If you have not purchased a new game on Steam in a while, you may not know about Steam Points. Or maybe you just ignore the points that you earn when you spend money on Steam.
Either way, Steam points are the backbone of the Steam rewards system. They deserve some introduction and explanation. Here’s what Steam Points are and how you can spend them.
What Are Steam Points?
The online game marketplace and streaming service Steam offers some free games for download and play. However, most of the games on Steam cost money.
When you purchase content on Steam, you get reward points called Steam Points. For every dollar you spend, you get 100 Steam Points added to your account. You can’t convert Steam Points to money but if you want to think in terms of “Steam Points to dollars,” you could think of a single Steam Point as one cent.
So, what can you do with Steam Points? You can’t exchange them for money, but you can “spend” these points on items available in the Steam Points Shop.
How to Get Steam Points
There are a lot of ways to accumulate Steam Points. Buying games for yourself is probably the most obvious. However, you also get Steam Points by buying games for other people.
Keep in mind as well that Steam sells game soundtracks and other downloadable content. These also earn Steam points so, when you purchase a soundtrack or other DLC pack, you’ll earn Steam Points here too.
As you may have pieced together, how you use Steam has a huge impact on how quickly you earn Steam Points and trade them in for on-platform rewards.
If you mainly play free games on Steam, it’s hard to rack up points. Meanwhile, the newest AAA release might cost $60 or more, amounting to thousands of Steam Points in a single purchase.
How Not to Get Steam Points
Unfortunately, not all Steam transactions generate Steam Points. For example, buying a Steam digital gift card doesn’t earn you any Steam Points.
It would be nice to see Steam give away free Steam Points if you have an account problem or complaint like some stores give away in-store credit. However, for now, it seems like just about the only way to earn Steam Points is to buy games and downloadable content on Steam.
How to Get Steam Points for Free
There is one way to get Steam Points for free, and that is to be gifted Steam Points by another user. When you leave reviews and engage with the Steam community in other ways, other Steam users can use their Steam Points to award your interaction. This gives you a special badge, and some free Steam Points.
Where to Use Steam Points
You can only use Steam Points in the Steam Points Shop. You can’t use them on other game platforms. You may also wonder if you can use Steam Points to buy games. Unfortunately, at this time, you cannot.
So what can you use Steam Points for? Before you know what to do with Steam Points, you need to know how to check how many Steam Points you have.
How to Check Steam Points
Maybe you knew about Steam Points, maybe you didn’t. But, you’ve been buying games on steam for a while, you’re intrigued by the Steam Points shop, and you want to know how to see how many Steam Points you have.
It’s easy when you know where to look. Whether you access Steam in your browser or in the app, you access Steam Points from the same easy-to-find location.
From the launch page, click Points Shop from the banner at the top of the screen.
Explore everything unlockable with Steam points through the menu on the left side of the pane. Steam also displays your point balance in the upper right.
What Can You Do With Steam Points?
The screenshot above is the landing page for the Points Shop. Scrolling down reveals Featured Items. These are new or seasonal additions that Steam is promoting at the time but may not be of the greatest interest to you.
The top two items in the menu under Featured Items are more personalized to you. These items are Items From Games and Community Awards. If you’re a long-time fan of Steam unlockables, these sections will feel familiar to you. Most of them are just updated versions of the Steam Trading Card system.
From the Items From Games page, select Filter By Game from near the top of the pane to open a menu of participating titles. Unfortunately, not all games and developers have content available.
All the items under Profile Items in the menu on the left are unlockables that personalize your profile. Backgrounds, avatar frames, and badges introduce you to other Steam Community members and show off your stats.
Everything under Chat Items are emoticons and stickers unlockable for use in Steam’s on-platform chat feature. Seasonal Badges really just show off how much money you spend on Steam, so they may not be for everyone.
Seasonal Profiles are essentially bundles of features. This is a convenient way to jazz up your profile quickly, but you also need to renew them monthly, calling for a near-constant flow of Steam Points. If you don’t regularly spend a lot of money on the platform, saving up for those unlockables that you really want is a better investment.
Profile Showcases help display achievements earned in games rather than in the shop. Gamer stats and achievements are not new to Steam, but Steam limits the space for displaying them on your profile. Purchasing profile showcase upgrades with Steam Points expands that on-screen trophy case.
As mentioned above, you can also use your Steam Points to award other Steam Community members for their contributions. To do this, select the Award button on a comment. From there, you can select how many Steam Points you want to spend on the award (from 300 to 4800) depending on how valuable the comment was to you.
How to Redeem Steam Points
When you find an item you want, click it to display a preview of how unlocking that item will affect your profile. If you like it, and you have enough Steam Points, click the box displaying the cost of the item in the lower right corner of the pane.
Are You Stacking Steam Points?
Steam Points represent a step in the evolution of the company’s rewards and achievements system. They add an extra level of customization, which many gamers love (let’s not forget how crazy people went for cosmetic hats in Team Fortress 2) as it allows you to make your player character your own.
Because Steam Points are unlocked by spending money, some rewards that they unlock just brag about how much you spend on video games. However, some unlockable Steam Points content is a genuinely cool way to show off your gaming skill and style.
If you’re not happy with the Steam title you just bought, you need reimbursing. Here’s how to get a Steam refund.
About The Author