Download and play all of your favorite games with this popular digital distribution platform for Mac
- Collection of over 5000 titles
- Easy-to-use, tabbed interface for the client
- Fast download speeds
- Library for organizing your collection
- Outstanding variety of games to choose from, all in their original quality
- Plenty of customization options e.g. Steam controllers
- Steam-based achievements for your games just like PS trophies
- Several dozen popular languages supported
- Share your Steam experience with other users through the Community feature
- Many advertised games are not Mac-compatible
Steam is a free internet-based digital distribution platform, developed by Valve Corporation, allowing users to download and play hundreds of their favorite games, software and more. It is available in its full version for free from the link provided for Macintosh.
A Downloadable Universe
A couple of decades ago when gaming culture was still in its infancy, we were clinging to our consoles like they were some kind of miracle machine, allowing us to dive into adventures of many different kinds, whether in 32-bit SNES renderings or in the first 3D games brought by the PS1. In recent times, the necessity of having a hard copy of a game as well as a dedicated console on which to play it is still prevalent, but is becoming less common. We are fortunate that, for most types of games on the market, they are available online, in digital form and, in the case of Steam, are but singular drops in a vast and ever-growing repository of online games, programs and other software. Welcome to Steam!
Get in the Game
Getting started with Steam is a simple process. Once you have set up your Steam account, any purchases or downloads will go directly through it. The client has a nice tabbed interface allowing you to access the main Steam store, your library, and other features. If opened through the client, the store is very similar to the web version. Similar to the likes of iTunes, the most popular or prominent titles to be released will be advertised with large thumbnails. Otherwise, what you search is up to you. When you have conducted a search, you can narrow your terms using its intelligent tag system. Steam lets you search through a vast database of over 5,000 games, putting the world of gaming right at your fingertips. Search for demos to see if you'll enjoy a game, search by genre if you're unsure what to choose, or search up a specific title in the search bar. You can also browse by featured games or new releases. Although most popular for games, Steam's library also has a great selection of other software including programs for animation, audio production, photo and video editing, game development and much more. The selection here is more eclectic than other such collections, emphasizing the amount of effort Steam puts into choosing its programs, ensuring they are all of the highest quality. Hovering over any selection will provide ratings, descriptions, discounts and other information.
Once you have chosen your game or program, you can initiate the download process. There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however. First, although the client is available for Mac, a lot of the software will only be compatible with Windows, so be sure to check beforehand. The fact that what the store advertises was not catered to Mac users was a bit disappointing, though there is a search filter for platforms. Second, the majority of the games on Steam are not free to play, but they are far more reasonably priced than one would expect. When you have downloaded a game, it will go to your library. When you decide to play it, Steam will use a DRM (Digital Rights Management) system to ensure that your Steam account is tied to the game. Once you have gone through the process, you'll be filling up your library in no time at all.
When you have enough games under your belt, you can start pushing for the in-program achievements (similar to PlayStation's trophy system) to master all of your games. The client also has a 'Community' feature letting you connect with other Steam users, add them as friends and play together
The next step is playing your games. An independent player can be used, for which the Steam client must remain open. Steam supports a lot of third party organizations as regards hardware as well as its own Steam hardware, including controllers, linking devices (allowing you to play on your TV) and more. It's the most seamless gaming experience you'll ever encounter. When you have enough games under your belt, you can start pushing for the in-program achievements (similar to PlayStation's trophy system) to master all of your games. The client also has a 'Community' feature letting you connect with other Steam users, add them as friends and play together. Use the Workshop to discover, share and download new content for your game, whether you're a player or a designer.
The multiplayer experience on Steam is just like on PC, only far more integrated. Not only will you be able to play and communicate with Steam users in real time, but you'll also be able to share or brag about your achievements, accessible through specific statistics pages for every game on the platform. Become a Steam-powered menace in the gaming community and one of over five million concurrent users. For the best experience with Steam, it is recommended that users use a two-button mouse as well as ensure that their OS X hardware is up to date (10.6.3 or later).
Steam is a godsend for gamers, allowing them to build up a collection of their favorite games and play them amongst a growing community of users with Steam's high-powered hardware. The store is particularly well laid out, with over 5000 titles split by genre, featured pages and more. Earn achievements for your games and share them with the community. Connect with other players through advanced community features. Although the client has some issues with compatibility, it must also be accepted that the Mac simply does not support as much software as the PC, so in that sense it can't be helped. Download Steam for Macintosh now and start enjoying your very own Steam-powered experience.