Whether this is your first Summer Sale or your fifth, this guide should hopefully help you save even more.

This article can be both watched and read. If you can’t watch a video at this time, a transcript is provided below, however, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’re able to watch the video.

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The 2017 Steam Summer Sale has just kicked off, and they’re traditionally a big deal in the PC gaming space. This is due to the number of steep discounts on old and new games. Going into the sale blind will leave you with an empty wallet, so here’s a crash course in Steam sales, as well as other ways to save money on PC games.

Steam is no stranger to sales, and you’ll see sales on individual games throughout the year, but there’s also a major sale for every season. In order from best to worst, you have:

  1. Summer Sale (June/July)
  2. Holiday Sale (December/January)
  3. Easter sale (guess)
  4. Halloween sale (Holmes is on the case)
The deep discounts of Steam Sales, especially the Summer ones, resulted in the GabeN meme spiking in popularity.

During these sales, a large number of games will be discounted (usually more so than at other times of the year) so it’s a good time to catch up on ones you missed earlier. It’s worth pointing out that the Daily Deals and Lightning Deals of past Steam sales are just that: in the past. The price you see for a game during a sale will be the same throughout the entire sale, which makes saving money just that bit easier. To keep an eye on how much you spend, I recommend making a wishlist of games you want and only buying the ones you consider good value.

Limited-time deals like these are a thing of the past (for better or worse).

Before you do, there’s one or two things you should check before spending your hard-earned cash. First, check the reviews. If people have complaints, see what they are, and if it’s enough to turn you away. Then, if the game is multiplayer, you should check SteamCharts.com, which tells you the number of people playing the game right now. There’s no sense in buying a game if nobody’s there to play it with you. Next, head to SteamPrices.com, which shows you the entire pricing history of any game. This is incredibly important to check, as it may be that a game was available for less in a previous sale, in which case you may want to wait for a bit for that price to appear in the future.

SteamPrices.com shows us that Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s price in sales has fluctuated in the past.

Finally, you should check other websites like GOG, Humble Store, and Bundle Stars, which work directly with game developers to sell legitimate Steam versions of games. They may be selling a game for less than Steam itself is currently selling it. Especially keep an eye out for the Humble Bundle and Bundle Stars bundles, which give you a ton of games for a very low price. These can crop up at any time, and will usually get you games for lower prices than Steam sales can reasonably reach.

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You may also have found sites like G2A, and Kinguin, which seemingly work in the same way. Do not buy from them. I repeat, do not buy anything from so-called ‘CD-key’ sites such as G2A and Kinguin. These sites host illegally-obtained game keys, usually bought with stolen credit cards, and they offer no consumer protection.

G2A is so shady that they even charge you for a refund service if it turns out your purchased key doesn’t work.

So, you’ve bought your game from Steam, or through another official seller, but you’ve run into a problem: for whatever reason, it doesn’t work, or you don’t like it. If you bought the game directly through Steam, and you’ve played less than two hours of it, you can get a full refund for it.

To recap: Make a wishlist and wait for a sale. Then, use Steam reviews, SteamCharts, and SteamPrices to see what people think and to see if it was cheaper in the past. After that, go to other sites like GOG, Humble Store and Bundle Stars to compare prices. Finally, if the game doesn’t work, return it if you’ve played less than 2 hours via the Steam refund system. If there isn’t a Steam sale ongoing, then check Bundle Stars and Humble Bundle to see if there are any good bundles being sold. Hopefully you can use this guide to save more money in the Summer Sale!

If you found this useful, I’m doing a lot more work to try and get people (especially newbies) into gaming over on my Youtube channel, Game Revo. If you could help get the word out, it’d be greatly appreciated!