Up For Debate - How Do You Manage Your Steam Library?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Feb 25, 2018 2:00 PM

I buy my fair share of games. I’m not an extreme purchaser, but I definitely buy a fair few games split across a handful of platforms. Even just dipping into the odd purchase on Steam, I’ve managed to amass a library of 282 games over the 14 years I’ve been using it, which seems a very reasonable 20 games per year. Now I’ve got them all though, actually keeping them in some semblance of order is a tricky prospect. It’s only going to get more difficult as I buy more games too - my Steam library grows while my control over it withers.

Left untouched, I end up in that dreaded scenario where I don’t know know what to play. A list of 282 games is quite a lot to take in, and picking one to play becomes a lot harder the more you have, paradoxically.

And yes, I’m aware an overflowing Steam library is the archetypal first world problem, but nothing can halt my marching obsession with trying to keep things organised.

Right now, I’ve got a fairly rudimentary system at work in Steam. Being able to dictate your own custom categories and filters is great, whether you want to split it up into genres, or by how long they’ll take to beat, or perhaps even the theme. In a ballooning Steam library, they can give you handy access to what you want, when you want. The complications come when you’ve got games that could easily span several categories, multiplying your bloated library problems.

I’ve used Steam’s Categories system to split my library up into Completed, DLC to do; Multiplayer Only, Games I Want to Play, and Trash. I had to be fairly ruthless with the Trash folder, but after plenty of bundle purchases and ridiculous deals I couldn’t resist buying, I had a fair bit of backlog fodder. All I did was ask myself whether I could realistically ever see myself playing these games. If I could, into Want to Play it went; if I couldn’t it went straight into Trash. Trash is minimised and it’s out of sight, out of mind. Sort of. There’s always that niggling feeling that maybe there’s something in there I’m missing, an undiscovered gem that I should probably give a chance.

After all of this, don’t even get me started on adding non-Steam games to my library, or trying to have a central place where I can see everything I own. Sometimes PC gaming is like owning your own personal library, only there are a few books stashed in a toilet and a dozen or so lurking beneath the couch, forgotten and forlorn.

So I was wondering, how do you manage your bulking library of PC games? Are there some you just forget even exist, or have you got some semblance of order? Let us know below!

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
46
Offline
17:10 Feb-27-2018

Since I read this article and discovered that Steam actually has a category system, lol, I went ahead and created a number of categories, mostly for game series, so I can put games from the same series in their own category. I did create an 'unplayed' category, but it's kind of hidden, at this, point, in all the series categories I made. For the most part, my 'favorites' is the most visible category. That's what I was putting pretty much everything in before. Now I just keep my newest games in there, or my actual favorites that I come back to often.

2
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
17:16 Feb-27-2018

Huh, grouping game series together is actually a pretty neat idea

0
Rep
69
Offline
11:41 Feb-28-2018

AUTO grouping game series together option.

0
Rep
46
Offline
21:38 Feb-28-2018

Yeah, I'd be all for that. Automatically grouping all games owned in the same series, e.g. Grand Theft Auto, or the Batman: Arkham series, or Assassin's Creed, etc. Although with Assassin's Creed, I've got some of them through Steam and some through UPlay. I could add them to my steam library, I guess.

0
Rep
46
Offline
21:39 Feb-28-2018

Oh, and it took me a little bit before I figured out that you can shift+click to select multiple titles, then right click what you've highlighted and then set or add it to a category/categories.

0
Rep
58
Offline
08:29 Feb-27-2018

I install some games and uninstall them after completion. Then I click Library > games and pick a few other ones to install (I have 151 unplayed)
After installation I click Library > installed so I don't see all the gunk I have played or havent got installed.

0
Rep
82
Offline
18:31 Feb-26-2018

I don't really :P
Guess I'm too lazy to set it all up(or I have not come to the point of having so many games to actually be forced to organize).

0
Rep
23
Offline
11:00 Feb-26-2018

I acquired a manager and a team of counselors .. also a lawyer.

3
Rep
13
Offline
07:58 Feb-26-2018

I just set it so steam only shows my installed games.

2
Rep
0
Offline
04:32 Feb-26-2018

I had three categories:
Completed
Infinitely Replayable
Uncompleted


Steam deleted my categories though and I haven't bothered to recreate them and sort through my games again.

0
Rep
136
Offline
01:04 Feb-26-2018

My categories:
SP -> Single Player/story focused
MP -> Multiplayer/mainly eSports
Must play -> Skyrim has been sitting there for years xD
Installed -> Only keep a few here (currently Shadow of Mordor, Life is Strange, Rome 2 and Shogun 2) as my SSD space is limited and I don't install games on my HDD since the crunching sound it makes scares me xD

0
Rep
19
Offline
22:04 Feb-25-2018

Currently playing
Story
Multiplayer
Sanbox

1
Rep
18
Offline
21:28 Feb-26-2018

What kind of gameplay is sanbox? :P

2
Rep
60
Offline
21:42 Feb-25-2018

Well I don t have enough games to be worth organizing. All of my steam games can still fit into my screen anyway. Since I am pretty low on space I usually don t have many of them installed unless I plan to play them in the near future or i am currently playing it. Might be worth it to invest into another hdd... 1tb isn t enough for me as it was a few years ago games are becoming quite large.

0
Rep
93
Offline
19:57 Feb-25-2018

I have 5 categories:
Favourites= Games I'm currently playing or play often,
Games to play= Games I have but haven't played yet.
Unused games= Game I have but don't ever want again.
Updated games= Games I have that have received a big update that I haven't played yet.
Games= Everything else.

1
Rep
133
Offline
junior admin badge
20:15 Feb-25-2018

Pretty smart i just put installed and forget the rest ill consider ur method

0
Rep
93
Offline
21:05 Feb-25-2018

But a lot of the time the games remain in the games to play folder for months XD

0
Rep
133
Offline
junior admin badge
21:21 Feb-25-2018

lol what a first world problem we complaining about

0
Rep
46
Offline
19:53 Feb-25-2018

WHOA! Well I didn't even realize you could create categories in Steam! I guess I'm behind on the times... I don't know if I'll do that or not, but I might make just a few if I get around to it. I do have a number of games I haven't even started, so, yeah maybe I will create an 'unplayed' category, just to keep those sorted.

0
Rep
2
Offline
19:32 Feb-25-2018

I mange my games using Categories, e.g. 'Achievement hunt' (games I completed and might come back to 100% them), 'To be finished' (games I have not finished but might will), 'If I don't have anything else' (basically never touch them) and 'Unplayed'. I also limit how many games are installed on my PC at the same time.

0
Rep
35
Offline
19:29 Feb-25-2018

Rather simply:


Family
Complete
Replayable
Unfinished
In Progress
Games (to be played)


I have 18 games wairing...

0
Rep
39
Offline
19:24 Feb-25-2018

One by one, to rule them all! The matter is "just don't care about sales", you end up spending more money, reducing your library to a landfill site. I Guess people like it though...

1
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
11:05 Feb-26-2018

I think you're right on that. It's better to get what you want to play right then, when you want it, rather picking up piles of cheap games that you're never actually going to touch. It's taken me a good few years to come round to this way of thinking lol, but it's certainly more satisfying.

1
Rep
1
Offline
17:59 Feb-25-2018

2000 games and counting! only few games played! but I'll buy more!

1
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
18:12 Feb-25-2018

what's the point in buying 2000 games and NOT playing the majority of them?

7
Rep
1
Offline
18:35 Feb-25-2018

most of them are from bundles!
I play only the big titles no junk! But I'm a buyer!

0
Rep
39
Offline
19:14 Feb-25-2018

nice, buy me some games...

6
Rep
74
Offline
17:44 Feb-25-2018

52 games in library, 50 completed, 1 Dota and 1 CS GO. Single players games I pirate since giving 60 euro is too much (Same price in Sweden as in Croatia while the GDP is miles apart). Nothing to manage here.

-1
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
17:34 Feb-25-2018

I don't, there is a search engine for a reason XD

0
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
11:06 Feb-26-2018

Yeah that's fine if you know exactly what you want to play at all times.

0
Rep
17
Offline
17:24 Feb-25-2018

For 741 games I hide those who I will never ever have to install or play again, (around 350). Then I have around 50 games (that I play very often, early access games...) added as favorites so I can easily find them.

1
Rep
2
Offline
16:54 Feb-25-2018

Im at 787 Games atm and what i did to help manage it was to hide all the games i didnt want to play (mostly games from bundles). 408 Games are now hidden, never to be seen again :D

0
Rep
57
Offline
16:54 Feb-25-2018

Simply i play one game at the time. I pick next one by generating random number in website. currently 118 games in library most of them are completed :)

0

Can They Run... |

Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-6260U 1.8GHz UHD Graphics 620 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte Windforce OC 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-2500 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 750 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-3470 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Inno3D Compact 3GB 12GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-10750H 6-Core 2.60GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
Core i7-10750H 6-Core 2.60GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 MSI Ventus XS OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i3-9100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Radeon RX 470 Sapphire Nitro+ 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i3-1005G1 2-Core 1.20GHz UHD Graphics 630 4GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-1005G1 2-Core 1.20GHz UHD Graphics 630 4GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Super Zotac Gaming AMP 6GB 16GB
50% Yes [6 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-7300HQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 1050M Ti 4GB 12GB
Core i7-10750H 6-Core 2.60GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Radeon HD 6670 v2 Gigabyte OC 1GB Edition 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz Radeon RX 560 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB