How to VASTLY improve your Steam layout

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Steam has been going for 16 years now, but are you getting everything out of it that you can? If your Steam layout is still set to its default settings, we've got some top tips that could vastly improve your experience with the iconic game-launcher.

Individuality is something that everyone has and wants to express in their own way, and the Steam client allows you to go your own way with the help of apps, add-ons, and built-in skins.

Here are a few tips that will help you carve out your own style on Steam.

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Find a new look on Steam Skins

Think of this website like the Web Store on Google Chrome. You browse to the themes section and you can choose or search a colour scheme that best suits you.

The same applies here; pick purple if you want to match your USB slippers, or a shade of red to match your lighting when streaming. It’s very easy to apply these to your client, as this feature is built into Steam. You only need to go onto ‘Steam Skins’, choose which one you’d like, and Steam will do the rest.

Allow downloads during gameplay

There are many other tweaks you can make to Steam beyond just remixing the looks.

We’ve all been there: when there’s a huge file size for a game to download, but to use your time wisely, you decide to play a game for an hour. But once you’re done, you realise that the download had paused the entire time.

But no more! Go to Settings, then the Downloads tab. Check the box that says ‘Allow Downloads During Gameplay’.

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Now you can play a game while your preload of Resident Evil 3 Remake downloads in the background.

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Embrace the browser extensions

You can find browser extensions when you log into the Steam Store, some of which can give you a much clearer understanding of any game that you’re tempted to purchase.

Steam Database for Google Chrome has loads of benefits: it expands the store to add other helpful links such as SteamDB; it adds quick links to sell your items from your inventory; and it highlights online stats on game pages.

Augmented Steam for Firefox is another good one. It enables a much more focused layout, which includes: historical pricing for a game; a button to open the game page within the Steam client; a summary of OpenCritic and MetaCritic ratings.

That’s only a small slice of what the extension can offer, but overall, it really helps when looking at a game you’ve been following since it was unveiled.

These extensions are only the cusp of what else could be created for the Steam client this decade, and we'll be sure to keep you updated as more epic add-ons are announced.