Steamworks Documentation


As part of the release process on Steam, you will be required to upload a trailer for your product. Trailers are displayed at the top of your product's store page and are often one of the first things your potential customers will be seeing.


Best Practices

Trailers are important in marketing your product on Steam. You want to think about the context of where your trailer will appear. For example, the customer may be going through their Discovery Queue and looking at games that are recommended to them, and you may have less than 10 seconds to make an impression. Or the customer may be watching your trailer without any audio. You will want to think about how long it takes for the customer to learn about your product, and if they can learn about it without audio.

Gameplay Trailers First

We have found that most Steam users are looking for gameplay of your game. We highly recommend that the first trailer you list on your store page is primarily gameplay, showing the player what they will be doing in the game and from the perspective that they will be interacting with your game. It is also often beneficial to have the in-game HUD elements visible during gameplay videos. Gameplay videos are a great way for players to quickly identify if they are interested in looking for more information about your game.

Categorize Your Trailers

You can select a category for each trailer, specifying whether it is primarily gameplay, cinematics, teaser, or a combination of those. This category will be displayed, along with the name you entered for your trailer, in the video player on your game's store page to help players identify the videos they are most interested in watching.
  • General / Cinematic - Most trailers fall into this category; these typically show a mix of pre-rendered video, logos, title screens, accolades, and maybe some limited amount of gameplay.
  • Teaser - A short video, often posted when a game is first announced, often doesn't show much of the game but instead teases the title, IP, or franchise.
  • Gameplay - When a trailer is mostly comprised of gameplay, showing the user what it's like to play the game and from the perspective that the player will be playing.
  • Interview / Dev Diary - Non-fiction interview or documentary video.

Manage The Order Of Your Trailers

Within the trailer management UI, you can drag and drop to reorder the list of videos to appear on your game's store page. The first two valid trailers will be shown to players before any screenshots, with any remaining trailers appearing after the list of screenshots.

More Details

Check out this presentation from Steam Dev Days 2016 for general best practices for trailers:

Uploading a Trailer

To upload your trailers, go to the Store Page Admin > Trailers tab. The trailer should be the highest resolution that you have, up to 1920 x 1080 resolution, 30/29.97 or 60/59.94 fps, high bit rate (5,000+ Kbps) and in .mov, .wmv, or .mp4 container files. H.264 video and AAC audio is preferred, but we can transcode from many formats. 16:9 aspect ratio is preferred since the Steam client is optimized for widescreen, but 4:3 aspect ratio is accepted. Please note that audio will be filtered down to regular stereo when we transcode the videos.

Advanced Settings

The Advanced Settings can be used if you have trailers in multiple languages or need to restrict them to certain countries. You will not need to use the Advanced Settings if your trailer is visible to all countries and languages.

You can set the language that specific trailers will show to customers that have their settings set to that language. The Base video should be set to the English trailer if you have trailers in multiple languages. See Localization and Languages for more information.

If you have PEGI and ESRB rated videos that should only appear in certain countries, you can restrict the visibility of your trailer to certain countries by using the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 language codes. (Example: DE,FR,US,CA,MX)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I release my game while a trailer is encoding?

A. No, you cannot release your game while a trailer is in the process of converting. Please give yourself enough time to upload and convert a trailer before you attempt to release your game. If you already started converting a trailer and need to release your game, please cancel the trailer request and start it again once your game has released.

Q. What do I do if my trailer appears to be stuck converting?

A. The trailer processing system works in a FIFO queue. If there is a long queue of trailers ahead of yours, then it may take a few hours to complete the conversion. The position in the queue is reported for each trailer in the Trailers tab. Note: Deletion / re-submission will move the trailer to the back of the queue.

Q. What do I do if my trailer processing ended with an error?

A. The most common reason for a trailer to fail is the resolution of the video. Please ensure you use a common resolution such as 1920x1080 or 1280x720 to avoid any downstream processing issues. Another common issue is an unsupported audio sample rate (please use 44Khz or 48Khz).

Q. What is a microtrailer and how is it created?

A. Microtrailers are 6-second looping videos that summarize a game's trailer for use in quick-view locations throughout the Steam Store, as in the various category hubs, special sale pages, and on the homepage during seasonal sales events. Steam generates a game's micro trailer based on the first video visible in its Store Page. It does this by taking six 1-second clips from various points in the video, and stitching them together.

Adobe Media Encoder Presets

Download these presets for Adobe Media Encoder CC to create compatible video files for Steam. The preset to use is:
  • H.264 Video (20Mbs) with AAC Stereo Audio (192Kbps).