Players accuse Valve of not thinking about them most of the time, and though the service is doing a great job, sometimes it could put more effort in making their customers happy. Despite the fact that Steam has been the most popular gaming client for ages, Valve doesn’t seem to care much about making it look up-to-date.
It’s worth noting they usually have a ton of other problems, as, for example, the client’s stability and games they own, but such an enormous corporation could put at least a little effort into making their games happy. Well, enough fretting about Gabe Newell not caring for gamers – all in all, most of the players have an excellent grasp of the technical aspects of the client and can improve the appearance themselves. This indifference was the reason why steam skins appeared.
Steams Skins: A Way to Make Your Client More Fun
Every great idea starts with a problem, and this is just what happened with Steam overlay skins. Someone got utterly bored with the standard view and had enough time and skill to change the existing situation, and this led to first Steam skins appearing. Though there is still little diversity, you don’t need to program the exterior of the app yourself, you can just find a ready one on the Internet.
After a quick search, though, it turns out that there are barely 20 different skins for your beloved (or hated, it depends on) gaming client for now. However, this is good news at the same time – it means that times of diversity and crazy art are ahead.
The only website you are suggested if you ask the almighty Google “how to download Steam skins” is SteamSkins.org. The other are mostly reviews and articles offering you the best 5 skins from the website before. Also you sometimes bump into Patheron pages of skins creators, like this one.
I decided to create my listing to present you with the skins I liked the most and links on where to get them:
This minimalistic skin is an excellent way to start your search for the perfect visuals for your client. After the dark-blue and black of the original design, these sky colors look refreshing and new. Some websites even label this skin as a dramatic and visually 258stimulating, which is surprising for me, because it didn’t appear to be THAT challenging at first.
However, I quickly understood why the authors described the skin in such a way – most of them keep the dark, gloomy colors and don’t differ dramatically from the original color palette. Usually, it’s a combination of black or gray plus green or blue.
"Whether you're playing games everyday or reviewing them a fresh and uncluttered Steam client ensures you'll be gaming in no time, the Games Finder team adopts this approach by using a mixture of Minimal Steam UI and Air (depending on who you ask around the office) to keep the UI clean and make Steam easy on the eye." – said founder of gameslikefinder.com Samuel Taylor
The SteamSkins featured only the older version of the Pressure skin, so I downloaded the newer one at the official website of the owner – PressureforSteam.com. It’s stylish and simple, yet I feel like the creator could have played with colors a little bit more. I understand that criticizing is usually a lot simpler than doing something on my own, so we’ll see soon whether I will be able to create my visuals that will look better than those offered on the Internet.
- Digitally Unmastered
I found this skin in the “Colors” category of the website, and in my opinion, this is one of three skins that resemble some brightness and hue. Though the design is most in dark-green colors, the neon green helps to refresh a little bit the standard look of the Steam interface.
This Steam skin is rumored to be the first attempt to motivate standard Steam’s appearance. Probably, this was dictated by the difficulty of the process, which I am about to found out, but again we don’t see any drastic changes in the appearance of my client. Of course, the colors have changed, the header is blue with some lighter strokes and all, but I am still looking for something more dramatic.
This is the only one I would call bright and visually challenging, plus it features Fluttershy – one more reason to get the skin. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to find more skins with favorite characters apart from this one and one more with Naruto from an anime series with the same name. However, I didn’t like the color choice, so I decided not to list it.
Though again the creators could opt for a better color blending. I also wonder whether the central part of the client can be motivated. And I don’t mean to offend the developers, but the UX of the design suffers. I clicked “Full-Screen View” three times because the button somehow overlaid the Steam button in the menu.
While I was fumbling around trying to find quality skins(or trade skins), a little bit disappointed with what I’ve seen so far, I stumbled upon this:
This was indeed a breath of fresh air, bright and colorful, with quality art. It turned out you couldn’t download this skin unless you are subscribed to online skin creating service – Steam Customizer. Since I was already digging for the best ways of making my client look bright and stylish, I decided to try This one too.
After you sign in with your Steam account, you get to a theme constructor. First of all, I checked skins created by the community – and oh boy, did they impress me. I started to suspect that the reason why there were so little independently created skins (my god, we are getting to indie skins!) was that this site offered you so many great choices. However, the website notified me about my AdBlock app straight away. You need to eat something, right?
Finally, there were bright and beautiful skins, featuring favorite anime characters, CS:GO skins TV series. Here’s a snap of the vast variety and the one I loved right away.
Guess which one I’ve got.
Guess which one I’ve got.
A-a-and it turned out you need an app to install all those skins. What a nuisance! Being paranoid as I am, I decided to consult my IT-security proficient friends whether downloading and working with this app could do something harmful to my account security.
Read also: Steam Scams – How to NOT get scammed?
How to Change Steam Skins?
This process is a little bit more complicated than downloading a new launcher for your phone or adding a theme to your computer. However, the actions are basic, and you won’t need any programming skills to make your account prettier.
Here’s a short guide for you. After you have picked and downloaded a suitable skin, unzip the folder and move it to the Skins folder in the Steam folder. Here is how the route for moving the folder might look:
Windows: C:/Program Files (x86)/steam/skins
Mac OS X: Type the following string in Finder after pressing Cmd + Shift + G: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/Steam.AppBundle/Steam/Contents/MacOS/skins
After you have relocated the folder, start your Steam client, choose Steam – Settings, then go to the “Interface” tab and choose your skin from the drop-down menu under the following caption: “Select the skin you want Steam to use (requires Steam to restart).” Restart your client, and voila, your skin is here!
Enjoy your new eye candy before it annoys you to the very bone, and then get a new one. It’s a never-ending cycle.
How to Make Steam Skins?
As you have probably noticed, the collection of Steam skins for downloading won’t amaze you by bright colors and numerous options for decorating your app. We could have blamed lack of care for visuals that gamers have if they didn’t care for the aesthetics, which is not the case. Games are getting more and more realistic, and people who enjoy them more and more willing to pay for the quality.
Then why there are so little spectacular Steam skins? Who knows. Especially regarding the fact Valve gives you instructions on how to customize your client, this seems weird. However, we are here not to ponder on the reasons of lack of spectacular skins, but to find ways on how to make your Steam client look good.
Firstly, I tried a tutorial which I found here. Of course, started with the advanced one for developers, and that was my huge mistake. Everything went well until I reached Step 13, where you are supposed to change the style of your client using CSS. This looks pretty terrifying for me. So, I decided to let the idea of creating my skin rest till better times.
If you are not fully satisfied with the skins the Internet has to offer, you can create one of your own. Here are the instructions provided by Valve. What you will be looking for is a .txt file called “skins_readme” in the Skins directory of your Steam. If you can work through those instructions and create a decent skin, then you are way better than me at CSS and HTML and should be proud of yourself.
And I am left here with a hope that soon someone will make cool free skins, and I will write another article on how to get Steam skins to make your client look spectacular.