5 Things Game Devs MUST Do to Get More Steam Wishlists

by Game Marketing Genie, on 28-Feb-2023 09:59:38

Are you frustrated that your game isn't getting the recognition it deserves on Steam? You're not alone! 

With an extensive array of categories available, it's no wonder the Steam platform boasts a vast collection of games. Moreover, the platform predicts 1440 new game releases for 2023 alone. 

Many game developers are vying to get on player wishlists, counting on launching a great game. However, you must couple your game with game marketing strategies geared toward Steam to meet this goal. 

In this blog, we'll show you how changing your approach can help you attract more players to your game and increase wishlists. 

steam games graphic

Figure 1: Game release data on Steam this year. Source: SteamDB

1. Get on the discovery queue

The primary way to get attention on Steam is by getting your game in front of heaps of users. You should aim to get your game on the front page of Steam and also onto the Discovery Queue. If you can do that, even just for one day, people will take notice!

The Discovery Queue on Steam is a list of recommended games displayed on the platform's main page. It is an algorithm-driven feature that showcases games based on user engagement, search ranking, and other factors.

It is vital for game developers because appearing here can significantly increase the visibility and popularity of their game. This can result in more downloads, higher wishlists, and improved user reviews.

Getting on the discovery queue can be a significant factor in the success of a game launch on Steam. To do this, you must also master points 2, 4, and 5; we'll discuss them later. 

Note that games with higher positive reviews often get featured in this section, so it's all interconnected. But in the meantime, if you have an early access game, encourage pre-tryouts and reviews on your Steam page. 

steam discovery queue

Figure 2: Steam's discovery queues recommend new games. Source: Steam

2. Develop your capsule

A Steam game capsule is a visual representation of a game used to promote and market it on the platform. It is a critical success factor as it can impact the first impression that potential players have of the game. Furthermore, key art significantly influences a player's decision to learn more or move on.

Having attractive and eye-catching capsule art can help your game stand out from the thousands of other games on the platform. Moreover, well-designed capsule art can also serve as a form of branding and help players remember your game in the future.

You want to ensure your capsule stands out from other developers' capsules, so think about how you want yours to look and feel.

Include all of the critical information in your capsule, including:

  • The name of your game.
  • The art style you use in it.
  • What genre it falls under ("It's an RPG" or "It's an action-adventure")
  • What kind of experience players can expect.

But remember! Other than the name of your game, EVERYTHING should be visual!

Here's a quick checklist you can use while designing your capsule:

  • Familiarize yourself with the platform's rules and guidelines for capsule art design.
  • Ensure that your capsule art is of high quality and clarity.
  • Make your game stand out by highlighting its unique selling points and creating the desired player experience.
  • Study other games in your genre and analyze their capsule art. Pay attention to common elements such as background and color palette, and use this to inspire your artist.
Investing in a talented artist for your capsule illustration is crucial. Avoid using screenshots as your capsule, as it lowers your game's value, even if it is visually stunning. 

3. Make your Steam page crisp, clear and relevant

First, you should ensure your Steam page is geared to attract and retain attention. Your page should be organized so that it's easy for people to navigate and find what they need quickly. You must pay attention to these four elements on your game's Steam page:

A high-quality trailer

Create a compelling trailer for your Steam page. Ensure that you capture the essence of your game in a visually captivating way. Start by identifying what makes your game unique and then showcase that through engaging gameplay footage. 

Keep your trailer short, under 2 minutes, and make sure the visuals and audio are high-quality. Also, highlight key features and benefits players can expect from your game. A well-made trailer can go a long way in boosting your Steam wishlists. 

video game vr trailer (1)


Next, showcase your game in the best light by selecting screenshots that highlight your game's key features and unique elements. 

Make sure the screenshots are high-quality, clear, and well-composed. You want to give potential players an idea of what they can expect when they play your game. 

Choose screenshots representing different parts of your game, whether it's a battle, puzzle, or a cut scene. And ensure that you keep your screenshots up-to-date to reflect any updates or changes you make to your game.


This is an essential component of your Steam page, as it gives potential players an idea of your game. Keep it concise, under 500 words (as few as possible!), and make sure it's easy to read. Highlight the main features and state clearly what players can expect. 

And make sure all information on your store page is accurate! Having this information on the front page makes sense if someone wants more information about a product (like its price or release date).


Tags are keywords that help your game get discovered by potential players on Steam. Choose relevant tags that describe your game's genre, themes, and features. Be creative when selecting tags; feel free to use multiple tags to describe different aspects of your game. 

Know that getting your tags right is important. Make sure to:

  • Choose a blend of relevant, widely used, and low-competition tags to maximize your chances of appearing in relevant searches.
  • Give priority to your first five tags, which are crucial in determining your page's visibility on Steam.
  • Use tags that accurately reflect your game's genre, style, and features, but also consider using broader, related tags to increase discoverability.
  • Avoid using popular tags that do not align with your game's content, as it may decrease visibility and negatively impact your game's discoverability.

Extra Steam page tips

Eliminate any clutter by deleting duplicate images or unused tags. If any links on your website aren't directly related to the game, consider removing them.

In addition, if you want to get people talking about your game, make sure it's easy for them to do so. Add links to your social media accounts on Steam so that users can follow you. And vice versa — add your Steam link to social! You can also add a link to a blog or dev log if people have questions or concerns about what they're buying.

Read our in-depth blog on creating a fully-optimized Steam page for your game in How to Create a Steam Page for Your Video Game That Sells.


4. Developer broadcasting

Developer broadcasting on Steam is a hugely beneficial tool that more and more game devs are using. It lets them stream their games on their Steam page and show off the cool things their game offers. 

This can help get more Steam wishlists for new games because people can see the game in action. And if they like what they see, they might add it to their wishlist.

Another benefit of dev broadcasting is that it opens up the possibility of connecting with a larger audience. If you additionally stream on Twitch, YouTube, or other platforms, you can reach even more potential players. 

You can also leverage the influence of streamers to attract more players and grab their attention. Doing so can expand your reach and build relationships with their followers, leading to more streams and valuable feedback to enhance your game. So, as a game developer or publisher, consider broadcasting on Steam to get more wishlists and build a stronger community around your game.


Figure 3: Example of developer broadcasting on Steam. Source: SCS Software on Steam

5. Giveaways

Giveaways can be a powerful tool for game developers looking to build their Steam wishlists. We recommend these to our clients. 

By incentivizing wishlists as part of the giveaway entry process, you can encourage players to support your game. A well-planned giveaway can help build buzz and excitement around your game, leading to more visibility and engagement from potential players.

By doing this, you're building your Steam wishlists, growing your community, and spreading the word about your game to a broader audience. With the right approach, giveaways can be a win-win for developers and players.

A great way to organize a giveaway is through platforms like Gleam, where entrants must complete specific steps, like following you on social media, sharing your game on their pages, or signing up for your newsletter. 

Check out Cyberpunk 2077, a popular game that used a Twitter giveaway to promote its Steam page. They ended the contest with 93810 entries. 

cyberpunk giveaways

Figure 4: Example of a giveaway prompting a game on Steam. Source: Twitter

Want to learn how to create a giveaway contest that engages players? Read more in Game Giveaways: Why You Need Them for Player Engagement and Retention.

Get your game going with our game launch guide!

Want to know more about boosting your chances for success? We've got the insider's guide right here in The Game Dev’s Guide to the Best Game Launch!

Get your Steam game the visibility it deserves

As a game developer, having your Steam wishlist filled with people anticipating your game is a victory. It's a sign that your game is worth playing, and people want to see more from you. Put these tips into action to create a Steam page worth marketing for your upcoming release. We hope this post has given you insight into what developers need to get on gamers' radars and make their wishlists fuller!

Ready to boost your game's visibility and increase your steam wishlist numbers? The team at Game Marketing Genie is here to help! Our targeted campaigns are designed to reach your specific audience and drive engagement with your game. From social media ads to influencer marketing, we'll work with you to create a customized strategy that meets your goals and delivers actual results. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today!

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