With the seemingly endless wealth of fun games to play on Steam, sometimes deciding which ones to purchase can be difficult. Fortunately, if you have the patience for it, there’s one incredible strategy you can use to get your favorite games and save a bunch of money at the same time: Steam sales!
There is always something on sale on Steam, but the best times to look are during Steam’s regular sales. These sales are relatively pre-planned throughout the year, but they’re never assured, either – in the past, Steam has skipped or added in new sales without notice. As such, it’s always good to be on your toes!
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When Is The Next Steam Sale?
In the past, Steam has held a Spring Sale rather reliably. However, this year in 2020, Valve changed it up by offering a Lunar New Year Sale in late January. This might mean that the usual Spring Sale could end up being skipped.
If Steam does offer a Spring Sale, it will most likely be in the month of May. However, if they don’t, the next sale will be Steam’s Summer Sale. The Summer Sale usually happens around late June or early July.
Steam’s Yearly Sale Schedule
While there’s no guarantee that Steam will keep up the same sales from year to year, they’re usually reasonably predictable. While we recommend keeping a well-stocked wish list of games for when they go on sale and checking back to Steam on a regular basis, you should be able to save a good amount of money by merely being aware of this schedule.
For the most part, Steam’s Summer Sale and Winter Sale are the most predictable, and they do these pretty predictably every year. As we said, the Summer Sale usually happens around June or July, and the Winter sale usually happens around Christmastime.
However, Steam sometimes puts on other sales in addition to those, too. Though the Summer and Winter sales are typically the biggest (and with the deepest price cuts, too), that doesn’t mean you should skip their smaller sales, either.
The full list of Steam’s most reliable yearly sales is as follows:
Spring Sale: If Steam offers a Spring Sale, this is usually the first significant sale to start off the year. Conspicuously, it was absent last year in 2019. It’s usually held in mid-May.
Summer Sale: Steam’s large Summer Sale happens in the middle of the year – usually in June or July. It usually lasts about two weeks.
Halloween Sale: Sometimes, Steam decides to throw a smaller Halloween sale in the month of October. This is one of Steam’s shorter sales, usually lasting less than a week.
Autumn Sale (or Black Friday Sale): Just like most other retailers around Thanksgiving, Steam has a Black Friday sale pretty regularly. This sale usually lasts about a week and covers both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Winter Sale: Steam’s Winter Sale usually lasts around two weeks and starts shortly before Christmas. Like the Summer Sale, it usually lasts for about two weeks.
Cracking Steam’s Sale Strategy
There are several things you can do to get the most out of Steam’s rotating sale model. It’s not all about keeping an eye out for sales, either, although this certainly plays a role. The secret is to employ several strategies together – we talked about this briefly earlier on in this article.
The first thing you should be doing is keeping an up-to-date wish list. Steam’s wish list function is incredibly helpful for snagging games when they’re on sale, as Steam will send you a notification email when something on your wish list gets a price cut. As such, your best strategy by default is to keep any games you’re looking to purchase on your wish list.
Of course, the next most obvious thing to do is to check in to Steam frequently. While this won’t necessarily be the greatest option for everyone, for those who use their computer every day, it’s not too hard to check the Steam homepage every day, especially since you can program the client to start when your computer does.
Checking in to Steam is the only way to know for sure when a sale is going on since Steam doesn’t notify users beforehand. If you can’t check in to Steam relatively often, the next best thing is to check in on days when a sale is likely to happen.
Additionally, do keep in mind that just because a Steam game is on sale doesn’t mean it’s at its lowest price. The Summer Sale and Winter Sale usually come with the biggest bargains, so if you’re only going to take advantage of two sales, those are the ones not to miss!
If you see a game you want go on sale during the year, keep in mind that its price could be cut down even further later in the year, too. Generally, the longer you wait after a game comes out, the lower its price has the potential to drop. You could end up taking advantage of a bundle with some great included value, too.