Steam Summer Sale introduces Steam Points currency, wealth of bargains

Computer gaming platform Steam has adopted a road trip theme for its 2020 Summer Sale

Find out about the 2020 Steam Summer Sale's new quirk before springing for some of our best big-name bargains and a handful of alternative hidden gems.

This year's annual Steam Summer Sale runs until July 9, 2020, and as well as the usual slate of catalog-wide reductions, computer game players are now able to give personal awards to fellow users' reviews and game content.

Just as each Steam Sale brings with it a novel twist on community participation, the 2020 Steam Summer Sale institutes the Steam Points system.

This time, though, it's permanent.

Users accumulate 100 points for every $1 USD spent, and those points can be put towards vanity items for their account profile and chat messages.

Some may find they start with a quantity of Steam Points due to purchases made since the end of a Lunar New Year sale event in January.

Points can be used for benevolent purposes too, converting them into awards for Steam's selection of user-generated content: game guides, screenshots, videos and in-game items.

Separately, and in an imitation of the Epic Games Store's $10 USD off for spends of $14.99 and up, Steam is offering $5 off spends of $30 and over.

What of the sale itself? Any must-have bargains?

Aside from wallet-friendly reductions on big hitters like "Borderlands 3" and "Divinity: Original Sin 2" (both 50% off), and "The Witcher 3" (70% off), there are innumerable gems further afield.

Interested in the new, engrossing sci-fi salvaging pursuit "Hardspace: Shipbreaker," for example?

It might not have sunk lower than $19.99 USD (a 20% launch discount good until July 7), but the same studio's real-time strategy "Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak" -- originally "Hardware: Shipbreakers" -- is 90% off at $4.99.

In the mood for a mature open world action game ahead of "Cyberpunk 2077"? Try "Saints Row IV: Game of the Century Edition" if it's not too silly ($4.99, -75%), or rule the neon streets of Tokyo and Osaka in "Yakuza 0" ($4.99, -75%).

Maybe a multiplayer excursion is more your thing. If you don't fancy shelling out $49.99 for "Borderlands 3: Super Deluxe Edition" right now, the superb "Titanfall 2" is on a Steam debut discount until July 9 ($9.89, -67%).

Or grab a fistful of dollars and a bunch of willing pals to expand the playerbase of joltingly colorful, procedurally generated polygonal arena "Relow" ($2.39, -70%). Alternatively, shell out your pocket shrapnel for the proudly low-budget "Welcome to Princetown" ($0.39, -90%).

Finally, there's no denying the prestige of fantasy action adventures "The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition" ($14.99, -70%) and "Divinity: Original Sin 2" ($22.49, -50%). Yet consider standard-raising retro-style adventure "Undertale," which has reached a new low at $3.39 (-66%), and classic action-RPG "Fate" ($1.99, -75%), finally discounted on Steam after five years away from the sales.