Just when you thought your holiday spending had come to an end, Steam kicked off its 2013 Holiday Sale. Even though your first instinct might be to shove your wallet through the monitor and buy everything on the front page, we're here to be that voice of reason. Don't get us wrong, we fully encourage you to buy all of your favorite titles, but we also want to help minimize the damage to your bank account.
These are deals that Steam offers on a 24-hour cycle. They often feature some of the more popular titles on sale, occasionally showing up more than once throughout the event. Still, if you see a game you want and it's discounted 50 percent or more, it's usually a good idea to snatch it up. It's worth noting, though, that more than once we've bought a game at 50 percent off, only to have to drop to 75 percent off the next day. More often than not, being patient will pay off.
These games are cycled every eight hours, or three times a day. For the on the go working professional, this can mean missing some great deals. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Make sure you're checking the Flash Sales at least every eight hours. This is where games will typically end up a day or two after they make their appearance on the Daily Deals. If the game you want is significantly discounted in this section, buy it.
The Community's Choice consists of only one game on sale, but it's usually an insane deal. If you see the game you want, pick it up immediately. Take note of the games currently being voted on. You have the ability to influence the next sale, allowing you to plan and make sure you get the best bang for your buck. Keep in mind that for every three votes you cast, you'll earn a Steam trading card. The Community Choice cycles every eight hours.
Yesterday's Big Deals
These deals are on the same cycle as the Daily Deals, which is why we encourage you to be patient. It's a second opportunity to pick up that game you might have missed. This is often your last chance to pick something up on sale. If the game you've been holding out for is on this list, it's time to spend some money.
Last Minute Advice
Navigating the Steam Holiday Sale can be a daunting task. Make sure to check out the entire front page for links to more deals. The home page is just the surface. Quite often you'll find a game you've long ago forgotten tucked a few clicks away. If it's the last day of the event and the game you want is on sale, buy it, since you'll be paying full price the next day. Lastly, we're going to leave you with this handy little flow chart to help you decide when to buy and when to show patience.
What deals have you snagged so far this year? Let us know in the comments below.