How to use Steam on PC

The ultimate steam guide

You have never played games on Steam or used the Steam client? In this ultimate Steam guide we will show you which functions Steam offers, how you can solve any problems and how you even start with Steam.

  1. Setup and configuration
  2. Password and protection
  3. Credit
  4. important functions
  5. Problems with Steam

Valve's Steam platform, first published in 2003, has blossomed into one of the largest distribution channels for video games worldwide. Over 33 million users now use the platform every day. For a long time now, not only valve games have been offered on Steam, but also games from other publishers. In our Steam Guide we explain how the platform works and how you can configure it perfectly for an optimal gaming experience.

Setup and configuration

To get started with Steam, you have to download the client first. You can find Steam for download in our software archive. In the linked tutorial we also explain how to install Steam on your PC. In order to use the service, you have to create an account after the installation.

When creating the account you have to choose a username and enter an email address and a password. Make sure to choose a strong password. Once you have created your account, you should directly determine your Steam ID and make a note of it. Your Steam ID is your identification number in the games library. This consists of a number and your username. With this your account can be clearly identified. Knowing your Steam ID is particularly helpful when contacting support.

Password and protection

You should also make some settings right away to protect your account from unauthorized access. This is the best way to protect your account with two-factor authentication. This is called Steam Guard on the Valve game client.

If you want, you can also personalize your account with an avatar. If, on the other hand, you no longer use your account at all, you should delete this legacy. Deactivating the Steam ID, however, means that your purchased games can no longer be played. In addition, a complete deletion is only carried out after 30 days.

With these steps, the setup of Steam is initially completed. You can now purchase games on the platform. To buy games, you have to save a means of payment in your account. If you don't want to do this, you also have the option of topping up your Steam account with credit.


You can buy Steam credit on Steam yourself or from third-party providers; credit cards for the platform are also sold in gas stations and supermarkets. Credit on Steam does not expire, however, the withdrawal of excess Steam credit is only possible indirectly. If you buy games online from Amazon or other providers, you will often receive a Steam key, which you can use to activate the game on Steam.

Steam: How to return a game

Can you return Steam games? Of course, because in Germany the right to a refund also applies to online purchases. Our instructions reveal how the refund works on Steam.

Do you want to know how much money you've already spent on Steam? This can be checked with external tools. In the linked instructions we explain how to determine the value of your Steam account.

important functions

Now you know the basic functions of Steam, but the gaming platform offers many more setting options. In addition to Steam, do you use similar services such as UPlay? Then you can connect them to Steam and then find your UPlay titles in the Steam library. If the computer is slow, it can also make sense to deactivate the autostart of Steam or to free up memory. So you can move installed games to another data carrier via Steam.

Moving Steam Games: Here's How

Do you want to change the default folder for Steam games or move your game collection to another storage medium? We'll show you how to do this.

By the way, Steam not only allows you to play games on your PC, you can also share these games with family members, synchronize saved games across devices or stream games directly to other devices:

Problems with Steam

Do you have a problem with Steam? Then take a look at this overview "Steam: Common problems and their solutions" There we present solutions for many known errors of the gaming platform. If the Steam client does not want to start, you can get it up and running again with the tips in the linked article.

Even games on Steam sometimes don't start, so we have collected solutions to this problem for you. We'll also tell you what to do if the Steam downloads are slow. You can also use our malfunction indicator to check whether there is a global malfunction in Steam.