Steam Labs Store Change Makes Big Quality of Life Improvement

Valve is constantly working towards improvements for its PC gaming storefront, Steam. These improvements are rare, in part because Steam is already so popular and successful, so Valve instead releases them as what it calls Steam Lab experiments. Steam users are able to opt into these experiments, which can be added to the full platform if they’re well-received. The latest Steam Labs experiment is once again trying to improve Steam’s recommendations with a feature that Valve calls Store Hubs.


If opted into, the Store Hubs experiment replaces, improves, or adds to all of Steam’s category and tag webpages. If a Steam user goes to the front page of the storefront, there’s a button at the top that reads “Categories,” and it’s here where Store Hubs improvements can be found. Before getting to specifics, Valve explains that these improvements are all designed to improve browsing and filtering of game categories, to help Steam users find more games that they’d be interested in and want to play.

The first key feature that’s been changed is the carousel feature found in each of Steam’s categories. Whether users click on “Free-to-play,” “Action,” “Co-operative,” or “Open World,” this new carousel will be found at the top of the page. The carousel will feature a selection of new, top-selling, and discounted games from the category filtered through each Steam user’s unique recommendations profile. Each slide on the carousel will also feature extra information like its Steam review score, release information, and more.

store hubs category sections

Beyond the carousel will be a variety of sections, just like in Steam’s current categories. Sections will include games currently featuring in-game events and games with recent updates, as well as highlighted messages from developers with featured games in the category. As such, the priority isn’t just on games Steam users may have missed, but games that are currently featuring new content and active player bases.

Other new features include improved recommendations, driven by categories and tags tied to games Steam users play often and review strongly. Steam seems to want to call attention to this in particular, because better recommendations make for a better experience for all users. Automated recommendations aren’t all that’ll be prominently displayed, however. Games from Steam users’ wishlists will also shown within appropriate Store Hubs, plus users will be able to use a more robust selection of filtering tools to look for the exact kinds of games they want to find.

Steam users can opt into using Steam Labs Experiment #13 right now, and they’ll be able to peruse Store Hubs at their leisure. Whether it arrives on the full version of Steam will depend on Store Hubs’ success and reception, but this new feature seems like an inevitable full addition from Valve.

Source: Gamerant

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