This information is taken from the CAG Steam discussion thread. Please visit it to talk about Steam in general and Steam games!
Steam around CAG
If you are interested in joining the Steam CAG Community or participating in a trade or group buy with fellow Cheap Ass Gamers, please do so in the dedicated threads and not in the deal discussion thread. In the dedicated threads you will find CAGers with the same specialized interest who will be much quicker (and happier) to respond than in the Deals thread.
- Play from anywhere: Games you buy on Steam are permanently tied to your account. Download them again on other computers! *See DRM bullet point for exceptions
- DRM: Most Steam games only use Steam's DRM. If a game uses another form (such as Batman: Arkham Asylum), the store page will say 3rd-Party DRM.
- Play offline: Most Steam games can be played offline. When an internet connection isn't available, choose to start Steam in Offline Mode.
- Steam Achievements! Many games have exclusive Achievements that you and your friends can keep track of. Get a Steam card graphic for forum signatures here!
- Steam Cloud! Many games like Torchlight, offer Cloud support. Your save file is hosted online and accessible from wherever you play the game, so no need to manually transfer it to other computers. Look for the Steam Cloud image on a game's store page.
- Automatic patching: Steam automatically downloads updates for your games whenever they are released. If you'd rather patch manually, click on that game's Properties/Update from the Library menu.
- Friends list: The Steam friends list is also an instant messenger. Text message friends, voice chat, and easily invite friends to most games. You can also see which friends own the same games as you and compare Achievements from the Library menu.
- Gifting games! You can buy games and then gift them to other people. Wishlists make this easy; maintain your own and view your friends' lists, too.
- Incredible sales! There is a sale virtually every weekend, Black Friday, during the holidays, and more.
- Steam Play: Purchase a game once and play it from both Windows and Mac! Look for the Steamplay icon on games' store pages.
Steam Trading Cards
Here is the current list of all games featured in Valve's Trading Card beta. They can be traded (of course), sold, or crafted into badges to raise your steam level. More details can be found here.
Steam Retail Key List
What is a CD key and where can I find it?
Steam's explanation and list of Steam-activatable keys
The CD Key is a serial number with a combination of 13, 18, or 25 letters and numbers - it can be found on a sticker inside your game's case or printed on the game's quick reference card. The CD Key acts as your proof of purchase for the game - Steam Support may ask for it if you need to establish your ownership of an account. It is recommended that you keep your CD Key in a safe place to ensure the security of your account.
Other Keys that can be redeemed on Steam (CAG tested & verified)
- The Ball (bought @D2D, tested by voken)
- Supreme Commander Forged Alliance (gives both FA and original, bought @amazon, tested by vism)
CAG Steam Groups
By joining a CheapAssGamer Steam group, you'll be able to find CAGs to play with, participate in group events, and more. This is a list of all known CAG groups. If you start a new group, please PM me with details. Note that while most of these groups are public, the private groups require an invite to join.
I bought a retail copy of a game.
I bought a game from another downloadable games provider besides Steam.
Can I download it from Steam without rebuying it?
You can do this for some games (especially those whose retail versions automatically use Steam). Most games don't support the feature though. See the full list here.
How do I add non-Steam games to my Steam library? Why would someone want to do that?
From the Library menu, choose Add a Game and then Add a Non-Steam Game. Select the game's executable file and you'll now be able to launch it directly from Steam. This is a good idea for two reasons. One, launching all of your games from the same place is convenient. Two, when you launch a Non-Steam Game from your Steam library, people on your friends list will be able to see what you're playing.
Why is X game more expensive on Steam than other retailers? Is buying from Steam not a good deal?
Steam generally offers games at their current MSRP. That means if Capcom wants to charge $30 for Street Fighter IV, that will be the regular Steam price. Yes, you might find the retail version on clearance at Target for less. But that's clearance, which you can't expect every other retailer to match. However, Steam has tons of sales which usually beat everyone else's prices.
When are the big Steam sales?
During the big Steam sales, Steam sells multiple games (sometimes hundreds) at large discounts. There is always a sale on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and an extended holiday sale (starting December 24 and lasting until the beginning of January). In 2010 and 2011 there have been extended summer sales too. If you're not in a hurry to play a game and want the best possible price, it's a good idea to wait for these large sales.
Do all Steam games work with controllers?
Just about all PC games can be controlled with mouse and keyboard. But some people are more comfortable with controllers, AKA gamepads, and some games just play better that way. The Xbox 360 controller is the default gamepad for modern PC games. Many games support it, but not all. Most games with controller support have a Controller Enabled graphic on their store pages. If a game doesn't have that graphic and doesn't mention controller support in its text description, assume it doesn't work with controllers. There is a partial list here. If you'd like to use a controller with a game that doesn't natively support it, the XPadder app works very well.