Steam Reviews

At first, I did not like Steam. Now I actively avoid using it.

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful 4 Helpful Report as spam

I joined Steam because of the games, and because I liked the idea of a PC's ability to tweak games and controls to a greater degree than is possible on a game console. Back then, the Steam interface was clumsy, sprawling, counter-intuitive and ugly -- to my surprise, the interface and user experience has not improved in the five years I have used it.

After a while, I got used to the interface and lock-in, and didn't mind Steam so much. But I recently came to realise that my dislike for Steam has blossomed. The more I use it, the more I find myself frustrated at it. It think it's terribly designed and implemented. Every time I boot my PC to play a game (roughly once every two or three weeks) it has to download updates before I am permitted to play. Sometimes the updates are gigabytes in size, so I have to wait twenty minutes or more before playing a game, by which time the opportunity and desire to game has passed. I find the interface bewilderingly complex and counter intuitive. I dislike all the messages about trading cards it sends, and wish I could configure it to stop doing that.

For now, I need Steam to play a few exclusive titles. But I'm seriously considering whether it is worth the trouble. I would love to be able to delete my Steam account, and walk away. One day, I will. I guess I'm just old and grumpy now. Less willing to fiddle with software in my limited spare time. After switching from consoles to a Steam PC with the idea that the extra options on PC would be more enjoyable, I'm probably going to switch back to console gaming. Gaming on PC doesn't feel worth the trouble it takes to maintain Steam. There's a lot convenience built into ownership of a console system.

Just my opinion. Other opinions are available.

reply

This is an interesting point of view. Recently, a close friend of mine also got enraged by Steam and its policy, and it got me wondered. I'm a user for just 4 years, mind you, so I haven't got all the experience in the world. But, as a fellow gamer, – albeit one with lesser degrees of hatred for the software – I'd like to know where all that grudge stems from.

Is it just the interface that you hate or what else is there to it?

Good points, well made. I wrote my initial review while in a bad mood after a particularly frustrating Steam session. I've updated it with less hyperbole.

My major beefs are that I consider the interface to be unnecessarily complex, and I find that Steam works against me when I want to play a game. It forces me to download updates before starting a game. The whole Steam experience seems dated and clumsy in 2016. I'm a technical person and have worked for software companies for 20+ years, and grew up on Atari and Commodore games (by this, I mean to illustrate that I'm no stranger to clumsy software with obtuse interfaces). I have spent a lot of time over the years using gaming systems, and after all that, Steam just doesn't seem worth the trouble. My unwanted, unsolicited advice to all, from a grumpy 40-year-old fool: buy a console.

My peers and colleagues seem to love Steam. I'm probably not its target audience. My goal writing this review was to provide an alternative viewpoint that some people might not enjoy using it, and may find it a hinderance to gaming.

First off, I'm terribly sorry for the delay. I don't have a habit of checking alternativeto often. Now, onto the actual response.

I often sit down to write game, movie and software reviews when I'm a bit frustrated with them as well. It's a bad habit, but a common one – and one I can totally relate to.

As for the points you made, I agree with the majority of them. Steam frustrates me from time to time as well, be it by its atrocious chat interface or its lack of features I otherwise would rather not live without. You seem to have far more experience with these interfaces you cite than I do (or ever will). That being said, I can't argue with that. But if you allow some advice, I have a suggestion for one of your problems:

The auto-update feature only works when you are online. That said, you can open steam on Offline Mode and game to your heart's content (unless that specific game needs downloading). Another alternative is to schedule your update times or toggle them until they are... less worse.

I have to admit I'm a Steam junkie myself, but I wouldn't go as far as say love. At least I'm glad we can agree to disagree, since Steam does have its perks, but it's past time Valve did something about its glaring wrongs.

[Edited by carmelapedinni, July 30]

Hi @AlternativeSteve,
> The whole Steam experience seems dated and clumsy in 2016.

I couldn't agree more. It's definitely dated, one obvious pointer being the tiny fonts. Most newer interfaces use substantially larger font sizes because they're easier to both read and select (when there are options involved). I think Valve would do really well to just apply modern UI standards to that overly complex interface.

Hey @carmelapedinni
> I often sit down to write game, movie and software reviews when I'm a bit frustrated with them as well. It's a bad habit, but a common one – and one I can totally relate to.

That's a good practice, I think. It'd really help if you could get those reviews heard by the developers. :)

Best regards,
David

[Edited by Ugotsta, August 11]

What's up, @Ugotsta?

> I think Valve would do really well to just apply modern UI standards to that overly complex interface.

The problem with appying modern UI to a widely used platform is that many have already grown used to old standards. Therefore, softwares that have been hanging about since forever are either very customizable (to please both greeks and trojans) or maintain a perilous balance between old and new. What I agree with you both that is after a point unadmissible, is being stuck in time.

> It'd really help if you could get those reviews heard by the developers.

Many a times I do. Just not when the developer in question is Valve or any other big name – I've had an easier time helping the indies (for example the guys at germ.io and at Story Wars).

Cheers!

[Edited by carmelapedinni, August 13]

I couldn't agree more. It's definitely dated, one obvious pointer being the tiny fonts. Most newer interfaces use substantially larger font sizes because they're easier to both read and select (when there are options involved). I think Valve would do really well to just apply modern UI standards to that overly complex interface.

I personally hate on all these "modern GUIs", or, let's call them as they literally should be called - mobile interfaces. They might play their role just fine in tablets/phones, but on desktop computers i really prefer traditional interface (i still can't force myself to like Windows 8 start screen design - some things just don't need to be changed, but there's that unfortunate hype to make everything mobile-like and noob-friendly these days...)

Also i'm wholly agreing with OP, i can't remember i ever liked Steam anyway. What makes me sad though, is that everyone lets GoG (Small GOG.com iconGOG.com) pass without even mentioning it, while it's the best alternative to Steam-like platfoms out there, and it has already been around for a while.

I very much agree with you.
Modern GUIs are crap. It seems like the whole point is to force less content into more space, which is absolutely retarted.

Just go into this

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

My friends use this and I started using it as well. It makes sense you have your friends list, the games, the invites, etc. There are good deals on games. Can't complain

reply

Gives buying and playing games a whole new experience

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

Using Steam took the gaming experience to a whole new level. It made buying games much more easier and cheaper.

reply
about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

I was very surprised when I realized that I can download Steam to my MAC device and be able to enjoy my games. Thanks a lot AlternativeTo you made my day a bit better.

reply

BEST FOR GAMERS.

about Steam and Google Play Games, Origin · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

This is the perfect platform for multiplayer and communication. Does not lag, no ads, no trolls and only gaming. Always be notified for the sales because there are frequent sales and gives a very good price for buying games. Origin or Google Play Games is nothing compared to this.

reply

very good platform for multiplayer gaming

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -1 Helpful Report as spam

I play CSgo and dota on steam. it is a very good platform for multiplayer gaming with good communication features and also has no advertisements. there are a few good games too but also, there are many sales for the paid games.

reply

love steam games!

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -1 Helpful Report as spam

probably my favorite engine for video games, i play old classics such as counter strike! ENGINE FOR THE WIN!

reply
about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -2 Helpful Report as spam

Maybe Steam is the better option for whole world who wants to play PC games. But they can't have 5* because there are only few games for Macbook users.

I can't understand why there are only poor games who can be played in Macbook :(

reply

That isnt the problem of Steam, its better for you to read the macbook development history. Apple Company intentionally discouraged development of games on mac platform

Improvements

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -2 Helpful Report as spam

Can it be used as a repository for all my games (eg including GOG etc)?

reply

No, It's not aware of any non-steam games you have.

30 seconds to hate

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -3 Helpful Report as spam

Playing only Dota and humblebundle games. Hate steam, really.

reply

Success story.

about Steam · · Helpful Not helpful -5 Helpful Report as spam

First I hated it. Then it got better. Now I love it.

applause

reply