If you’re a budding PC gamer and you’re coming to grips with how buying games work, here’s a guide on how three of the biggest game stores used in Malaysia, and what benefits they offer gamers such as yourself.
This is the go-to platform for most gamers for two reasons – it has arguably the widest inventory of games, which range from comforting indie titles like Stardew Valley, to big-budget AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077. Steam also has two of the worlds’ best e-sports titles in DOTA 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (which are free-to-play as well.
Also an added benefit to buying games on Steam is the ability to game on the Steam Deck, a portable PC created by Valve specifically for its users.The second reason for its popularity is the inclusion of user reviews for every title – the PC gaming-community can be a harsh one, yes – but they’re usually honest. To make sure these reviews hold water, other users can also rate these reviews – the positively-voted reviews will show up first.Prices for games are listed in Ringgit (RM) and you can always look forward to sale and promo periods – every festivity is a reason for Steam to give you a discount; and that’s when you can score awesome deals on your wishlist.
Besides that, it has a simple but effective chatting feature that includes voice and text-based communications. Steam can essentially be used as a social networking platform as well with each user owning a personal page, friend-adding, groups for games, and more. On top of that, there’s cloud storage so your data can be carried over across multiple devices.
Epic Games Store
This is a relatively new platform that has resorted to giving out free games one a weekly basis to lure new-comers – and we’ve seen big-name titles such as Control, Grand Theft Auto V, and Hitman go for free; so we’re not complaining.
Although not as extensive as Steam’s, the list of games on Epic is plentiful too – there are also ‘exclusives’ that can only be found on Epic; think the entire Kingdom Hearts series, Fortnite, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Dauntless, Hitman 3, and more.
The platform offers discounts and promos too on a regular basis, and Epic sometimes offer vouchers that will make your purchases even cheaper.
The downside with Epic is the lack of a user review section – the closest you get is a link to Open Critic where you can read Audience Reviews. Other users cannot rate these reviews like on Steam, so you should take them with a grain of salt.
On top of that, Epic doesn’t have the same kind of community mechanics built-in such as groups and discussions, and it may be harder to find help for your issues.
This platform was created by Electronic Arts (EA), if you enjoy their games, you’ll find most, if not all, of their titles listed on this platform. Your choices range from the very extensive Star Wars franchise, to very popular sports titles like FIFA and Madden, plus also shooters like Apex Legends and Battlefield.
It wasn’t until recently that EA started working with Valve to offer their games on Steam, so there aren’t a lot of exclusives to mention in Origin’s lineup of games; but with that said, there are plenty of great titles to choose from – albeit not as extensive as Steam’s.
Origin also offers the EA Play, and Play Pro subscriptions which offer you all sorts of titles available to play for free, those that aren’t free will still get 10% off. Plus, EA Play Pro subscribers can also get early access to new games. The subscription is also offered via Steam, but that you only get the standard EA Play subscription.
If you’re not subscribed, game prices usually stick to retail rates, but some titles can even be cheaper than on Steam.
Flaws of the platform include the total lack of a user reviews column, and store browsing isn’t as enjoyable – it’s filled with not just listings for game titles, but for their DLCs, game passes, and in-game currencies, which makes the page looked cluttered.
There is also no community feature to speak of, and no in-game voice-chat, which was a feature they removed back in 2020; meaning you’ll need to use the in-game comms features, or a third-party app like Discord.
Steam offers the most titles, offer promotions frequently, and a feature-laden platform which consist of community, user reviews, text and voice chat, friend profile pages, and an easy-to-use store.
Epic offers plenty of titles too, plus free weekly games, exclusive titles, and relatively frequent discounts as well. It lacks a proper community hub, and reviews are sourced from third-party pages.
Origin is an EA-focused platform first, but it also has plenty of other titles to choose from too. Use this if you want the EA Play Pro subscription for free games, early access, and 10% discounts on all games. Its store is messy, and there are no community features, or even voice chat.