Steam Discovery Curates Enormous Game Selection

Steam plays host to more than 3,700 games, and to be perfectly frank, many of them aren't very good. Valve is well aware of this and has introduced Steam Discovery, a series of tools to get personalized recommendations and take advice from some of the Internet's most popular and trusted reviewers.

Steam Discovery went into effect on Sept. 22, and the service is already fully functional. To check it out, simply open up Steam and follow the link to The Discovery Update (it will be front and center on your homepage).

The page explains that since Steam has added more than 1,300 games in the last nine months alone, it needed a better recommendation system to help users sort through the massive selection (some would say "mess") of games.

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The most visible change is that users are now able to customize their homepages. Previously, opening Steam would show users new releases, bestsellers and games on sale arranged by whatever algorithm made sense to Valve. Now, players can choose to see categories such as Top Sellers, Recommended For You or DLC for games they own -- or turn off those categories and choose others entirely.

If you're looking for a new game but don't know what to choose, the Discovery Queue tool might help. This feature lets you scroll through a list of games, personalized for your tastes (based on purchase history), and choose whether to buy a game, add it to your wishlist, remove it from the queue or skip it altogether. The more you use Steam, the more it will learn your tastes.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of Steam Discovery is the Steam Curators feature. Steam Curators lets anyone make his or her own page and recommend his or her favorite games. Gaming publications such as Kotaku have already jumped on this train, and a number of prominent YouTube personalities are close behind. Users with impeccable taste (or big fan followings) rise to the top of the Curators list, so this could be your big chance to share your favorites with the world.

These improvements, in addition to a refined search feature, should help Steam users find a few hidden gems they may have otherwise overlooked. Of course, the fact that selling more games means more money for Valve was probably not lost on the designers.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.