The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
You Can Win Free Games In Steam's 2019 Summer Sale, But It's A Bit Complicated
Deals are going fast.
The Steam Summer Sale has revved up its engines, offering a truckload of discounts on PC games. The store has paired its annual promotion with another minigame this year, and if you're on one of the winning teams you could score some free games. However, it's a bit complicated--so much so that it's caused issues for some indie developers and caused Valve to make some changes shortly after the sale began.
The Steam Grand Prix pits players from different teams in a virtual race. You build up your "Boost Meter" and then you can hit the boost to help your team. Teams are split into Pig, Hare, Corgi, Cockatiel, and Tortoise. At the conclusion of each day's race, random members of the three winning teams will earn free games. Steam notes that you should make sure to update your wish list, since that will determine the free games.
Due to apparent confusion about how that freebie is decided, it seems as if many users began removing wish list entries for lower-priced and unreleased games. This is bad news for indie developers in particular, who are losing visibility and a way for Steam users to be alerted about the release of their games. Valve has released a PSA alerting people that all they need to do is put their desired free game at the top of their wish list; there's no need to remove anything. Additionally, it detailed some changes to the Grand Prix to both make it simpler to understand and ensure that the Corgi team doesn't continue to dominate quite so much.
? PSA! ? You don't need to remove games from your Steam wishlist in order to win your Top Wishlisted Game during the Steam Summer Sale - just move your favorite game to the top of your wishlist and you're good to go!— Steam (@steam_games) June 27, 2019
☀ 2019 Steam Summer Sale: https://t.co/4TuWeBVo1O pic.twitter.com/hNrMnTSzcY
The maximum size of your Boost Meter can be increased by making purchases during the sale; each $1 you spend grants 100 points of capacity to your bar. (You might have started out with a larger Boost Meter due to purchases you've made previously.) The Boost Meter is filled by both earning Steam Achievements and completing special quests, such as one that tasks you with playing 30 minutes of a game that includes Steam Achievements.
Aside from free games, you can also trade in your race tokens for personal prizes at the "Pit Stop." Those include cosmetics like emoticons, profile backgrounds, as well as store coupons for further discounts. If you're busy during the sale and can't participate in the Grand Prix, there will be a period on July 7 where everyone can spend leftovers tokens at the Pit Stop.
Limited accounts aren't locked out of this event altogether, although they don't add anything to their team's speed. They can, however, redeem tokens at the Pit Stop.
Meanwhile, the Steam Summer Sale is worth visiting just to get your hands on some cheap games. Some notable deals include Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for $48, Devil May Cry 5 for $40, and Dead Cells for $17. Check out our Steam Summer Sale roundup for our picks of the best deals the event has to offer.