The only thing the Windows Central gaming team loves more than playing video games is getting them at a discount and one of the best times to do that is during Valve's Steam Sale. There are four major Steam Sales each year and each offers hundreds of the best PC game discounts across every genre. However, there are also genre-focused sales at other points throughout the year that might be worth your time if you like a specific type of game.
Looking through the myriad of Steam Sale deals can be somewhat daunting. No worries. The Windows Central gaming team is here to help, whether you're looking for the best PC game recommendations or want to know which Steam Sale deals will give you a game that plays well on Steam Deck. Of course, a game doesn't have to be Steam Deck verified for it to run on Asus ROG Ally and Legion Go, if you have those gaming handhelds.
Best Steam Sale deals
Currently, the big Steam Winter Sale is running from Dec. 21, 2023 through Jan. 4, 2024. We're gathering up the very best PC game deals and Steam Deck deals going on now. Check them out!
Steam Deck | Starting at $349 at Steam
It's been over a year since Valve launched the Steam Deck handheld and in that time it's grown to be many Steam users' go-to gaming system. We love this handheld as you can see from our Steam Deck review. Right now it's on sale with the best deal ever as part of the Steam Winter Sale.
Steam Deck OLED | Starting at $549 at Steam
Valve's latest iteration of the Steam Deck features a gorgeous OLED display that makes imagery come through more vibrantly and crisply than the base Steam Deck. You can get the 512GB version for $549 or the 1TB version for $649 during the current discount period.
Sea of Stars | was
$34.99 now $27.99 at Steam (20% off)
This beautifully nostalgic RPG pulls from classic titles like Super Mario RPG and Chrono Trigger with its gorgeous 16-bit visuals and turn-based combat. It's a fantastic game that we highly recommend to everyone. It's been rather popular this year having sold over four million copies, which is a lot for an indie game. Speaking of, it also won Best Indie Game at the Game Awards 2023.
💰Price check: $27.99 at Microsoft
Baldur's Gate 3 | was
$59.99 now $53.99 at Steam (10% off)
This has been my absolute favorite PC game this year thanks to its complex combat system, NPC interactions, and sandbox problem-solving. I'm not alone in thinking this as it even won Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2023. So, it's great to see it's at a small discount this Steam Winter Sale.
Explore the world of Dungeons and Dragons while playing as a character that you create. Mind Flayers have infected you with a worm in an attempt to turn you into one of them, but you've gained special powers instead. It's up to you and your party of similarly infected friends to determine whether to use the worm or try to remove it while traveling around a rich fantasy world.
💰Price check: $53.99 at GOG
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition | was
$44.99 now $13.49 at Steam (70% off)
Beaten Baldur's Gate 3 and not sure how to fill the void this masterpiece left behind? Why not try Larian Studios' extremely popular tactical RPG that the studio released before BG3? It's currently at a fantastic price and in many ways plays similarly to this year's hit game.
Starfield | was
$69.99 now $48.99 at Steam (30% off)
Bethesda's big space adventure released this year for PC and Xbox Series X|S. So, it's nice to see that it has already dropped a decent amount in price for the Steam Winter Sale. You play as a space miner who uncovers a strange rock that gives you ethereal flashes. From there, it's a journey to unravel the possible alien mystery surrounding this material and explore the stars as you see fit.
💰Price check: $48.99 at Microsoft
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor | was
$69.99 now $34.99 at Steam (50% off)
Kal Kestis continues his journey as one of the last remaining Jedi in existence after the evil Emperor activated Order 66. You'll fight stormtroopers, challenge foes, and explore familiar locations within the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order | was
$39.99 now $5.99 at Steam (85% off)
Following the Jedi-purge, a young force-wielder must hide from the Empire who seeks to destroy him. Solve puzzles using the Force, face off against powerful enemies, and travel around the galaxy while growing ever stronger. With the sequel coming out soon, it's a great idea to play through the first game. It is marked as Steam Deck Playable.
Cult of the Lamb | was
$24.99 now $14.99 at Steam (40% off)
This roguelite, life sim might look like a cute little animal adventure, but it actually provides a mischievously macabre experience. After being sacrificed to the four gods, a lamb finds itself resurrected and in debt to a god. Now it must raise a cult and sacrifice its members to satiate the deity. It's hilarious, cute, and absolutely diabolical. It's Steam Deck Verified too!
Horizon Zero Dawn | was
$49.99 now $12.49 at Steam (75% off)
Far into the distant future, humankind is struggling to survive against powerful machines that walk the Earth. A young woman named Aloy must journey across the land and learn what happened to the "ancient ones" while taking down enormous mechanical monsters with just a bow and arrow. It's extremely satisfying to play and offers an incredible plot. Not to mention, Horizon Zero Dawn personally helped me make a big life change. It is also Steam Deck Verified.
Control Ultimate Edition | was
$39.99 now $9.99 at Steam (75% off)
Jesse Faden makes her way into a strange building in search of her brother, but what she finds inside defies all logic. She'll need to use her newly awakened telekinetic powers mixed with firearms to defeat powerful enemies before learning what happened to her sibling. This game is Steam Deck Verified.
God of War | was
$49.99 now $24.99 at Steam (50% off)
Kratos and his son, Atreus, set out in the Viking world to spread the ashes of Atreus' mother. However, the boy has no idea his father is a Greek god with a bloody background that the local Norse gods are warry of. It's an emotion tale that explores the relationship between father and son while dealing with leaving the past behind. In our God of War review, we referred to this game as a pillar of its era and cannot recommend it enough to those who haven't experienced it yet. It is Steam Deck verified.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga | was
$49.99 now $9.99 at Steam (80% off)
Revisit the nine mainline Star Wars films in hilarious fashion while playing as LEGO variants. Gameplay is fun while the storylines are familiar but broken up with silly moments. I personally did our LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review and found it to be a hilarious tale from start to end. You can play solo or with a friend. It's also Steam Deck Verified.
Cyberpunk 2077 | was
$59.99 now $29.99 at Steam (50% off)
In the futuristic, Los Angeles-inspired Night City people replace body parts with tech to increase their abilities. This open-world adventure has you play as V, an Edgerunner who gets implanted with a strange personality that attempts to overwrite their own. They must do everything they can to save themselves. We love this game as seen from Jez Corden's Cyberpunk 2077 review. It had a very rocky launch but has since been fixed with updates. It's also Steam Deck Verified.
If you've already played this game, you can get more out of it with the recently released Cyberpunk 2077: The Phantom Liberty DLC.
Red Dead Redemption 2 | was
$59.99 now $19.79 at Steam (67% off)
Take a detailed look at the American west in this highly-acclaimed adventure that brought home over 175 Game of the Year awards. You play as Arthur Morgan as he flees federal agents with the outlaw gang he's a part of. As we say in our Red Dead Redemption 2 review, it's action-packed and beautiful to look at, and the story will get you feeling all the feels. It is marked as Steam Deck Playable.
Give yourself or your favorite PC gamer the gift of gaming with a Steam Gift Card. They are sold at various amounts starting at $20 and can be redeemed to make purchases from a giant list of games.
When is the next Steam Sale 2023?
Sales events marked with a star symbol (★) are one of the four major Steam Sales that occur throughout the year. These tend to have the best video game discounts across various genres.
|★ Winter Sale 2023
|Dec 21 - Jan 4, 2023
|Capitalism and Economy Fest 2024
|Jan. 8 - Jan 15, 2024
|Pirates vs Ninjas Fest 2024
|Jan 22 - Jan 29, 2024
|Remote Play Together Fest 2024
|Feb 12 - Feb 19, 2024
|Dinos vs Robots Fest 2024
|Feb 26 - Mar 4, 2024
|★ Steam Spring Sale 2024
|Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2024
|Deckbuilders Fest 2024
|Mar 25 - Apr 1, 2024
|FPS Fest 2024
|Apr 15 - Apr 22, 2024
|Farming Fest 2024
|Apr 29 - May 6, 2024
|Endless Replayability Fest 2024
|May 13 - May 20, 2024
|Open World Survival Crafting Fest 2024
|May 27 - Jun 3, 2024
|★ Steam Summer Sale 2024
|Jun 27 - Jul 11, 2024
How to give Steam games as gifts
During the checkout process, select "Purchase as gift" and you can easily purchase a game for a loved one. The nice thing with Steam is that you can also determine when the intended recipient receives it in their Steam Library, such as on Dec. 25 at 9 a.m. so they get it on the morning of the holiday. This is also a great way to give Steam games as birthday gifts.
Tips to help save money and get the best deals during Steam Sales
- Make use of that Wishlist: If a game on your wishlist goes on sale then you'll get an email from Steam notifying you of the fact. So mark all of the games you're interested in and then nab them when the price is right.
- Check Flash Sales first and Daily Deals second: Flash Sales tend to have the most deeply discounted deals, but they only last for 12 hours. Meanwhile, Daily Deals refresh each day at 1 p.m. ET during a sales event. Daily Deals usually aren't nearly as cheap, but they still tend to offer some really good buys.
- Compare prices with other sellers: Many outlets that sell video games will be acutely aware that the Steam Sale is going on and will have their own deals to get in on the action. Check around with other storefronts to see if any of them have the same game you want to purchase at a lower price point before buying from Steam. Additionally, you might want to use a deal tracker like IsThereAnyDeal to keep tabs on the game's you're interested in. You can connect it to Steam and get custom price alerts on specific games.
- Check out reviews before purchasing: Steam makes it very easy to view a game's overall review rating as well as its most recent review rating. Sometimes an update can make a game that initially launched well act glitchy. Alternatively, sometimes a game can explode on another platform but then get a lacking PC port afterward. So you want to make sure that the game you're wanting to purchase plays well on PC or still works well on PC at the time of purchase.
- Make sure your device can handle the game you want to buy: The most recent PC games can be very demanding so you need to make sure that your gaming laptop, gaming PC, or gaming handheld is powerful enough to run the game smoothly. Otherwise, it might be time to upgrade your rig. You can check the system requirements for each game on its dedicated Steam page.
- Consider buying bundles: Sometimes multiple games will come bundled together or a game can come bundled with its DLC at a discount. If you think you'll be willing to sink a ton of time into a particular title or bundle, then getting the extra content or other games at a lower price will be worth your time.
- Note: Steam bundles are smart. They recognize if you already own something within a bundle and won't charge you for that game or content. For instance, if I already owned Assassin's Creed Valhalla when purchasing an Assassin's Creed bundle that included it and two other AC games then Steam would remove the cost of Valhalla from the deal.
You can find some of the very best PC games on sale during Valve's Steam Sales. Oftentimes. games that have blown up in the past or the ones that didn't sell well can be found going for super cheap during these magical events (funny how that happens, huh?). You can catch up on the latest hits or dive into the best hidden gems while going nice and easy on your wallet.
Of course, many of the best PC games on Steam also work with Steam Deck. So if you already own this handheld, you might be able to get an awesome new game to play on the couch as well as at your desktop or laptop.
The Xbox Series X|S Controller works beautifully for compatible PC games on Steam or Steam Deck gaming. It features Bluetooth and a comfortable design that feels great in adult hands. Not to mention, many game developers plan their controls around this setup.
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Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's gaming editors with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of game guides, previews, features, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).