create a collection by choosing from a variety of tags, say
‘RPG’ and ‘multiplayer’ and ‘controller support’, and
Steam will automatically pull in all the appropriate games
in your library. The ‘dynamic’ (and exciting) bit is that
Steam will add any future games you buy with those tags
to the collection, too, requiring no manual fiddling.
The most basic use for dynamic collections is simply
organizing by genre, which used to be tedious.
For years I relied on the third-party tool Depressurizer,
but I only ran it every so often, and in the meantime new
games would pile up in my library list without getting the
right tags. Bless dynamic collections for making it easy to
round up all of the (once
and future) first-person
shooters in my library with
just a couple of clicks.
Dynamic collections are
ultimately at the mercy of
Steam’s tags, though, and
you’ll likely need to do some manual pruning on them
before they’re quite right. Thankfully, you can right-click
individual games to remove them, or else I’d have to live
with FreeStyle2: Street Basketball (why do I own this??)
living in my FPS collection.
With more options, like supporting basic logical
functions (for example ‘and’ and ‘or’) dynamic collections
could be killer. Right now, if you use more than one tag,
they can only include results where the venn diagram
overlaps. This ends up being pretty limiting.
Say I want to create a collection of all my shooters. I
have 61 games tagged ‘FPS’ and 31 games tagged ‘third-
person shooter’. But a dynamic collection with both tags
shrinks to only nine results, because only nine of my
games are tagged both third-person shooter and FPS.
Here I need an ‘or’ instead of an ‘and’.
The library redesign has a couple of other little helpful
features, like non-dynamic collections you can simply
drag-and-drop games into, and a handy button at the top
of the column that will hide everything that isn’t currently
installed. Each individual game’s page now has splashy
banner art across the top, and a box that highlights recent
achievements and screenshots from the last play session,
which is a welcome shortcut. But there’s also a prominent
‘activity’ section, like a
Facebook wall for you and
your Steam friends, on
every single game page.
Who is going to choose
this as the place to talk
about games? Scroll down,
and the rest of the new
game page design is also an
unsightly mess of community screenshots, guides, and
videos, which can include spoilery content and, inevitably,
memes. It feels like Valve trying to shoehorn in
community engagement that I’d rather hide.
With the library’s new design, it feels strange to click
over to the store or the (especially outdated) community
hub. As growing pains go, it’s a minor one. Valve has said
that “the new library will inform future store discovery
features” and its design will probably trickle over to the
community hub, too. Eventually... Steam still operates on
Valve Time, after all.
FAR LEFT: It should
be under B for
new games to your
PRO TIPS Get the most out of your new library
Near the top of a game’s library page,
Steam inserts a box of the screenshots
you took last session for easy access.
Animated box art! Download from
reddit.com/r/steamgrid. Right-click a
game > Manage > Set custom artwork.
Disable some graphical niceties, and
use less bandwidth by enabling Low
Bandwidth and Low Performance.
New Dynamic Collections are the best
way to organize. Pair tags like ‘Co-op’
and ‘FPS’ to round up what to play.
THE MOST BASIC USE FOR
DYNAMIC COLLECTIONS IS SIMPLY
ORGANIZING BY GENRE