With the Steam Summer Sale just recently
coming to a close, the internet’s largest digital video game sale is behind us.
However, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the year won’t be filled with
discounts that savvy gamers can take advantage of.
The digital distribution of video games has
become an increasingly popular way for consumers to purchase games, and it has
also resulted in different standards for how some games are priced and sold.
The cost of shipping and manufacturing cartridges, discs, and cases is
something that digital game publishers never have to worry about.
As a result, the cost of a digitally
distributed game can now be simplified to just the development time and
expenses associated with it. What does that mean for you and me? It could be
the reason behind so many generous sales in recent years, especially for titles
that have aged and are no longer actively developed.
That being said, patient gamers now have the
opportunity to wait out game releases for the perfect moment to pounce on
historical low prices to get the most bang for their buck. How can they do
that? In this article, I’m going to share a few websites to help you find the
perfect time to buy digitally distributed video games on sale.
How to Find Digital Games at the
Lowest Sale Price
With so many online storefronts, comparison
shopping for digital games can become a major headache. However, there are a
few key websites that aggregate distributors and will do all the hard work for
GG.deals is my pick for the best overall solution to finding digital games on sale at a glance. Its user interface is elegant and easy to navigate, and it has the most robust set of features out of all sites like it.
Directly on the site’s homepage, you’ll see
tables for new deals, best deals, and historical lows. GG.deals is unique
because it uses its own algorithm to determine the best available deals at any
given time, scoring them on a 0–10 scale. The score, called their Deal Rating,
is based on historical pricing data, how many users have the game on their
wishlist, and what the current price is.
If you make your own account, GG.deals also
allows you to create and save your own deal filtering sets.
Shown above is a filter I’ve created and
saved. You can see the filtering option above the rows of games. GG.deals will
let you filter based on discount percentage, store availability, Deal Rating,
Metascore, DRM, genre, and more.
GG.deals has special filter options to display
historical lows and hide games that you already own, too. The latter can be
achieved by signing up for an account and linking your Steam account to
GG.deals. While wishlist support for Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle is currently
implemented, collection syncing only works for Steam.
GG.deals also supports deal alerts, allowing
you to set custom triggers for game prices so that you can receive an email
and/or browser notification when games you’re interested in dip below a price
Overall, GG.deals is the most complete and
feature-rich third-party site for finding discounts and sales at over 20 online
IsThereAnyDeal has been around for years, and while many of its users have taken a liking to GG.deals as of late, IsThereAnyDeal still offers some important, exclusive features.
Like GG.deals, IsThereAnyDeal supports
collection and wishlist syncing. One advantage that IsThereAnyDeal’s syncing
has over GG.deals’ is that it supports collection syncing for GOG.
Many other GG.deals features can also be found
over at IsThereAnyDeal, such as deal notifications and filter presets. However,
one area where IsThereAnyDeal is the clear-cut choice is if you’re interested
in browser add-ons and enhancements.
With the Augmented Steam and IsThereAnyDeal
Everywhere browser extensions, users can completely change the way they
experience the Steam website. Augmented Steam adds a slew of features directly
to it, like more pricing information, highlighted owned and wishlisted games,
and performance surveys, while IsThereAnyDeal Everywhere is a lighter extension
that allows users at-a-glance historical pricing information when hovering
If GG.deals is your game deals website of choice, you should still strongly consider the browser extensions that IsThereAnyDeal offers. Augmented Steam and IsThereAnyDeal Everywhere are available for Chrome and Firefox.
Automation can’t be relied on for everything,
and this holds true for when it comes to comparison shopping. Sometimes, a
little manual insight can go a long way.
If you’re looking for hand-picked deals, Reddit’s /r/GameDeals is a great option. /r/GameDeals is a subreddit with nearly 650,000 subscribers that updates daily with the latest digital (and physical) game deals.
Reddit’s upvote system relies on its community
to help self-moderate submissions, so the deals you see posted here are not
only selected by gamers like you, but the ones you see at the top should be
those with the highest approval rating.
/r/GameDeals is a valuable community that
helps humanize the process of selecting relevant and historical game sales.
With these three websites, tracking price drops and game sales should be a breeze. Keep in mind, though, that purchasing games during sales isn’t the only way to save cash while gaming. Be sure to check out our list of the best Windows video game subscription services, too!