Gaming Consoles & PCs 39 39 people found this article helpful Steam Sign Up: How It Works Get your game on with this popular digital storefront and community portal by Jeremy Laukkonen Writer Jeremy Laukkonen is tech writer and the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. He also ghostwrites articles for numerous major trade publications. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Jeremy Laukkonen Updated on July 11, 2020 Consoles & PCs Xbox Buyer's Guide Tweet Share Email Steam is a digital storefront for games that works with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It's also a community portal where you can connect with friends to see what they're playing, share screenshots and videos, and play cooperative and competitive multiplayer games. Signing up for a Steam account is free, and there are no ongoing costs to use the service. The 7 Best PC Game Digital Download Services What Is the Steam Community? In addition to a storefront where you can buy games and a desktop app that allows you to download and organize your games, Steam also has many community features. When you sign up for Steam, you get access to game forums, guides, reviews, the Steam Workshop where you can check out mods and new game assets, and Steam Chat. How Does Steam Work? Steam has a desktop application that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The application includes the storefront where you can buy games, and the community aspect, including Steam Chat. In addition to the app, you can also access most Steam features through a web browser. You can buy games using store.steampowered.com, and you can access the community features, including Steam Chat, through steamcommunity.com. How to Sign Up For Steam Signing up for Steam is free, and you can complete the process using a web browser. All you need is a modern web browser, like Firefox, Edge, or Chrome, and a working email address. If you don't have an email address or don't want to use your main email to sign up for Steam, check out our list of free email service providers. Here's how to sign up for a Steam account: Go to steampowered.com. Select Login. Select Join Steam. Enter your email address, and re-enter it to confirm. Select your country of residence. Enter the captcha code in the Enter the characters above box. If you can't read the letters in the captcha, select Refresh for a new set. Scroll down to the Steam Subscriber Agreement section. Read the subscriber agreement, then select the I agree and am 13 years of age or older check box. Select Continue. Leave this page open. If you access your email with a web browser, do it in a new tab. After you confirm your email address, you will return to this page to complete the signup process. When the Verify Your Email dialog box appears, Valve sends you a confirmation email. Look for an email from Valve titled New Steam Account Email Verification. Open the email, and select Create My Account. Close the email verification page, then return to the Steam signup page that you left open earlier. In the Create a Steam account name box, enter a Steam account name. Steam checks to ensure the name you choose is available. If you don't like the name you chose during this step, you can change the username that other Steam users see at any time. Changing your Steam name is free, and you can do it as often as you like. In the Choose a password box, enter a password, then re-enter it to confirm. Select Complete Sign-up. How to Set Up Your Steam Profile After you sign up for a Steam account, set up your profile. When you set up your profile, your friends can find you on the service. One of the best things about Steam is that you can play games online with your friends. Here's how to set up your Steam profile: Go to steamcommunity.com, and sign in if you aren't signed in. Select your user name. When the drop-down menu appears, select Profile. Select Setup Steam Profile. Enter a profile name. The profile name is the name that other steam users see when you interact with them. You can change this name at any time. Enter a real name. You don't have to use your legal name. If you are concerned about security or privacy, leave this field blank or use a fake name. This field is useful if you want your friends to find you by searching Steam for your real name. Choose your country if you want your country of origin to appear on your profile. Enter a custom URL. This custom URL is the location of your profile. This URL makes it easier for you and others to view your profile. You don't have to set a custom URL. Select Browse to upload your avatar image, or select one of the avatars provided by Steam. Select Link with Facebook if you want to find your Facebook friends on Steam. In the Summary box, enter your profile or bio information. Provide the information you want people on Steam to know about you. Choose Select Group if you joined Steam to play with friends or a community that has a Steam Group, or ignore that section if you're new to Steam. Select Save Changes. Once your profile is live, select Edit Profile to change any of the information you provided during creation. As you buy and play games, you'll unlock more profile customization options, a larger friends lists, and other features. Setting up your profile is important when you have a new account because new accounts can't send friend requests. With your profile in place, your friends will have an easier time finding you. If you want to send friend requests and access other Steam Community features like group chat and the Steam Market, all account limitations are removed after you make a purchase in the Steam store or add money to your Steam Wallet.