Steam Community Marketplace enters beta testing

 Team Fortress 2 hat

When Portal creator Valve Software first debuted the Steam digital distribution service in 2003, it was a relatively simple online store in which users could purchase Valve’s games without leaving the comfort of their own homes. In the nine years since that time however, Steam has grown into something more. Now Steam users have a wealth of social networking options to help them connect with other gamers. Likewise, if you require producivity software to help you make a game, you’ll find a growing wealth of such programs available for download via Steam.

This morning Valve added a new facet to the options its service offers by pushing the Steam Community Marketplace into open beta testing. As its name would suggest, the Community Marketplace is a player-driven item exchange service that allows users to “expand the Steam Economy beyond trading.” In layman’s terms, this means that items earned within select Steam games can now be bought and sold using funds found in a player’s Steam Wallet. If you’re unfamiliar with how Steam works, the important thing to keep in mind here is that those aforementioned funds are generated by forking over real-world cash to Valve. Previously this money was used mainly for purchasing software through the digital distribution service, but now it can be used to equip your favorite in-game character with new hats, weapons and whatever else Valve decides should be a part of the Steam Economy.

While this kind of item exchange isn’t entirely new to Steam, this is the first time that players will be able to trade real money for virtual goods. Previously players were able to trade items for other items straight up, but by adding a monetary component, Valve hopes to vastly expand the scope of the Steam Economy. “With over a half million trades made every week, the trading system has been very successful,” said Valve software engineer Tony Paloma. “Extending game economies beyond trades and giving players a way to turn gameplay into funds for new items and games is a key component for moving that success forward.”  

As with other additions Valve has made in the past to its Steam service, the firm is slowly rolling out its Community Marketplace to the games its service offers. At the moment the Community Marketplace only works with items found in Valve’s own Team Fortress 2, but the company plans to add Marketplace functionality to other titles just as soon as it can work out all the bugs in its current incarnation. Long-time Steam users will recognize this plan as similar to the one Valve used to roll out the now-infamous in-game hats (pictured above) that permeate a surprisingly large number of Steam-distributed titles, though obviously the company is being more cautious about rolling out this initiative as it could directly impact the bank accounts of the company’s userbase.

If you find yourself suddenly interested in paying real cash for fictional items, you can find full details on the Steam Community Marketplace at the service’s newly-published FAQ page.


Verizon reveals 20 new cities that will get its 5G network in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it has also begun deploying mobile 5G. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network, including when it will be in your town.

Fortnite does whatever it takes in upcoming Avengers: Endgame crossover

Following up the popular and successful Infinity War crossover where players put on the Infinity Gauntlet to become Thanos, it looks like players will be grabbing Captain America's shield in the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame this week.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Epic Games bans more than 1,000 cheaters in 1st week of Fortnite World Cup

Epic Games has already banned more than 1,000 cheaters in the Fortnite World Cup. The developer is taking cheating seriously, especially as players are competing for a $1 million prize pool in every week of the qualifiers.

These are all the games we want to see from Square Enix at E3 2019

Square Enix will once again hold its own press conference for E3 2019. These are the games we want the company to show during the event, including the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Days Gone will receive free post-launch DLC starting in June

Days Gone launches this week and the developers are already setting the stage for post-launch content. Starting in June with the Survivor mode, Bend Studio will begin releasing weekly free updates that include various challenges.
Product Review

Something's rotten in Days Gone, and it's not the zombies

Days Gone’s predictable story is littered with repetitive missions, shoddy stealth and gunplay, and needless survival mechanics. It’s riddled with performance issues, like janky animations and consistent framerate drops.

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.

Jump on your hog and use our guide to fast traveling in Days Gone

Days Gone has a large open world set in the Pacific Northwest, with the main means of travel being Deacon's motorcycle. Fast travel exists, but it's not as simple as it is in some other open world games. Here's what you need to know.

Tips and tricks for beginners entering the postapocalypse in Days Gone

Days Gone has finally arrived on PS4 after multiple days. After more than 35 hours spent in the post-apocalyptic vision of the Pacific Northwest, we've learned a lot. Here are ten tips and tricks to help you get started.

How to raise your trust and earn a good reputation with camps in Days Gone

Days Gone stars a drifter named Deacon St. John in the post-apocalypse. Since he's somewhat of a lone wolf, the people he comes across are leery of him. That's where the Trust system comes into play. Here's what you need to know about it.

Corsair’s Ironclaw, Glaive gaming mice are tuned for performance and comfort

Corsair is adding wireless capabilities to its Ironclaw gaming mouse this year, while the Glaive RGB Pro has been updated for maximum comfort with thoughtful ergonomics. Both mice feature accurate tracking and durable buttons.

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.

Become your favorite Avenger and tackle this week's Fortnite Endgame challenges

The Fortnite Avengers Endgame event is finally here! Players can play as either the heroes or Thanos' army. This limited time event comes with its own challenges including using Iron Man's repulsors, collecting Infinity Stones, and much…