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Valve Launches Steam Trading Beta

New bartering system is almost assuredly the first step toward launching a reality show, where middle-aged overweight men haggle for the contents of abandoned Steam accounts.

Have you ever had a leftover or gifted game sitting around your hard drive, and wished to yourself, "Man, I sure do wish I could trade this to a friend for a sweet in-game item in Team Fortress 2!"? Then friends, does Valve ever have a sweet new offer for you!

Today marks the launch of the Steam Trading beta, a new system within the Steam client that allows users to trade everything from random in-game items to full games with each other at the drop of the hat. Unless of course the thing you're trading is a hat. Then you probably shouldn't drop that.

This seems fair.

Users can opt in by going to their settings tab and selecting the "opt into Steam Trading beta" option. Once you're in, you can set up a trade with anyone on your friends list that has also opted in, or anyone residing within a group chat you happen to be in. Currently, the only title that supports in-game item trading is Team Fortress 2, but Portal 2 is expected to receive support next, and Valve aims to add support to several third-party titles as well. As for full games, any game that has been gifted to you, or came as part of a package release as an extra copy can be traded away, meaning it's now easier to regift than ever before.

The idea of trading digital copies of games does present an interesting theory. While the current scope of Steam Trading is limited to games that haven't been opened on a users' PC, what's to stop this concept from morphing into a method of online used game sales? Yes, issues like install keys, DRM, and whatever else probably make that a difficult prospect beyond the scope of games purchased within the Steam client, but even still, it's an interesting concept to think about.

Regardless, that's probably a ways off, if it ever happens at all. Right now, you'll just have to stick to trading hats for unwanted gifted copies of AquaNox 2: Revelation. Seriously, if anyone wants this copy of AquaNox 2, I will just give it to you. I sincerely have no idea how my dad even found that thing on Steam, let alone thought I would want it.

Alex Navarro on Google+
98 Comments
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Posted by Alex

Have you ever had a leftover or gifted game sitting around your hard drive, and wished to yourself, "Man, I sure do wish I could trade this to a friend for a sweet in-game item in Team Fortress 2!"? Then friends, does Valve ever have a sweet new offer for you!

Today marks the launch of the Steam Trading beta, a new system within the Steam client that allows users to trade everything from random in-game items to full games with each other at the drop of the hat. Unless of course the thing you're trading is a hat. Then you probably shouldn't drop that.

This seems fair.

Users can opt in by going to their settings tab and selecting the "opt into Steam Trading beta" option. Once you're in, you can set up a trade with anyone on your friends list that has also opted in, or anyone residing within a group chat you happen to be in. Currently, the only title that supports in-game item trading is Team Fortress 2, but Portal 2 is expected to receive support next, and Valve aims to add support to several third-party titles as well. As for full games, any game that has been gifted to you, or came as part of a package release as an extra copy can be traded away, meaning it's now easier to regift than ever before.

The idea of trading digital copies of games does present an interesting theory. While the current scope of Steam Trading is limited to games that haven't been opened on a users' PC, what's to stop this concept from morphing into a method of online used game sales? Yes, issues like install keys, DRM, and whatever else probably make that a difficult prospect beyond the scope of games purchased within the Steam client, but even still, it's an interesting concept to think about.

Regardless, that's probably a ways off, if it ever happens at all. Right now, you'll just have to stick to trading hats for unwanted gifted copies of AquaNox 2: Revelation. Seriously, if anyone wants this copy of AquaNox 2, I will just give it to you. I sincerely have no idea how my dad even found that thing on Steam, let alone thought I would want it.

Posted by Arceion

Im happy with it :D

Posted by IamTerics

Gasp

Posted by Nictel

I love this, totally love this. I have some hats, who will gift me Dues Ex 3?

Posted by baconbringer

This could be useful.

Posted by zanshin

I'll take that copy of Aquanox 2!

Posted by Ali_D

Seems like a handy thing to have. I've been put off buying bundles in Steam sales because I hate the idea of buying a game(s) that I've already got. If I can regift it or get TF2 swag, then that's a good move.

Posted by aceofspudz

Dibs on Alex's copy of AquaNox. My steam name is the same as my username.

Posted by dungbootle

I really don't know about this.

Posted by George_Hukas

Too bad its up to individual developers what I do with my digital copies. This would be the best program if you're ever able to trade more than just Steam gifts.

Posted by Ares42

Valve again showing how something should be done, without nickle and dimeing their costumers. Unlike certain other companies :P

Posted by Legend

If only we could trade any game we own on Steam, now that's a revolutionary step for digital game stores.

Posted by ectoplasma

I still have 3 copies of Borderlands...

Posted by RandomInternetUser

Could be useful, but I probably won't use it unless they start letting you trade games you actually own and have already played, which is highly, highly unlikely.

Posted by RandomInternetUser
@ectoplasma said:

I still have 3 copies of Borderlands...

I would be interested in one of those copies.
Posted by Ramone

'Once you're in, anyone on your friends list that has also opted in, or anyone residing within a group chat you happen to be in.'

Hate to be the one to point this out but that sentence makes no sense. Anyway this seems sort of cool.

Posted by Hockeymask27

No my days of getting free games is over!

Posted by fisk0

I guess we won't be getting giftable/tradeable copies of non-giftable games you already had that were bundled with others. I would've had a duplicate copy of Counter-Strike (as I got it with both Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Half-life Generation), and numerous copies of Machinarium, Samorost, Braid and Trine if that had been possible.

Posted by Arceion
@ectoplasma: I dont even have one copy ;) WINK WINK
Posted by bigsmoke77

One of the best subtitles I have seen on Giantbomb. Bravo Alex

Posted by sirdesmond

I love how the wiki for AquaNox 2 has absolutely nothing on it except for like 3 screenshots.

Posted by Funkydupe

Interesting! We need to be able to trade 'Used' Steam games as well. I guess it'll harm sales for Valve just a little, but that's just a bonus.

Posted by Taka

I trade my copy of Portal 1 for a copy of Portal 1

Edited by Cubical

I tried to Trade some of my extra copy steam games for Furry porn once. 
 
It didn't work since everybody already has  50 copies of stuff like portal since valve gives them away like candy. 
 
I also tried to trade them for free copies of Autodesk maya and 3d studio max  and mudbox but that didn't work either since  the games are not worth $7000 like those So i am still stuck with free student versions 
 
 Fuck i could not even get a old copy of photoshop or  chicken mcnuggets for my steam games extras.

Posted by AzHP

So I can't gift games that came in a pack that I don't want? Bummer...

Posted by BeefyGrandmole

@ectoplasma: @ectoplasma said:

I still have 3 copies of Borderlands...

i would trade for that :)

Posted by mrv321

I'll take your copy of Aquanox 2 and to improve my offer I'll do a let's play of it.

Posted by Nictel
Posted by vonFlampanker

I dig this. I'd dig a universal ability to gift duplicate games, too. I'll have to see if they allow a "trade for nothing" option.

Edited by Korolev

Hm. Not bad. I have some Steam Games that I don't play anymore.... like Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, as well as all the Sam & Max games (after you play them once, is there really any call to play them again?) Perhaps I could trade them in for ... Red Faction Guerilla?

EDIT: Stupid me, I didn't read the post properly. You can only trade games for HATS? Bah. Useless.

Posted by Silver-Streak

I had one of the Gentle Manne's Medals from way back when I actually played TF2. I offered it up on the forums, and someone traded me a copy of EYE for it. Had I waited another 30 seconds, another person messaged me and offered EYE and Dues Ex Human Revolution. I'm perfectly happy with getting free games for something I had no use for.

Posted by DapperSwineGames

This is something many users do already. There's no harm in making it less of a hassle.

Posted by hazzard4123

Teddy Roosebelt for L4D1? Not worth it. It's worth about 2.5 Teddy Roosebelts, or 2 Bill's, or a Buds. Yay TF2 economy jargon!

Posted by Akrid

Seems pretty useless outside of the crazy people who have already been trading games for hats... Hopefully it at least leads to something actually cool.

Posted by PolyesterPimp
@ectoplasma: but do you have a copy to trade me for portal 1? No? Well think about that again.
Posted by Codeacious
@hazzard4123 said:
Teddy Roosebelt for L4D1? Not worth it. It's worth about 2.5 Teddy Roosebelts, or 2 Bill's, or a Buds. Yay TF2 economy jargon!
I'd do it for 2 painted Bill's (Black/White) plus a key, to make up that $2 difference.
Posted by zaglis

They are so totally testing this for DOTA2, guys. Totally

Posted by onimonkii

i traded a flamethrower for a crate and then i traded the crate to someone else for a jar of piss. 
 
tradin up~

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

What's the point everyone already bought every game Steam has to offer during the sales.

Posted by TheChaos

Will I be able to trade games with a friend and beat it, then trade back? 
Cuz I have a lot of games my friend would wanna play.

Posted by enemymouse

Is this the real reason why EA doesn't want BF3 on Steam? I can see the logic of the official statement about dlc restrictions, but this looks like a bigger deal in pure monetary terms.

Posted by MaFoLu

Can you trade a game for another game, or can you just trade TF2item>game and vice versa?

Posted by Tordah

This seem like a really interesting idea. However, it's a bummer that almost all games that come in bundles are ungiftable games, even if you already owned it.

Posted by megajew

Hats off to 'em.

Posted by Shuborno

What TF2 has spawned must seem so damn crazy to people who don't play TF2.

It's crazy to me and I do play TF2. I remember the days when I logged in to my favourite servers running one of 6 maps and shot projectiles at enemies with my class's single primary weapon.

Random Drops/Achievement Hunting/Unlocks/Crafting/Trading/Coloured Hats/Levelling Weapons/Rare Items/Microtransactions???

Posted by TorMasturba

@Mr_Skeleton said:

What's the point everyone already bought every game Steam has to offer during the sales.

I know right, I have 155 games at the moment. They're all the games that I actually want from Steam, the rest is outside my interest zone.

Posted by Kasswara
@megajew said:
Hats off to 'em.
Posted by ajamafalous

@hazzard4123 said:

Teddy Roosebelt for L4D1? Not worth it. It's worth about 2.5 Teddy Roosebelts, or 2 Bill's, or a Buds. Yay TF2 economy jargon!

I would gladly trade my copy of L4D1 (or 2) for a Teddy Roosebelt.

Posted by monkeyroach

AquaNox 2 is a pretty cool game.Not sure why people hate it so much.

Edited by mekklesak

I'd much prefer web-browser-TF2-item-crafting and drops for item management, like during a glance at one's TF2-backpack (so that technically: you're still playing the game even though an instance of it isn't actively running, even in the background), and/or web-browser-replay-management (recording, editing and saving) to trading, but it's a start.  
 
edit: (so that you could do crafting and video editing, from... like an iPad. That would be awesome) 
 
edit, edit: ...Because you have to "drop everything" to do either while playing TF2 too, since Valve has the omni-present warning about the mortality of your unedited and "unsaved" videos hovering above your replay collection.

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