You have a Steam account, but your library is severely lacking. You’re broke and there probably won’t be another massive sale for months. Those in desperate need of new games don’t need to start pan-handling, turning to piracy or internet begging for games. You just need to start looking for free Steam games in the right places.
There are more opportunities than people realize when it comes to bolstering game libraries. If you’re willing to be kind, respectful and perhaps even share the wealth later on down the road when you can afford it, then you might just find something free to play. Of course, searching for these opportunities on your own can be time consuming, so here’s a list of all the places you can find free Steam games.
The first and best site I’d recommend for grabbing free Steam games is SteamGifts.com. It’s a resource that allows Steam gamers to share their games other other people for free. If you have an extra key or game sitting in your inventory, you can create a giveaway to offer it up on the site. You just set how long you want the giveaway to run and at the end, the site will randomly choose a winner. There are both public and private giveaways available, as well as ones that can only be entered if you’ve given away games on the site.
I’ll level with you. Unless there’s a developer giveaway in progress, like when Evolutionary Games gave away 25,000 copies of Galactic Arms Race, your odds of winning a giveaway at SteamGifts is pretty low. You can improve that by entering private contests or by giving away a lot of games yourself, but odds are you’ll still face a lot of competition.
Still, SteamGifts is a good place to try and win free games. Just don’t get discouraged if you’re attempting to win a game there and lose. Also, try checking it during Humble Bundles, as people often give away the Steam keys for the games they already have there.
When it comes a more reliable resource for free Steam games, Reddit is probably a better alternative. There are multiple subreddits dedicated to free game dispersal and all you have to do is bookmark and regularly visit if you hope to find someone willing to share.
If you have a game and want to exchange it, then there’s the Steam Game Swap subreddit. Random Acts of Gaming is devoted to free game giveaways, though you should probably check each giveaway’s title to make sure it’s a Steam game. There’s also Gift of Games. All three could help bolster your game library.
Just remember to be respectful when participating in one of the Reddit giveaways or trades. Thank the person who’s taking the time to offer you freebies!
Ha! I bet you knew this was coming. A great way to get free Steam games is to just go to Steam itself. The site has a rather robust Free to Play section with 129 available single and multiplayer games as of March 11, 2013. Surprisingly, these aren’t all massive multiplayer online RPGs. Granted, most of them are, but games like Super Crate Box, Dwarfs!? and Microsoft Flight are also available in the library.
If you have any suggestions for also finding (legal) free Steam games, be sure to let us know in the comments! Perhaps if you know any developers or publishers who get generous on Twitter, leave links to their feeds.