For Steam users, FAQs for your favorite game are just a Shift-Tab away.
As gamers, we’ve got it pretty good when it comes to game guides. Back in the day, if you got stuck on an especially difficult level, you’d either have to track down a magazine that published game walkthroughs or find a friend who knew the solution. Then the internet happened, and services like GameFAQs allowed us to find guides, walkthroughs, and cheat codes instantaneously through the browser of our choosing. Gamers love the arrangement, even if magazine publishers don’t, but Valve thinks they can make game guides even better. The digital publisher has opened the doors for users to self-publish Steam Guides in its Community Hubs, all of which can be accessed directly through the Steam Overlay without turning off your game.
Unlike official game guides published through Steam, community guides are entirely controlled by individual Steam users. Not only will this allow for a multitude of free guides to be published very quickly (currently over 1000 and rising), it also allows for a wider variety of guide topics. For example, right now players can find multiple walkthroughs, class-specific strategies, weapon and item descriptions, and even tips for optimizing your game. Creators also have the ability to embed screenshots, YouTube videos, and data tables that can make their guides both comprehensive and visually engaging.
Steam Guides can be accessed through any Community Hub, but most players will likely Shift + Tab their way to the Overlay instead. From there, a Guides tab lists the most popular guides for the game you’re currently playing, as well as those you’ve recently read. The convenience of the system is pretty hard to dispute, and since Valve follows up new services with a multitude of updates, Steam Guides could very well include more features in the coming months.