When Is the Steam Winter Sale?

From December 20 to January 3 you can expect to save up to 90% on games and DLC.
Computer Game Close Up

The Steam Winter Sale is always popular, and why not? Whether you're looking for a relaxing single-player title or a game to play with friends, it's likely Steam will offer you just the video game discounts you need this holiday season.

When Does the Steam Sale Start (and End)?

Valve recently announced that the Steam Winter Sale will start on December 20. And if you're wondering how long it will last, a leak that correctly predicted the Steam Autumn Sale says the Steam Winter Sale for 2018 will run from December 20 to January 3.

SEE ALSO: What to Expect From After Christmas Sales 2018

Keep an eye out while you're waiting, though — not every game will see massive discounts during Steam's sale, and competitors like Amazon, Humble Bundle, and others are likely to offer excellent discounts on select PC gaming titles throughout the holiday season.

What Is the Steam Winter Sale?

Steam has two big sales every year — one in the summer, and one in the winter. Each event lasts around two weeks, providing ample opportunities to snag deeply discounted titles, with some older games, indie titles, and DLC dropping as low as 90% off.

What's a 'Good' Discount for a Video Game?

As we've come to expect from Steam sales, the best discounts are usually reserved for older titles. However, if you find a game you've been eyeing priced at 75% off or more, don't wait around for a better deal — after all, the Steam Summer Sale isn't until June.

If you find a game you've been eyeing priced at 75% off or more, don't wait around for a better deal.

Even though older games typically see the deepest discounts, that doesn't mean newer titles are excluded. Video games that have been out for at least six months can still see drops of up to 50% off — which is obviously an excellent deal. More recent games will typically see smaller price drops, unless they aren't performing well.

What Deals Are in the Steam Winter Sale?

Everyone's taste in video games is different, but we can all appreciate a great deal.

If you're willing to gamble a bit, the Steam Winter Sale is a great time to pick up discounts on Early Access titles. These games haven't been released yet because they're not technically done, but many games spend years in Early Access developing a dedicated fan base. Just this year, the Early Access darling Subnautica was finally released, and cult favorite DayZ left Early Access in mid-December.

SEE ALSO: The 11 Best Things to Buy Before (and After) Christmas

Mainstream games that launched in summer or fall may see their first discounts during the Steam Winter Sale. While some titles will remain disappointingly full-priced, we would hope to see at least modest discounts on titles like Valkyria Chronicles 4, Dragon Quest XI, and Overcooked 2 — all games that haven't seen significant discounts on the PC since their release.

Finally, the Steam Winter Sale is also the perfect time to pick up those classics your friends are always trying to get you to play. In general, we always expect to see discounts on franchises like Far Cry, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. It's also a good time to snag big discounts on the huge bundles of DLC required for games like Stellaris or Crusader Kings II.

Readers, will you be shopping the Steam Winter Sale? What games are you excited to snag discounts on? Let us know in the comments below.

DealNews Contributing Writer

Formerly a content writer for DealNews, Erin Coduti now brings that experience to the blog team as a freelancer. Previously, she wrote for a television news station and a literary fan magazine.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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