Valve has added a number of new ways to browse the Steam store in an update, with a ‘New and Noteworthy’ menu and more added to the platform.
If you were getting bored of looking at all the games available in the Steam store the same way, day in, day out, you’ll be pleased to know the developers at Valve had crammed a few more navigational tools into Steam.
As of an update that rolled out overnight, you can choose to browse ‘New and Noteworthy’ games via a dropdown menu, or discover more in-depth categories based on “navigational entry points” using genres, themes, and player modes as a touchpoint.
“A basic list of genres, while easy to browse, falls a bit short given how diverse the Steam catalogue has become,” says the developer whilst showing off a much more granular and specific menu (embedded below).
“Our new Categories menu helps users quickly discover and dive into the breadth and depth of interesting games on Steam. This menu serves up dozens of new categories of games, which can then be explored further.”
You can see how that works in the image below – there are sub-categories for each genre now, making it easier to discover new games in specifically the genre you like. We particularly enjoy the Themes section, which shows off ‘Adult Only, Anime, Horror, and Pixel and Retro’ categories for those of you with more esoteric tastes.
“These player motivations can be organized and expressed using Steam tags and metadata,” the blog post explaining the update continues. “Categories grouped under the Genres and Themes entry points are defined by tags, whereas categories grouped under Player Modes are defined by additional metadata provided by the developer.”
“We arrived at these three top-level categories through a mix of formal research, intuition, and beta feedback. There’s also strong precedent for this scheme on Steam itself in the form of Steam Curators. We noticed many curators are building lists of specific types of games, almost all of which fall under one of the above three patterns: Gameplay and genre-based lists like City Builders, theme-based lists like Games with Dogs, or player mode-based lists like Games to Play with Your Significant Other.”
This is an update pushed out by Valve to make everything easier to decipher and make games easier to discover, but honestly, at first glance, it’s all a bit overwhelming.
Here’s hoping it gets easier to parse over time.