In addition to helping Steam users quickly learn about your game, tags help Steam determine where your game should be displayed to customers. We recently began requiring at least 5 tags be applied to a title before its launch on Steam, but we recommend you add up to 20. In addition to displaying tag data on store pages, a robust set of tags helps Steam serve better results when users:
- Browse genres & categories
- Search with tags
- Explore tag-driven recommendations
- Utilize tag-driven dynamic Collections in the Library and more
Below is some information on how tags work and some tools you can use to manage them.
Tags can be applied to a game by the developer, by players with non-limited accounts, and by Steam moderators. This allows the community to help mark up games with the terms, themes, and genres that help describe the game to others.
As the developer of a game, you can define its tags using the Steamworks Tag Wizard
, which you'll find in your game's Store Presence
/ Edit Store Page
/ Basic Info
section, under Tags
. For a list of titles most in need of tagging, visit your Steamworks Recommended Actions
page, where you’ll find links to the Tag Wizard per title you manage.
This wizard steps through a series of screens to help you build a well-rounded tag profile for your title. The wizard also provides an opportunity to order your title's tags for weighting purposes. Many tags can be applied to your game, but only the top 20 are visible to users and used by Steam to influence visibility of your title in the store. For more information, refer to the Tags and Store Visibility section below.
Note that tags and their relative weights may change over time as members of the community apply them to your game. While this tends not to fluctuate over time, you can revisit your tags and their weights using the Tag Wizard at any time.
Deciding which tags to apply
Of the hundreds of approved tags on Steam, it can be hard to decide which are most applicable to your game. We've designed the Tag Wizard to assist you through this process.
The Tag Wizard helps you identify a breadth of relevant tags across Genres, Visuals & View Points, Themes & Moods, Features, Player support, and more. As the wizard learns about your game, it highlights tags which may be relevant, based on commonalities found among similar titles on Steam. The Tag Wizard helps you create a tag profile which includes:
- Genres, with particular attention to the most specific Genre or Sub-Genre
- Example: Super Meat Boy can most specifically be described as a Precision Platformer
- Super-Genre: Action
- Genre: Platformer
- Sub-Genre: Precision Platformer
- Visual properties, such as
- Dimensions: 2D, 2.5D, 3D
- Camera Perspective: Third-Person, First-Person, Top-Down, Isometric, Side-Scroller, etc.
- Visual Style: Pixel Graphics, Realistic, Abstract, Anime, Cute, Stylized, Minimalist, etc.
- Themes & Moods, such as
- Theme: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Space, Zombies, Vampires, etc.
- Mood: Relaxing, Funny, Atmospheric, etc.
- Features, such as
- Gameplay mechanics like Choices Matter, Resource Management, Trading, etc.
- Design ingredients like Physics, Procedural Generation, etc.
- Player activities such as Sailing, Mining, Hacking, etc.
If you're having trouble deciding which tags make sense, take a look at similar games on Steam and note the tags applied to those games. You can also browse the list of popular tags
to see if any apply to your game, or consult the comprehensive table at the bottom of this document.
Publishing tag updates
Once you complete the tagging wizard, you'll be prompted to publish your changes. This publish process is separate from the store page publish, so the tag publish process from within the wizard will not impact any pending store changes you have.
Tags and Store Visibility
The tags associated with your game impact where and how it appears on Steam. Steam uses this information to figure out which browsing pages your game should appear on and which other games your game is most like, for recommendation purposes.
Order and weight of tags
The tags given the most weight govern your visibility more than those given less. Your title's top 5 tags should paint a fairly clear picture of your game as those tags will also be used to describe your game. Tags are ordered on your game page by the amount of weight each has on your game, as a result of your own sorting in the Tag Wizard. This can be modified over time as a number of players apply particular tags to your game. Some store filters prioritize the first 15 tags, so be sure that these are sorted in order of relevance to your title.
The Tag Wizard helps set these weights with a Suggest Prioritization feature. This is a very simple algorithm that moves high-information tags like sub-genres to the top, and redundant or low-information tags (like “indie” or “singleplayer”) to the bottom. It’s just meant as a simple starting point. It’s not guaranteed to be accurate because it has no knowledge of what your game is actually like. Feel free to try it as a starting point, and override it as you see fit.
You can also use the display of similarly tagged titles to help you create a tag profile which places you among comparable titles on Steam. Note that this is not a direct reflection of the More Like This
algorithm's results, but rather, a strictly tag-driven comparison of title similarity.
So, as a recap, start setting tags and their weight by using the Tag Wizard. Customers will also tag your game and those tags will be mixed in with the tags you had set with the Tag Wizard. As customers add more tags, the weight for those tags will increase. You can remove any tags you find unwanted ("family friendly" for a horror game) or inaccurate ("2D" for a 3D game).
Tag page visibility
The top 20 tags on your game determine the tag pages and similar browse views that your game can appear on.
Steam offers users a number of different recommendation mechanisms, some of which leverage tags to determine similarity between titles as an axis for recommendation.
Where tags are applicable, the top 20 tags applied to your game will impact which games Steam thinks are similar to yours. Here the order is less important than the overlap between multiple tags. So if your game has "Open World" and "Fantasy", Steam will be more likely to recommend your game to players that have previously played games tagged with "Open World" and "Fantasy". The more tags that overlap, the stronger the correlation and recommendation is for that user.
Some of Steam's recommendation algorithms also factor in less-frequently used tags more than really common ones. So if you have "Action" applied to your game, it matters very little in how your game gets recommended because so many other games have "Action" applied to them. But if you have something like "Party-Based RPG" applied to your game, it has much more influence in matching up with other similar games because there aren't as many games tagged with that term.
The "More Like This" section
Similar to recommendations, Steam looks at the top 20 tags on your game to figure out which other game's pages yours should appear (and which other games should appear on your store page as similar). This is really helpful for players to compare similar games and also to be reassured that your game is similar to other games they might have enjoyed or are interested in.
Search results and filtering
You'll also notice when using search within Steam there is a list of tags on the right-hand side that you can select from to narrow down the results.
Tags and localization
The tags applied to your game are localized, as they may have different words in different languages. For example, the top tag on your game may be "RPG" in English, but it's called "Rollespil" in Danish. The tag order is the same, it's just the translation of the term that changes based on the language of the user.
Tags and Non-Game Content Types
The Tag Wizard can be used in association with any game or DLC on Steam. A Demo inherits the tags associated with its base game.
Tags may also be applied to other app types such as applications, soundtracks, music, tools, videos, etc. with the Steam Store tagging interface, available on your title's store page.
Table of Tags
|Character Action Game|
|Point & Click|
|Beat 'em up|
|Choose Your Own Adventure|
|Hack and Slash|
|Open World Survival Craft|
|Real Time Tactics|
|Shoot 'Em Up|
|Trading Card Game|
|Twin Stick Shooter|
Visuals & Viewpoint
Themes & Moods
|World War I|
|World War II|
|Hack and Slash|
|Music-Based Procedural Generation|
|Intentionally Awkward Controls |
|4 Player Local|
|Based on a Novel|
|Dungeons & Dragons|
|Real-Time with Pause|
|Animation & Modeling|
|Design & Illustration|
Hardware / Input
|Free to Play|