THE BEST STEAM SKINS
Your individual favourite will be a matter of taste, of course, but we've prioritised elegant designs that present your library and Steam's functions in the most readable fashion. Our top picks, Metro and Air, are the go-to choices for a few members of the PC Gamer office, and come highly recommended.
Download it here
Head to BoneyardBrew's deviantART page to download his snazzy Metro UI skin. Inspired by Microsoft's current UI, he's based its clean style and customisable colour scheme off their design language. It features crisp game tiles and new-style buttons. Like all the best skins, Metro also refreshes the in the in-game overlay, bringing that clean composition into your games.
Steam Air download
Inhibitor's Air design presents an uncluttered, uniform look that favours untextured blocks of gentle grey space to minimise any eyestrain. It's a minimalist look, but if you want to add a bit of spark you can change accent colours. Air's chat windows are also delightfully simple, and it renders your friends' pictures as circular icons. Every pixel matters here. "The goal was to remove clutter from the UI," Inhibitor writes. "I won't be adding anything until I come up with a solution that I actually think fits well. I don't want to just tack an icon onto the skin and call it good."
Pixelvision delivers a clean, serious and easily parsed look in the same vein as Metro and Air, but with extra hatching and a subtle bluish tint that gives the skin a bit more attitude. It comes with its own fonts you'll have to install alongside the skin if you want to enjoy Pixelvision at its best.
Blue Pulse download
Here's something a little lighter on the eyes, perfect for all-nighters. Blue glare from the monitor might even make your room resemble that of a Bond villain's undersea lair—an added bonus. Bright colours can quickly become wearing (if you're looking for bright skins, move onto the next page for some that are almost painful) but the calm cobalt tones of Blue Pulse are easy enough on the eyes to make this skin usable for extended sessions.
Steam Compact download
Darth Tealc's takes cues from trains at rush hour, overpriced city apartments and defunct disc formats by making Steam compact. The redesign minimizes empty space while still making all the tabs, icons and categories readable, which is no mean feat. It's not a complete overhaul—just a tighter, neater spin on an existing formula. I'll likely seem a bit busy and cluttered to some, but if you like to keep your Steam window small, you'll see more information with this skin.
Original Steam download
Do you yearn for the early noughties, when indie rock was played on the radio and games didn't charge for map packs? Download Darth Tealc's throwback to classic Steam and relive your youth. Or, for some of us, a time when we were slightly less old. It's not exactly
than modern Steam, but the power of nostalgia is strong.
Ice Pick download
This refreshing, soothing skin is the visual equivalent of sucking on a Solero ice lolly while someone squirts milk in your face in a totally non-sexual way. The switch away from Steam's gunmetal grey makes the program feel almost unnervingly different. The main browsing tabs have been shifted to the right of the client, which takes some getting used to, and the familiar tabs are now displayed as Windows-style drop-down menus.
Blood 2.0 download
Alex's blood-splattered theme is the perfect accompaniment to a marathon session of Killing Floor, Left 4 Dead or Mortal Kombat. It's the sort of Steam look Dexter would go for. The blood theme remains consistent throughout the design, though there is one annoyance—your user tab moves to the top-left corner of the client. If you hardly look at your profile and like the gory aesthetic, that's easily overlooked.