Why it matters: There are over 35,000 games on Steam, and many of them are, for want of a better word, crap. That huge number means looking for something interesting involves trawling through a lot of garbage, but Valve’s new search filter should make things easier.
Part of its Steam Labs experiment, a hub Valve launched last year for testing experimental Steam features, the expanded search function arrived in September and has now gone fully live.
Some of the new filters include searching for games by setting a maximum price or opting to see special offers only. Users can hide ignored items, those on their wishlist, and any in their library. It’s also possible to exclude VR-only games, which will be appreciated by those who don’t own a virtual reality headset, and there’s even a language filter control for those using anything other than English.
Possibly the most useful new search feature is the ability to include and exclude tags. Searches will show a preview of how many results will be returned, and you can tailor the results to your own tastes—Valve notes it’s possible, for example, to search for survival games but exclude the horror and zombie genres.
Finally, search now has an infinite scroll, meaning no more having to click through pages. If you’re not a fan of this feature, the older paginated view can be selected in the Store Preferences.
Valve said it plans to add more improvements to search. It directs users to the Steam Labs page to try out the experiments and help it design and refine features.