Steam is the primary distribution platform used by many gamers, particularly those for whom the PC is their only system. While its supremacy has recently been challenged by the Epic Games Store, a fact that has caused definite hostility, Steam remains easily one of the most well known and accessible gaming platforms, with one of the widest selections of games.

That huge selection can sometimes be a problem for gamers looking to experience something new, or rather, something just close enough to a previous experience that they can be certain they will enjoy it. Searching for games on Steam, whether something entirely new or tangentially related to a previous purchase, has often resulted in frustration, as more obscure or interesting titles are hidden behind big, recent releases or tags don't seem to add up the way they should.

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As part of its ongoing Steam Labs initiative, Valve, the company that owns and operates Steam, has been working on several updates for the platform to make it more user-friendly, most of which are tested by users who then give feedback. As a result of this and other innovations, several features have been changed and added to the platform, including Steam's "Play Next" feature that recommends games for players based on their gaming history.

More importantly to many players, the search engine for the Steam Store recently went through a massive overhaul. This feature was tested heavily by players who opted into Steam Labs, and has finally been released and implemented in its latest iteration.

Features of the new Steam Search allow for much more control over what games will turn up, both in terms of including terms or excluding them. For example, a maximum price can now be set when searching, and in addition to searching for specific tags, other tags can now be completely excluded, as can VR exclusive games.

These options to narrow tags will not only help in searching games, they will most likely help with searching for mods as well, which is absolutely essential for finding the best modes to play in games like Tabletop Simulator. The option to have an infinitely scrolling page rather than several pages of results is also a community requested, now implemented feature, though it can be changed out for the old method.

Whether it is part of an effort to update the platform to remain competitive against the Epic Games Store or simply cleaning house, the initiative to improve Steam has coincided with a massive upswing in platform users. Steam recently broke its own record for concurrent users, showing that the platform is in no danger of losing favor with those who know it well

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Source: PCGamesN



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