Which is Better for Gamers: Steam or GOG

If you are buying computer games, which is better for you to buy from: Steam or Good Old Games?

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Which is better for gamers: Steam or GOG

Many people play video games. A good portion of those gamers plays their games on their personal computer. Of the players on computers, many of them purchase and play their games from sites that sell games, the two most famous of them being Valve’s platform called Steam, and Good old Games, or GOG for short.

Valve is a large company, as they create games, Steam itself, and the HTC Vive, a virtual reality headset. Some of the titles on Steam, such as Portal, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2,   a fun virtual reality game called The Lab, and the Half-Life series, are exclusive to Steam, though all of them besides Team Fortress 2 can be played on a console. Other people can still publish their games on Steam, which makes up the majority of Steam content. On GOG, the only games are the ones published by other people, not the creators of GOG. This means some of Steam’s games are exclusive to Steam, whereas you can buy some games on either GOG, Steam, or Humble Bundle, another game site.

Steam has easier mod support than GOG. A mod is when you download content made by a player onto the base game, such as adding a new user-made area, item, or others. With Steam, you can go under the game’s page and click “Workshop” to see all the mods, if any, for the game. Then you can click “Subscribe” on any mods you want. The next time the game loads, they will be in the game. GOG also has the same support, but you have to download a file, put it into the games main files, and hope you did it right. The process on GOG varies from game to game, but it is still very possible. Some games even have features exclusive to the Steam release, such as Spelunky’s online challenge mode only being available for players on Steam, due to online play being easier on it.

Another upside of Steam is the support for virtual reality. When you buy an HTC Vive, Valve’s virtual reality headset, it comes with a game called The Lab, exclusive to Valve’s platform. GOG specializes in regular computer games instead. Steam has an entire category of games playable on the Vive. You can play many of these on other virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, but you can get them on GOG.

One of the downsides of Steam is the fact it has DRM or Digital Rights Management. This means you can’t install them on other computers and have them work while you are working. If you are playing a game on Steam and have some of your games on someone else’s computer too then when they boot up the game it will literally close your game without asking you to save. This is how I lost a lot of progress in a few games. With GOG, they believe if you have the game, you own it and can have it on as many computers as you want with as many people playing it at a time as you want. This is why when I get a new computer game I usually buy it from GOG if it doesn’t have good mod support so everyone can play it.

Another difference is that Steam has way more games. This is because they are made by a large company, so publishers are more likely to go to Steam first. GOG has mostly Indie titles or old games, hence the name Good Old Games. Most GOG games look more accessible and unique than the games on Steam, which after browsing the “Latest” page appears to be First Person Shooters, Battle Royales that look like Fortnite, or funny pixelated Roguelike games. I have nothing against these kinds of games, but when comparing the Steam store to GOG’s, it appears that GOG consists mostly of games you might not have heard of or ones that have a unique twist on gameplay. If you compare the games on Steam and GOG, you can find that many Steam games are by big companies and focus on graphics and story, were as GOG has smaller titles that focus on variety and finely tuned gameplay.

I buy games equally from both of these places. If I am looking for a game with online content or fun mods to play, I would go get it from Steam. If it doesn’t have mod support or online play, I purchase it from GOG, so if my brother wants to play, he can without suddenly “crashing” my game. They both are good for different reasons.