Steam shows your 'perfect games' now, experiments with 'open bazaar' approach to browsing

Steam's perfect games section
(Image credit: Valve)

Head to the games section of your profile on Steam and you'll find a new tab for Perfect Games. It lists any games you've collected every single achievement for. There's apparently an upgrade in the works for the achievement showcases you can add to your profile, with new ways to spruce them up coming to the points shop. This seems like a step toward that—letting you know which games you've "platinumed" as PlayStation owners say, so you can put them in a shiny digital display cabinet once those go on sale.

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There's also a new experimental option to try out in Steam Labs that adds the New & Noteworthy section to the menu at the top of the storefront, and replaces the Browse button with one for Categories. Inside that you'll find a new way to explore Steam, divided up into Special Sections (like free-to-play and virtual reality), Genres (with subgenres under that, so beneath RPG you'll find CRPGs, JRPGs, dungeon crawlers, and so on), Themes (like "choices matter" and LGBTQ+), and finally Social & Players (divided into cooperative, LAN, singleplayer, and the like).

Click through any one of those and you'll be taken to an entire page dedicated to that flavor of game, with its own version of the frontpage carousels and further subcategories to narrow down your preferences. As an accompanying blog post explains, it's part of Valve's ongoing attempt to make it easier to find things you like. "You might be able to fit the same amount of goods in an open-air bazaar as in a cramped warehouse," the blog explains, "but you’re far more likely to find what you want in the former."

Valve noticed customers were browsing Steam in three distinct ways—some looking for games based on what they're like to play, some based on whether they contain specific content, and others looking for games they can play in certain contexts. And curators were catering to that, with most collections fitting into one of these three formats: "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."

The 63 categories in this menu are a mixture of existing user tags and player modes defined by metadata provided by developers. You can opt into this change at Steam Labs under the Store Navigation Experiment if you'd like to try it out. Since it's still experimental there might be some hiccups—a few JRPGs sneaking into your CRPGs or whatever—which is why Valve is looking for feedback in the Steam Labs forum.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.