Steam Blog: Search Updates


Explosive Barrels
May 10, 2019
We've just released new features designed to make Search more powerful and easier to use. With new filtering capabilities and quality of life improvements, Steam Search is now even better at helping you browse for new games, or narrow in on exactly what you're looking for.

Steam Labs
Today's changes to Search were made as part of Steam Labs, an initiative where we try out upcoming changes and gather feedback on their usefulness.

By developing new features in Labs we're able to experiment more, without impacting everyone who uses Steam. This means we can try things which might not work out, and can receive user feedback much earlier in the development process. Not everyone uses Steam the same way, so the feedback we receive in Steam Labs helps us serve a wider audience.

Our Search experiment started as an exploration of new ranking algorithms, but based upon user feedback it expanded to include the many quality of life improvements in today's release. While large features often get the most attention, smaller changes are essential for a smoother user experience.

What is Search, Anyway?
Steam Search does more than just looking up games; it's a powerful tool that drives many of our discoverability features, including Top Sellers and Specials pages. Today's features are available anywhere the Search tool is used across the store.

Narrow by Price and Special Offers

Search now supports setting a maximum price, and a filter to only see special offers. If you're looking for a game in your budget, or hoping to discover just the right thing during a sale, this control will help you find the games you want.

Include and Exclude by Tag

We've introduced new ways to leverage tags to find the games you'll love. Tags now show a preview of how many results will be returned, making it easier to see which are most relevant to your search. By popular demand, it's also possible to exclude tags from your search. If you're a fan of survival games, but not horror or zombies, you can now search to your exact taste.

Our 'sort by relevance' algorithm will also place heavier weight on tags you've requested, meaning you'll see more relevant results up front, making it easier to find compelling titles, independent of whether they're popular.

Hide Games You Already Know

We've heard from you that it can be frustrating to browse through search results that include a lot of games you already know about. Our new filters allow you to hide games that are ignored, wishlisted, or already in your library. These controls can be enabled or disabled without reloading your search, and their settings are preserved between searches.

Exclude VR-Only Games

Search is all about finding games that are relevant to you. If you don't own a VR headset, then seeing VR-only titles may not interest you. It's now possible to exclude these titles from your search, while still seeing VR-supported titles you can play without a headset.

Infinite Scroll

Rather than having to manually click through pages, we now automatically load more results when you scroll. Your search, and the position in it, will be remembered if you click on any result, and then return to the search page using your browser's back button.

For those who prefer the older paginated view, infinite scroll can be configured via your Store Preferences.

Find Games in Your Language

If you're using Search in a language other than English, then your language will be shown first in the language filter control, and that control will be moved to near the top of the search page.

Future Development
We've received a lot of amazing feedback during Search's time in Steam Labs, so this isn't the end of our Search improvements. If you would like to help us design and refine new features, head over to our Steam Labs page and try out the experiments that catch your interest. We'd love to hear from you!

Try the updated Search now!

via Steam Blog.
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