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The PC gaming community’s most popular clients are Steam and Epic Games Store. Both clients cater to PC gamers by selling similar titles divided into categories. These clients also have special features that set them apart, with some promotions such as giveaways and game discounts to keep gamers and developers excited.
Game Library Size
When it comes to game library size, Steam is the obvious winner. With over 50,000 titles listed in its store as of March 2021, its library is gigantic when compared to Epic Games Store’s library of fewer than 1,000 games.
Despite the big disparity in the number of titles for each PC gaming client’s respective libraries, you’ll see some titles available in both stores. On the flip side, some titles are exclusive to each client, such as Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Epic Games’ Fortnite.
Steam has an in-client feature called the Discovery Queue. Each user has a unique queue made up of 12 new releases, popular and discounted titles, and games recommended by Steam. This list is updated every day.
How Does Steam Generate Your Discovery Queue?
Steam uses new, popular, top-selling, and similar products you own on Steam to generate your Discovery Queue. It won’t show games you already have in your library, wishlist, or ones you’ve already seen in your previous day’s Discovery Queue.
Furthermore, your daily Discovery Queue might have games that are currently popular, selling well, and similar to games you’ve already bought. You might get games you dislike, making the “Not Interested” button extremely useful. This improves Steam’s data on what’s not interesting to you, helping them suggest more relevant titles in future queues. The same goes for titles you like.
Does Epic Games Store Have a Similar Feature?
Unfortunately, no. But that’s understandable for a PC gaming client with a very small game library compared to Steam. Epic Games Store only has a “Discovery” page that has the same content for all users.
The usual content is new releases, current deals, coupons, featured titles, and their current titles that are free for a limited and unlimited time.
Although Steam and Epic Games Store clients both share the same purpose, they have other features that make them stand out from each other. Here’s a list explaining each, and how useful they are to your PC gaming needs.
Epic Games Store’s “Free Game Every Week”
Every gamer loves a paid game they can get for free, even for a limited time. Epic Games Store has a “Get A Free Game Every Week” feature that allows users to add a paid game to their library for free for a week. After that one week, the title that was featured will go back to its original price.
Popular titles such as GTA V, Hitman, Dead by Daylight, and many others became even more popular among PC gamers because Epic Games Store decided to give them to users for free.
Epic has a schedule of games that will be featured so you can mark your calendar if a title you like will be offered for free.
On Steam’s side, they do offer free games, but those games are free to download and played only within a specific time frame. After that, you’ll have to pay for it in order to continue playing. Simply put, Steam only offers free trials.
Unreal Engine on Epic Games Store
Aside from giving away games, Epic’s launcher also offers a tool that will transform consumers into creators — Unreal Engine. You can download its latest version for free in the Epic Games Store.
If you want to start your game, app, or software development career, you can do so with Unreal Engine’s starter developer tools. Additionally, you can take advantage of tutorials and assets to improve your Unreal Engine projects in its Marketplace.
There may not be a big library of games from known publishers, but Epic gives you a chance to become one of their publishers with its developer-friendly tools.
Furthermore, Epic takes a smaller 12% cut from published projects compared to Steam’s 30%
After publishing your project, you can manage it through Epic’s Developer Portal. Here, you can update your product information, offer support to your patrons, manage finances and provide usage reports and other statistical data.
With the Developer Portal, you can keep your players in the loop for developments in your project. You can also connect and build relationships with your players and get support as a creator.
Upcoming Epic Games Store Features
On Epic Games Store’s Trello page, you’ll see the newly released and upcoming features of Epic’s PC gaming client. Among the future releases, here are two that will definitely improve your PC gaming experience:
1. Price Adjusting Bundles on Epic Games Store
In PC gaming, it’s common to see games of different versions bundled together. However, you may not want to purchase multiple versions of a base title if you already own a few versions yourself.
With Epic Games, game bundle prices are automatically adjusted if you currently own a version of the game included in the bundle. In other words, Epic Games Store won’t charge you for the versions you already have by refunding the difference on price-adjusted games.
2. Epic Games Store Edition Comparison
Some titles may have different editions such as the game of the year edition, gold edition, deluxe edition, and other edition names developers use. For gamers who don’t have the time to nitpick and compare, it can be confusing. Moreover, the price differences of these editions can be significant, which makes Epic Game’s Store’s Edition Comparison feature essential.
You can take multiple editions of a title and compare them side-by-side to find out if more expensive editions are worth the spend, or if you should stick to the regular editions for less but with the same features.
Steam’s Remote Play and Remote Download Features
Steam’s Remote Play feature allows you to play your library’s content on different devices they’re optimized for. If the title you want to play is optimized for your phone, tablet, TV, or you want to play it on another PC, you can do so without being on your gaming PC.
Steam has a list of titles that can be played on specific devices. Visit their Remote Play Games page for more information.
Remote Play Together
Under Steam’s Remote Play feature’s wing is its Remote Play Together feature. It allows you to invite anyone on your Steam friends list and instantly share your library’s multiplayer games with them.
In Remote Play Together, only one user needs to have a specific multiplayer title in their library, and up to four (even more with high-speed connections) people can play with them without owning the game. However, not all multiplayer games on Steam have Remote Play Together support.
You can manage your Steam library on the web without being on your PC with Steam’s Remote Download features. This feature is enabled when you leave your Steam running on another computer or Mac.
Big Picture Mode on Steam
Steam’s Big Picture Mode feature optimizes your Steam client’s interface for TV and controller use. This improves your game controller experience while you play without your usual desktop setup.
Inside Big Picture mode, you’ll notice that buttons are optimized for ease of game controller use. It has big buttons so you can use your arrow buttons and joystick to navigate easily.
Stream PC Gaming Content on Steam
Do you want to share your gaming sessions with your friends? You don’t have to do it outside of the Steam client. It has a built-in live streaming feature that allows you to stream gaming footage to your Steam and non-Steam friends.
Here’s how to share live Steam footage:
- You need to change a few settings. To do this, click on “Steam” and go to “Settings.”
- Go to the “Broadcasting” tab. Change the privacy setting according to the audience you want to broadcast to. If you want your non-Steam friends to watch, select “Anyone can watch my games.”
- Click “OK” once you’re finished setting up the privacy, quality, and capture settings of your stream. You can find the buttons for these below just “Privacy setting.”
- Launch the game you want to broadcast. After fully loading your game, press Shift + Tab to open the Steam overlay and click on “Settings” located at the bottom menu.
- Click on “Not Broadcasting” to start your live stream. It’ll open two new windows. One for your broadcast and another for your broadcast chat.
- Wait for your live stream to reflect on the bigger window. You can stop your stream anytime by clicking on “Stop Broadcast” below the feed.
Non-game Content on Steam and Epic Games Store
The Steam store is filled with things that aren’t only games. It also has software, music, a virtual reality hardware catalog, Steam Deck, movies, TV shows, game tutorials, and many more. The diversity in content is probably one of the reasons why Steam’s library is as big as it is right now.
For Epic Games Store, there’s nothing much compared to Steam’s library but Unreal Engine. That being said, we can expect more content from Epic Games Store because it gives independent developers a free gateway to publishing apps, games, and software with Unreal Engine.
Alternative PC Gaming Clients
Of course, Steam and Epic Games Store aren’t the only ones serving the PC gaming community. Here’s a list of other PC gaming clients you should check out:
GOG.com is CD Projekt’s subsidiary that’s a perfect place for PC gamers who love classic titles. It offers remastered versions of old titles that don’t require other software or hardware to run on today’s gaming PCs.
itch.io is a haven for both developers and gamers. It’s where developers can create games based on their preferences, without oversight from developing companies. In short, itch.io provides a platform for small and independent game developers and a place for gamers who like non-mainstream titles.
3. Microsoft Store
As a built-in Windows app, it’s surprising how most gamers don’t think of the Microsoft Store as a source for their PC games. It has cross-platform Xbox titles you can enjoy without owning the console, which is a really good feature for all-around gamers who enjoy all gaming platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which PC gaming client sells titles cheaper?
If you check both Steam and Epic Games Store, you’ll see that the original prices for titles are the same. However, the difference is in the discounts. Sometimes, one client sells a specific title for a lower price. But without discounts, both stores sell games at the same prices. If you count Epic Games Store making paid games free for a week, then you can say they sell titles cheaper (for free).
2. Can I play a Steam game with a friend who downloaded their own copy from the Epic Games Store?
Yes. All games available on both clients can be played even if the players bought their copies from either Steam or Epic Games Store. Truthfully, the device you’re playing on is a bigger concern. Not all games support cross-platform gameplay where you can play with a friend using a PlayStation while you’re playing on your PC.
3. Do Steam and Epic Games Store versions of games have different features?
No. The only difference is which client you downloaded your game from and that shouldn’t change anything unless your game’s developer releases a Steam or Epic Games Store exclusive. That means the version from that store has unique features you won’t find if you bought your game from another PC gaming client.