Back as the pandemic began, I blogged about CheapShark, a great site for finding your best prices on video games. But since then, other similar sites have been launched. If you’re a frequent gamer, there are a lot of ways for you to save money on your hobby/habit!
GGDeals is the first I should mention, because it may match what CheapShark does. And GGDeals covers a different range of game vendors, so you may want to review both in turn to find your best deals.
PsPrices is more for console game players. Here you can find game pricing tools for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft game systems, as well as the Epic Store and Apple App Store.
DekuDeals is for Nintendo Switch games only. But you may find it more pleasant to find your deals here than by combing through the Nintendo Store.
And there are plenty more niche sites that will help you save money on hard-to-find games or bundle purchases, as well as review pricing history for the games you want. Some runner-up mentions are:
If you’re a gamer, you surely know about and patronize Steam, the biggest platform for video game sales. A 3rd-party website, SteamDB, has a clever tool called the Steam Calculator you might use on your Steam account.
If you input your SteamID on that site, it will quickly gives you lots of statistics about your Steam gaming. You’ll see stats like
Account value of all the games you purchased
Hours of gaming on record
Average price per hour
If you use this on your own account, you may be proud or dismayed to see how much time and money you’ve spent on gaming. It’s OK, no judgment here! But you might also use this on your child’s account, to monitor how they’re spending their resources.
You should check out the Experiments by Google website! Programmers and coders everywhere have been submitting their projects to Google, and many of them are shared here, free for all to use.
But if you go to the main Experiments page I linked above, it may seem like too much to browse through. There’s over 1600 “experiments” out there! So the Collections menu or page may help you narrow it down to more relevant and interesting items.
Since March 2021, some gamers have had some real problems on their Windows 10 computers. The problem was not with your casual games, like Solitaire and Mahjongg, but with more demanding games, like CS: GO and GTAV. Many players could not resolve issues with stuttering and low frame rates, and it all traced back to Microsoft as the culprit.
Microsoft has finally developed a fix. And while the fix is included in a larger update next month, Microsoft has gone the extra mile and released the gaming fix now, as an optional update. If you’ve been suffering under this problem, go get the download now:
Click Start, go to Settings, then Update & Security. You should see the update in question (KB5004296 ), under the heading “Optional quality update available”:
Click “Download and install”, wait out the update process, and reboot when it appears finished. I hope this improves your future games!
If you play Steam video games, you should know that you *can* delete a game from your library. This is more than simply uninstalling the game. Deleting it from your Steam Library means you’ll never again see it in your list of available games, or be able to reinstall it.
It’s not obvious how to remove a Steam game in this manner, so here are the steps:
In the Steam program, click Help and then click Steam Support.
Click “Games, Software, Etc.” and then click on the game you wish to remove. If you don’t see it, use the Search field to find and select it.
Click “I want to permanently remove this game from my account.”
Click “OK, remove the listed game(s) from my account permanently.”
Please know that this is irreversible and does not get you any kind of refund. Why would you irrevocably delete a game from Steam?
You know you’ll never play it again.
You’re embarrassed to have it in your library.
You’re a parent taking action to remove something inappropriate from your child’s Steam collection.
Epic Games has given away free games for quite some time now, announcing a new freebie every week. The games vary in quality — some are niche, others are amazing, but they are all truly free. You just have to visit the site, make an account, and click the Claim button on any free game you want. No fees, no catches!
But for the 2020 Holiday season, Epic is going all out! They are giving away a different game each day, until 2021. Each game is only available for 24 hours, but if you claim it, you get to keep it and play it forever, for free. So gamers, everywhere: Check the Epic Games site each day for the rest of the year!
When people move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, a common question is Where did my games go? The Solitaire and other games included with Windows 7 are absent when you boot up your Windows 10 PC for the first time. And that’s a big disappointment for most.
Microsoft would rather you go into the Microsoft Store and download the Microsoft Solitaire Collection. It’s free for everyone, but it’s just not the same as the old-school games. If you want the Windows 7 Games, check out this page:
Scroll down to Step 1 and you’ll find a download link for the games, just as they were on your Windows 7 PC.
If you use this, make sure to save the link or downloaded file for future use. After major updates to Windows 10, many users report that these games have gone missing. Apparently, Microsoft really doesn’t want you using them anymore, and they will remove them for you. But you are free to use the link or downloaded file anytime you want to reinstall them.
Windows 10 has a “Game Mode” that Microsoft says will optimize your PC for play. Except it doesn’t always do that. Sometimes, this feature will *cause* lag or other performance problems with your high-end video games.
So if you’ve had any glitches with your gaming, and driver updates & upgrades haven’t helped, turn this option off and you may notice an immediate change.
You’ll find it under Start -> Settings -> Gaming -> Game Mode -> On/Off.
If you are a fan of flight simulators, you should know that there is one hidden in Google Earth. If you download *Google Earth Pro on Desktop* and install it to your computer, you’ll be able to open the Google Earth program. The Flight Sim is hiding on the Tools menu.
This is not for the faint-of-heart, and you may want to study the controls before your first flight. If you click the Help button before you take off, it’ll give you a run-down of the controls and keyboard shortcuts you need to learn.