Steam’s annual autumn sale begins today. Retaining last year’s title, the “Exploration Sale” will offer thousands of discounts and will run from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1.

Steam’s annual autumn sale has begun, as previously rumored! Stuck between Steam’s Halloween Sale and their end of the year extravaganza that is the Holiday Sale, the autumn is meant to offer a digital alternative to the typically retailer and console exclusive Black Friday and Cyber Monday offerings. The sale will be running from November 25 through December 1 and all sales will be available for the duration — there’s no hurry. Just have a happy holiday and hey, maybe buy some games too?

This year’s Steam autumn sale is once again titled the Exploration Sale, a politically correct and culture-neutral title that also encourages everyone to get out there and explore some new games (with their wallets). “Discover thousands of great deals throughout Steam,” reads the sale’s sub-heading, but to be specific there are a total of 8801 games on sale for the event. That may seem like a lot, until you remember that there are probably that many games left to finish in your Steam library.

But the Exploration Sale is unique in a very particular way. As mentioned before, all sales will be available for the duration of the event. That means that there will be no daily sales, no flash sales, no community votes, and no meta event. If there’s a game that anyone is eyeing, then go ahead and buy it — there’s no reason to believe a better discount will come along on a different day. It’s another matter entirely to think about what discounts will come during Steam’s Holiday sale, which usually starts around Dec. 18.

Steam Autumn Exploration Sale Day 1

What matters for now, however, is how Steam’s current deals look. Do they compare to the sales we’re already seeing for Black Friday from various retailers? Any especially sexy sales worth taking a look at? Here are a few of sales that seem to be pulling in a lot of attention on day one:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 50% off – $7.49
  • Grand Theft Auto V – 40% off – $35.99
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – 50% off – $29.99
  • Elite: Dangerous – 67% off – $14.84
  • ARK: Survival Evolved – 40% off – $17.99

Those are currently the top five sales according to Steam, though it should be noted that Fallout 4 is still the best selling game despite its stunning 0% discount. As far as sales comparisons go, retailers are actually doing pretty well this year. Walmart’s going to have Grand Theft Auto V for sale on PS4 and X1 for $25. Best Buy, Walmart and Target are all going to have The Witcher 3 for $25.

It’s another matter entirely for anyone willing to wait until Steam’s Holiday sale in another three or four weeks. By then there will be another month since the launch of 2015’s big holiday games, publishers will be pushing to make a few more holiday dollars, but mostly Steam won’t have to compete with all of the big console retailer sales deals. If gamers can hold off until the Steam Holiday sale, it could save them a few bucks!

Head over to the Steam storefront to see what games they might have available. Their homepage will spotlight about a dozen new sales every day, plus add another dozen recommendations personalized to the viewing account. Note that even if a game is spotlighted, its discount won’t change over the course of the sale. The best sales might just be hidden away, waiting for someone to dig them up. The Steam Exploration Sale will end on December 1 at 10:00AM PT.

tags: Steam