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The Discovery Queue is a feature that many people probably miss or just don't use. I use it from time to time but it was a little basic. Valve has put live the next Steam Labs experiment to overhaul Discovery Queue.

With the Discovery Queue the idea is that Valve picks a bunch of games based on your interests, then you click through to see if something grabs you. It is a wonderful idea but it definitely was in need of a facelift for sure.

Some of the highlights of their changes include:

  • Launch into the queue without leaving the page you are on
  • Simplified presentation of key details about each game to give you a taste of what that game is about
  • See why each game is being recommended specifically to you; maybe it's because you have friends who play it, or it's similar to other games you play, for example
  • Add a game to your wishlist with the click of a button or view the game's full store page for a more in-depth view
  • Ignore games that just aren't your jam. We'll make sure to hide them in the future.

They also plan to add in future a new display on the Steam homepage, the ability to launch it from any store page, layout optimizations for different screen sizes and full support for the Steam Deck gamepad UI too.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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13 comments
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Pengling 12 Jul
The main problem I have with the Discovery Queue doesn't sound like it's even being addressed by these updates: It too often recommends random stuff "because it's popular", to the detriment of recommending stuff that matches what I actually play and have on my wishlist.

There's no point in recommending the latest all-singing-all-dancing DLC-and-microtransactions-riddled licensed sports or war game to a gal whose main gig is cutesy action games and stuff with a retro angle - it's not something that I would ever buy, and their (generally correct) statement that gaming tastes can change over time would never apply to that.
I agree with Pengling.... why is the Discovery Queue keeps recommending me sexual visual novels and call fo duty style games when my top 5 most played games rFactor 2(6,286hours), GTR2(4,779hours), Automobilista 2(3,856 hours), rFactor (3,128 hours) and Automobilista(3,027 hours), (yeah i use to play a ton of racing sims before moving to Linux) and have never played a visual novel game in my life and have none wishlisted either.......

theres not point in using the Discovery Queue except to get the sale card during the sales as it does a terrible job at showing me games i might actually be interested in......
CatKiller 12 Jul
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I've found the discovery queue quite helpful for finding games I'm interested in keeping an eye on. I also have Steam's settings set to never show me visual novels.
Ehvis 12 Jul
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The main problem of the discovery queue is probably the same as that of the "More like this" section. Some of the matches are completely outrageous. Go to the "Beat Saber" page, more like this .... Assetto Corsa. Right. If it can't do that right, the queue can't do any better.

That said, I've occasionally found things in the queue that I had never heard about and were interesting, so even now it has been useful.
I haven't looked at the Steam Discovery Queue in years. For that matter, I have never gone "shopping" on Steam just randomly looking for a game to buy that I wasn't previously aware of.
QuoteAdd a game to your wishlist with the click of a button or view the game's full store page for a more in-depth view
This sounds like the kind of change I will hate. Why would I want to add a game to my wishlist without viewing the full page first? Now it just sounds like viewing the full page will be an extra click. At least it's optional for now.

QuoteThere's no point in recommending the latest all-singing-all-dancing DLC-and-microtransactions-riddled licensed sports or war game to a gal whose main gig is cutesy action games and stuff with a retro angle - it's not something that I would ever buy, and their (generally correct) statement that gaming tastes can change over time would never apply to that.
You can exclude games with certain tags from appearing in your wishlist, but that often isn't fine-grained enough to remove what you want to remove without removing other stuff too.
Kimyrielle 12 Jul
Quoting: PenglingThe main problem I have with the Discovery Queue doesn't sound like it's even being addressed by these updates: It too often recommends random stuff "because it's popular", to the detriment of recommending stuff that matches what I actually play and have on my wishlist.

There's no point in recommending the latest all-singing-all-dancing DLC-and-microtransactions-riddled licensed sports or war game to a gal whose main gig is cutesy action games and stuff with a retro angle - it's not something that I would ever buy, and their (generally correct) statement that gaming tastes can change over time would never apply to that.

Pretty much this. My taste in gaming seems to be very much not mainstream, despite me playing quite a number of mainstream games. Ok, what my friends play Steam doesn't know, because the only persons on my friends list are my immediate family. But even given that, I don't get why the queue still recommends me shooters, platformers and racing games when I have about zero minutes played in either of these genres and they do know THAT. If I wanted to see what's currently popular I can always look at the sales rankings. The point of the queue should be recommending me games I have a chance to like but so far do not own. But it rather seems to be "Look, this person doesn't play shooters yet, so let's try and sell her some shooters! Everyone likes shooters, right?"
Pengling 12 Jul
Quoting: StoneColdSpidertheres not point in using the Discovery Queue except to get the sale card during the sales as it does a terrible job at showing me games i might actually be interested in......
Wait, what's a sale card? I'm still fairly new to using Steam (been using it for probably about eight months - I was last a PC gamer when you could go and buy big-box releases at Toys 'R' Us), and I've never heard of this before.

Quoting: RandomizedKirbyTree47You can exclude games with certain tags from appearing in your wishlist, but that often isn't fine-grained enough to remove what you want to remove without removing other stuff too.
Yeah, I've got some of that going on, but you nailed it, the lack of fine-grained control is exactly the problem - I don't want it nuking things that I would actually be interested in but just haven't found yet! For example, say that I wanted an alternative to Rocket League - I can't filter out "sports" in that case because something like that would definitely carry that tag even though it's a fantastical take on the activity.

Quoting: KimyrielleThe point of the queue should be recommending me games I have a chance to like but so far do not own. But it rather seems to be "Look, this person doesn't play shooters yet, so let's try and sell her some shooters! Everyone likes shooters, right?"
That's what I was thinking, too! I'm only a fairly recent console ex-pat, but I already have a lot of time clocked with the main genres that I like (2D platformers, cute roguelites, weird random niche stuff like Yume Nikki, and an ungodly amount of hours in Super Bomberman R Online, mainly), and I barely get any recommendations in that vein - it comes off like a lot of it is trying to "convert" me. When I hear about stuff on Steam, it's usually through word-of-mouth (which is fine, I like that), and not through the algorithm that actually has access to data about what I play and which really should be able to show me these things.

I discovered a game called Bombslinger, yesterday - it's a Spaghetti Western-themed cross between Bomberman and roguelites, and really should've come up in the Discovery Queue considering what I play. It didn't, and I only heard about it because I saw a random mention of it from another Bomberman fan. Amazingly, Steam says that this game doesn't look like anything that I've played in the past. What?!

At least it's not as awful as the short-lived Switch eShop Recommendations feature that Nintendo UK used to have on their website, which would only show three titles at a time (it was supposed to cycle out every couple of weeks or so, but that didn't always work) and which never even got remotely close to my tastes, but at times the Steam Discovery Queue is not terribly far off, and that's a pity.


Last edited by Pengling on 12 July 2022 at 11:52 pm UTC
Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: StoneColdSpidertheres not point in using the Discovery Queue except to get the sale card during the sales as it does a terrible job at showing me games i might actually be interested in......
Wait, what's a sale card? I'm still fairly new to using Steam (been using it for probably about eight months - I was last a PC gamer when you could go and buy big-box releases at Toys 'R' Us), and I've never heard of this before.

During the Summer and Winter sales Steam has limited time cards you can collect and when you collect the set you can craft them into a badge...... there are usually 10 cards in a set........ You can get these cards several ways..... You get 1 card for every 10 Freedom Eagles (depending on where you live your currency rate may be different, for me its around 14 Dollarydoos) you spend in the steam store during the sale, buy them on the steam community market and the other is doing the Discovery Queue everday during the sale.... (You use to get 3 cards per day via the Discovery Queue but in recent sales its down to 1 card per day).....

Hope that helps, even tho i do suck at explaining things..... which is why i got a job at a helpdesk
I've definitely tried to engage with the discovery queue before; according to Steam I've looked at 1,707 games, and wishlisted 22 from the discovery queue, for a ~1.3% successful conversion rate (though I can't remember any specific ones I discovered from it off the top of my head). I'm not sure if that's because the algorithm is bad, or because I'm just very picky in what I play. I've got pretty eclectic tastes, so I'm sure the algorithm starts short-circuiting every time I load it up trying to find new things I might like. I'm giving this new version a try now. Initial impressions:

  • It's quite fast to switch between games, which is a positive. Instead of loading up the full page for each title, it just shows a sort-of trailer and some quick information like tags and "why [the algorithm thinks] this game is relevant to you". This enables much faster flicking between games when you look at one and instantly know you're not interested.

  • Unfortunately, clicking on the "store page" for a game still takes you to that page, which loses your place in the queue when you navigate back. In practice this isn't terrible since you can now flick back to where you were in a matter of seconds with the new speedy interface, but it still feels tacky.

I guess one way to use the new version would be to rapid-fire through a bunch of games quickly; anything that has you tempted to click the store page button, wishlist it instead. Then, when you've gotten tired of going through games, head over to your wishlist and sort through what you've just added. Note that I'm not endorsing this new way of using it, just pointing out a possible way of doing so. With my Steam Deck having arrived last week (just as the summer sale was ending, of course) I'm on the lookout for some more games that would go well with its form factor, so I'll probably give this method a try. (The evidence above suggests I need to look at about 100 games to find one that interests me, better get started I guess…)
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