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Steam trading enters beta for games & hats

Steam's introducing a way to easily trade gift copies of games and TF2 & Portal 2 items with other players. The trading feature's now in public beta testing, if you fancy a go.

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Steam's introducing a way for players to easily trade 'gift' copies of games and, of course, their fine collection of Team Fortress 2 items. It's now in public beta testing, if you fancy a go. Valve hopes to roll it out to Portal 2 "reasonably soon" and plans to get third-party games in on the fun too.

Trading lets Steam users swap 'gift' copies of games (either received or bought) and TF2 items, mixing and matching to get the game or hat of their dreams. You can only swap unused games which are expressly gift copies, not just any old thing on your Steam account. Steam will be getting an easy option to buy gifts without sending them, if you want to stockpile bargains for future trades.

Trading's done through a natty special trade window (pictured above), initiated though a Steam chat. You can also view players' inventories of tradeable games and items through their online Steam Community profile, and drag items into chat windows to show them off. Check out the FAQ for more details.

Previously, TF2 hat fans had to arrange trades in-game on servers, and use community-run sites like TF2 Items for online inventories. There was no official way to trade games, so you'd have to trust the other party.

Right now, you can only trade gift copies of games and TF2 items, but, Valve notes, "Portal 2 should be reasonably soon and we hope to have several third-party games in the next few months."

You can join the trading beta through the Steam Settings page. It also brings goodies including organising your Friends list through tags, a separate tab for Steam Groups, and a fix for offline mode.

[Thanks to Shacker supreme Felicia for posing for the image up top. She's available to hire for hand-modelling, fitting bathrooms, and squishing cane toads.]

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 10, 2011 7:10 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Steam trading enters beta for games & hats.

    Steam's introducing a way to easily trade gift copies of games and TF2 & Portal 2 items with other players. The trading feature's now in public beta testing, if you fancy a go.

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 7:25 AM

      So when I buy two licenses for one game will I be able to gift the second license to anyone else or the second license mysteriously disappears like it used to be?

      • reply
        August 10, 2011 7:55 AM

        Depends upon the game/publisher deal with the bundle.

        • reply
          August 10, 2011 7:56 AM

          By default, Steam does not allow you to purchase two copies of a game, but you can see them in bundle deals, though it explicitly will tell you if you get a second copy or not.

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 7:57 AM

      how do you guys get extra copies? buy games and gift them to yourself but don't redeem them?

      • reply
        August 10, 2011 8:00 AM

        I've gotten a number from buying 4 packs and not giving out all of the codes.

      • reply
        August 10, 2011 9:16 AM

        Sometimes the packs come with gift if you own it already

        • reply
          August 10, 2011 10:20 AM

          Oh and the way I do it is to gift it to email addresses (not steam accounts) that I own

        • reply
          August 10, 2011 10:23 AM

          is hoard fun?

          • reply
            August 10, 2011 10:34 AM

            I thought it was meh. It's fairly fun multiplayer but I just didn't see enough depth to play more than a couple rounds (which last like 10-20 minutes)

            • reply
              August 10, 2011 10:34 AM

              well then i guess you wo'nt need those three copies *cough*

              • reply
                August 10, 2011 10:50 AM

                oh wow, thanks!

                • reply
                  August 10, 2011 1:31 PM

                  Another shacker and I play Hoard in coop. I'm Dick Cancer on steam if you want to add me for a game sometime.

          • reply
            August 10, 2011 1:38 PM

            Sucked ass on PS3

          • Ebu
            reply
            August 10, 2011 2:11 PM

            Pretty awesome on PS3

        • reply
          August 10, 2011 10:27 AM

          why do you own all of these you crazy person

          • reply
            August 10, 2011 10:28 AM

            I like that you have two giftable copies of TF2 haha your currency is worthless!!

            • reply
              August 10, 2011 10:33 AM

              Maybe it gives you that hat that everyone got who bought the game!

              • reply
                August 10, 2011 10:55 AM

                I think that hat just went out universally to everyone who owned TF2 prior to the game going free to play as a one-time thing, kind of like the cheater's lament and the various badges

          • reply
            August 10, 2011 10:39 AM

            There are four reasons I have all of these copies:

            1. I bought a bundle that came with some games I already had. Half Life 2 and some of the games from the Potato pack fall in this category.

            2. I bought a bunch of copies of games while they were on sale to give as gifts at Christmas time, but I miscalculated and ended up with extra copies OR some of the people I gifted them to never "redeemed" the gift. Just Cause 2, Dirt 2, Burnout Paradise are all in this category.

            3. At Christmas time I will sometimes buy a game I want for myself, but because I respect the Christmas-time rule of never buying anything for yourself, I buy them as a "gift" to myself and leave it unopened. That way when my brother gets me Metro 2033, for example, I end up with an extra copy to give to someone rather than him having Steam tell him that I was a jerk and bought it for myself 2 days before Christmas.

            4. I bought a four pack of a game but never got around to seeing who would like the extra copies.

            • reply
              August 10, 2011 10:50 AM

              Oh wait I forgot the last reason! If there is a game I like to play at LAN parties, and it goes on sale for super cheap, I will sometimes buy a few copies of that game so that when the inevitable time comes that we COULD play but that ONE GUY doesn't have the game, I can just gift it to him. I did this with Crysis Warhead (I bought like 8 copies) and that's also why I have a couple copies of Team Fortress 2 left over. And the Unreal Deal Pack.

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 8:00 AM

      I love the idea of cross-game trading

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 10:35 AM

      i cannot fathom why the people around here are so vitriolically opposed to the existence of a video game aftermarket, or of lending property to friends. i can buy and sell all kinds of things on craigslist, why shouldn't i be able to buy a copy of a video game from the owner? likewise, i can borrow your hammer for a week; why not let me borrow your copy of a game?

      • reply
        August 10, 2011 1:56 PM

        who is opposed to that? I don't think anyone is except for the companies putting out the games.