5 money-saving tips to get cheap PC games

More honey for your money to embark on an extended gaming journey

You put thousands (yes, we're not kidding, thousands) on a great rig, set up speakers, keyboards, mice and various other peripherals.

You're ready to start the long-awaited gaming session, only to find out that you still need to pay upwards of RM170 dollars for some games.

However, the beauty of PC gaming is that there are loads of ways to get great games. Not through nefarious, illegal ways by downloading pirated copies, mind you. We're talking reasonable prices that'll leave you with enough spare cash to buy more games.

Here are five legal things to keep in mind before getting that game you want at an affordable and unbelievable price.

1. There are more platforms out there than just Steam

Sure, Valve’s Steam storefront might be the hub of every gaming computer, but this does not mean that Steam always has the best prices.

There are many other sites that may have amazing sales on even newly-released games. Some of these include g2a.comcdkeyplusGMG and GoG. The best part about it is that aside from GoG, a lot of the games obtained on the other platforms can be activated on Steam and added to your library of existing Steam games.

However, a word of caution is due here. While the sites listed above are generally reliable, there are others out there that promise you the latest games at impossibly cheap prices. Do some research and find out if the sites are legit before parting with your hard-earned cash.

2. Use a price comparison tool

With so many stores to choose from, manually looking through each and every one will take a stupid amount of time. Fortunately, software has come to the rescue.

The first is Razer’s Cortex software. This all-in-one gaming toolbox includes a price comparison tool that looks at a variety of storefronts and lets you know which games are on sale, a handy editor’s choice list, and great overall user experience.

If you prefer a more web-based experience, dlcompare is a great tool that searches loads of sites. However, unlike Razer Cortex’s more curated experience, dlcomapre is kind of like a Wild Wild West. There is a great selection, but you have to be smart in how you choose.

3. Know your Steam sale schedule

Steam sales were created to part you with your money. These wickedly evil events happen usually five times a year, which includes a huge summer and winter sale, and smaller scale sales on Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Black Friday. On and off, there are unexpected sales that'll lure you to buy more games than you really should.

Most gamers will religiously save up to splash during these events where hundreds of games, AAA and indie alike, go for rock-bottom prices. The trouble is that Steam is never exact about when the sales start until about a week before it happens, so it is good to just check now and again.

Of course there are sites like this to help you keep track of the next big sale. For example, as of this writing, the next big steam sale is the Summer Sale, which is around mid-June.

4. Humble Bundle Banzai!

In a very short time, Humble Bundle has become one of the most popular destinations for gamers seeking a good deal and a chance to help out a good cause.

Like Steam or GoG, Humble Bundle is a storefront that sells collections of games from various publishers including EA, Capcom, and Nintendo. However, you can pay what you want for these collections, with S$1 giving you the base amount of games, and higher values giving you more digital loot.

The best part is that a portion of everything you pay is given to charities such as the American Red Cross and Child’s Play. As of October 2015, Humble Bundle has raised over US$65 (S$90) million for various charities.

Since it was launched, Humble Bundle has also expanded into opening its own digital storefront and offering mobile game, e-book, and e-comic bundles with the same pay-what-you-want mentality.

5. Scavenging a bargain

These days, most games are bought using digital storefronts and CD-keys. Gone are the days where CDs were the main distribution medium for PC games.

If you are a gamer who likes some older titles though, there might be good news yet. On various forums and e-commerce platforms such as Carousell, you can find listings for a whole host of PC games at rock-bottom prices.

Often, these games will be second-hand copies that are far from pristine. But with a little cleaning up and a cheap external CD-drive, you can play those great games from yesteryear that you might have missed. Not to mention they're all at a fraction of the cost.