Valve has rolled out new filtered search features on its Steam PC games store, making it quicker and easier to find new titles to blast through.
Valve announced the new search filters in a blog post on Tuesday (US time), claiming the changes are based on user feedback and usage patterns in Steam Labs, where the firm trials new products before fully releasing them.
“Not everyone uses Steam the same way, so the feedback we receive in Steam Labs helps us serve a wider audience,” read the post.
“Our Search experiment started as an exploration of new ranking algorithms, but based upon user feedback it expanded to include the many quality of life improvements in today’s release. While large features often get the most attention, smaller changes are essential for a smoother user experience.”
The new filters will let users do key things like filter by price, release date, VR-compatibility, tag and language. The tag feature looks particularly cool and should let people search based on everything from zombies to mecha.
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The new tools also let users filter out things that are already on their library and ignore / wish lists, which will be handy when looking for new titles.
Infinite scroll is the final new feature of note in the update. It will replace the Store’s paginated format in the next update.
The features may sound basic but they give Steam a clear edge on the store’s biggest rival: Epic.
The Epic Store launched as a Steam rival a couple of years ago, marketing itself as a fairer platform. It pays developers and Studios a higher percentage than Steam and offers users a free game every week.
The only downside is that, despite having a really solid library of games on sale, it currently doesn’t have the same level of filters and features a very basic search function that makes it difficult to browse games by category/genre.
Hopefully Epic’ll take note and roll out similar search services in the near future.