The Steam Summer Sale doesn't end for a while, so an uncertain gamer can take advantage of the platform's generous refund policy to try out games. Buying a game that looks good on sale but is in a niche genre or is lower-profile than other games, trying it out, then refunding it if you don't like it is a valid strategy. Just be careful not to do this too much, as Steam can choose to reject refund requests if too many of them come in short succession. Also, set a timer so you don't pass the two-hour limit for refunds.

5. Round Out With Classics

If you have a few bucks to spare, it might be worthwhile to check out Steam's under $5 list to find the cheapest games available. Often, older, critically-acclaimed games can be found for absolute bargain prices. Chances are you've already played some of them but the sale is a perfect opportunity to get caught up if you haven't.