Steam improves store search with support for tags, developers, franchises and more
Valve is making it easier to search for games on Steam. The platform's search function now supports tags, and even lets you search for developer studios, publishers, game franchises, etc
Steam's search now supports tags, and categories
Tags are a great way to discover new games that belong to a genre. For example, if you like real-time strategy games, you could click on the RTS tag on Steam. Tags are usually located on the to right section on a game's page. The new search experience on Steam makes this task faster.
You may now type the tag in the search box on Steam, and the drop-down results panel displays the tag as one of the results, along with a number next to it to indicate how many games of the type are available on the service. Click on it and the site takes you to the genre's page directly, thus cutting an extra step in the process, which essentially lets you browse the store slightly faster.
Find game franchises, developers and publishers
The improved search system also lets you look up game franchises by their name. Try searching for a popular game series like Age of Empires, Need for Speed, Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, etc. Steam's search displays an option that will take you to the series' landing page that lists all games in the franchise. It is not perfect, as it doesn't work for all franchises, but it's a good start.
Steam's now lets you find developer and publishers directly from the search bar. This can be helpful if you want to play more games from a specific studio. Sometimes, when you click on a developer's name, Steam may display the publisher's catalog instead, which is not what you may be interested in. That's not exactly Valve's fault, since this depends on the publisher's decision, on what they chose to promote. Nevertheless, it does make it difficult to see other works from a studio. Unfortunately, the new search system on Steam does not address this issue.
Steam's search suggestions have been updated to handle typos. Let's say you typed something like "crusadr kings", the search function recognizes the mistake and correctly displays results for the game called "crusader kings." Autocorrect does not seem to be very extensive, it only appears to detect minor spelling errors.
The best part is that the Steam search enhancements aren't exclusive to the website, they are also supported on the game clients on computers and the mobile app.
My biggest gripe with Steam isn't related to search or tags, the problem is the design of the sales pages. Most major sale events, such as the Summer Sale, Winter Sale, are featured on the platform's home page with a lot of banners. There are so many of these that you have to keep scrolling endlessly to find games that you may like. This makes it hard to navigate the site to discover games.
This is why many gamers rely on their wishlist to spot good deals. Another method is to use Steam's search page, also called the "Specials" page because of the option to list only games that have been discounted. The page also has a slider to adjust the price that fits your budget. You may also customize the search using tags to filter the results. This list view is significantly better than the cluttered mess on the homepage.
I think the new search improvements on Steam compliments the above-mentioned page rather well, and might help developers get more exposure. You can read the official announcement for more details.
Valve recently updated Steam Beta with various improvements including a built-in notes app, window pinning, and an improved screenshot tool.
There are no comments on this post yet, be the first one to share your thoughts!