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Valve has updated Steam’s Discovery Queue to allow filtering of certain categories as well as specific tags.

The new customization options can be accessed by going to the Discovery Queue and clicking on the “Customize your queue” link directly above the “Next in queue” button. Three checkboxes allow customers to exclude three categories of product: Early Access Products (games that are still in development), Software (non-gaming software such as audio engineering software), and Unreleased Products (pages for upcoming software or games that have a Steam page but are not yet available). All three options are checked by default.

The Discovery Queue now allows you to filter out certain types of software as well as specific user-defined tags.

The Discovery Queue now allows you to filter out certain types of software as well as specific user-defined tags.

Aside from filtering out these categories, you can now also tailor your queue by excluding products based on their tags. Tags are created and applied to products on the store by users.

The purpose of the Discovery Queue is to help you find new games you may be interested in, so naturally it excludes certain titles under other circumstances. You won’t be shown any games you already own or have on your wishlist. Items that were previously showcased in your queue will not repeat. The queue will also ignore any title that you’ve flagged as “Not Interested.”

The recent update to Steam’s Discovery Queue is the latest addition to the store’s improvements made last year in the Steam Discovery Update. An analysis of the changes made to Steam’s storefront showed a 30% increase of page views for titles on the Steam Store with 75% of that increase directly attributable to the Discovery Queue.

Quick Take

I rarely use the Discovery Queue as I generally have a pretty good idea of what new games I’m looking to buy. The new options are nice, but I question the utility of the tags system. Valve has, in my opinion, undermined its utility by excluding tags that would be useful such as Console Port. Furthermore, the tags are applied by users and are subjective choices so you risk missing out on something by using tags in this way. If anything, that’s a criticism of how Valve has handled the tags system – this update just shows another way where its utility is weaker than it could be.

What do you think of the change made to the Steam Discovery Queue? Do you feel it will make the tool more useful for you or is it still lacking in important features? Do you think the ability to filter by tags will be helpful considering how they are applied by Steam’s users? Let us know in the comments below!

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

  • DrearierSpider

    My most wished for Steam features.

    1) Permanently disable big picture mode. I’m sick of activating it when I turn off my controller.
    2) Get rid of the goddamn news feed, or at least let me customize what sites appear in it. I’d sooner go skinny dipping in a vat of acid than visit Kraptaku, RPS or PC Gamer.

  • WhiteNut

    All this bullshit that no one asked for but god-forbid this give us better quality control and restrictions on what’s thrown up on Steam Greenlight.

  • Scootinfroodie

    This is almost a wishlist item for me. However, they need to make it apply to more than just the useless discovery queue. I want to be able to filter puzzle platformers, survival games, VN’s and walking sims entirely.
    Oh and also VR games. That should have really been an option when they started flooding the store with them

  • Cazamus

    Today, our savior Gaben has liberated us from the crap that is spam games. RPG Maker, Visual Novel, and hidden object, shall no longer plague us as we try to find something cheap and enjoyable. We now have moved into a new era, one which does not force us to have to view the thousands of new, easy to produce garbage.

  • GrimFate

    Good start. Personally I want the ability to filter games based on user reviews. I know they’re not an 100% reliable way of determining if a game is good, but if a game has overwhelmingly negative reviews, I definitely wouldn’t trust buying it.

  • giygas

    Too bad Valve mothballed the tags that are actually useful, such as the ‘microtransactions’ tag.

  • Mark Zwaan

    Unfortunately the tag system only works when Valve allows it. I’m getting about zero RPG maker games (or bullet hell or mmporg) but I’m still getting at least 50% VR games in my discovery queue. I don’t own a VR headset and have about 0% interest in getting one, since all I keep seeing is shovel-ware and games that make most Kinect titles seem like art. I’m not going to spend another €800 on buying something that will spend most of it’s time gathering dust because the novelty has worn off. But Valve apparently thinks I might still be tempted if they keep showing me more shovel-ware and other cheap looking VR ‘games’. I have trouble calling things like rail shooters and shooting galleries games. I consider them either mini games or activities but I do not consider them as actual games. I have higher expectations of a game, like being able to control my character (without teleporting it from node a to node b) or requiring me to remove walls from my computer room so that I can play “room sized” VR games.