Valve has rather quietly added a few new features to Steam over the last few days. They’re nothing Earth-shattering at the moment, but there’s enough potential in them to warrant a look. First off they’ve added the Steam Community Market, which is somewhat like Diablo III’s Auction House only this Market will eventually encompass a lot of games. It’s still in beta so for now can only be applied to Team Fortress 2, and you’ll only be able to buy or sell one-shot consumable items.
Valve’s official word on the Market can be found in the FAQ, but a nice overview follows: “The Market should improve trading in every way: People looking for specific items will be able to locate them faster, folks looking to sell items will find the process a lot more efficient, and best of all, we’ve made it easier for everybody to translate playing TF2 into buying games on Steam.”
Any money you make will go into your Steam wallet for future game purchases. Also, Valve takes 15% of the sale money and in the future, publishers will take their percentage cut as well so don’t expect to be able to quit your day-job to become a Team Fortress 2 hat farmer or something.
Another addition to Steam is user-created game guides. If you head over to the various “Game Hubs” that exist in the “Community” tab, you’ll spot a new tab on each Game Hub: the “Guides” tab. For now the Guides are rather barren, but this feature is only a few days old.
Anyone can create a guide for any aspect of any game that has its own Hub. You could make an entire Walkthrough complete with screenshots and embedded YouTube videos, or you can make a simple guide like “How To Roll” in Skyrim. Yep, somebody has made a guide for that.