Last week, Valve Software added a brand-new community tool to the ever-evolving Steam platform: User-generated game guides.
This new feature lets users create tips and walkthroughs for any game on Steam, and other users can access these guides using the built-in Steam overlay. This means players have one less reason to move away from Steam if they’re having trouble beating their favorite games.
These guides offer a brand new resource to Steam users, and could boost player engagement across the Steam platform.
Historically, players would need to refer to external websites like GameFAQs if they wanted to find tips and game walkthroughs, but with Steam Guides, players can access the same type of information in just a few clicks. The feature takes a common, but external resource for hardcore players and makes it a core part of the Steam experience. Steam Guides does do a good job of creating a more streamlined and user friendly interface. Such simple features as being able to embed images and video that expand to full size, jump links to different sections of the guide, to being able to rate and provide commentary make the guides more akin to Wikia’s effort than old school gaming FAQs.
Of course, these guides could further boost user engagement for all the games Steam sells by encouraging players to contribute more user-generated content. Looking at Raptr’s own case studies, we know that allowing user-generated content can drive a significant increase in player activity, and now Steam has yet another channel for seasoned players to showcase their game-related expertise with their friends.
Steam Guides have only been online for a few days, and already the service hosts more than 2,000 guides across Steam’s various games. Since these guides are user generated it’ll be interesting to see if the Steam fan base are able to elevate these guides to become the go to resource compared to what’s out there currently. For more information, be sure to check out the Steam Guides home page.