15 obscure Steam features that can power up your PC gaming … – PCWorld

Let’s cut to the chase: For many people, PC gaming is synonymous with Steam. Valve’s ubiquitous gaming client is both storefront and service, delivering a one-stop shop for buying games, playing and managing those games, and even building out a friends list to chat with while you game.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Steam’s rife with hidden features that can help you get more out of your PC gaming experience—tricks that few people ever touch. Here are some of the most useful, starting with obscure (yet helpful) library management tools before diving into more exotic tips.

You can jump among them all using the table of contents on the left side of the page, but for sanity’s sake, all of the nifty library tricks mentioned on this page are lumped under a single entry in the ToC.

Optimize your Steam library

Add non-Steam games to your library

From DRM-free indie titles to EA games sold exclusively through Origin, not every PC game graces Steam’s digital shelves—which can be a problem if you game and socialize exclusively through Valve’s service. Fortunately, Valve lets you add non-Steam games to the Steam client.

Steam still won’t keep the rogue title up to date or save your game to Steam Cloud, but adding non-Steam games to your library lets your friends see when you’re playing the game, and unlocks the Steam overlay feature (Shift + Tab), including full screenshot and in-game chat functionality.

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Got it? Good. Now open the Steam client and head to Games > Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library. The process is straightforward from there. If you want to add a custom image for the game in your Library’s grid view, just right-click it and select Set Custom Image, then go from there. The fine folks in r/steamgrid on Reddit will whip up custom images for games if you’d like. You can find a ton of custom grid images on the Steam Banners website or Deviant Art, as well.

Manage where your games land

Maybe you want to shift all your titles onto a blazing-fast SSD, or maybe you installed a spacious new traditional hard drive that’s just begging to be filled with gaming goodness. Either way, Steam makes it a cinch to add new folders in which to store your games.

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Open Steam and head to Steam > Settings > Downloads, then click the Steam Library Folders button. From here, you can add as many folders for game installations as you’d like. Once you’ve added folders, you’ll be given a Choose location for installation option when you’re installing a new game.

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