Home What to expect in the Steam Winter Sale: start time, what to buy

What to expect in the Steam Winter Sale: start time, what to buy

In a little over two weeks, with businesses and schools closing for the holiday period, Steam will unleash its annual Winter Sale. The two-week discounting extravaganza will once again be the perfect opportunity to pick up some of the titles you have had on your wishlist all year.

Not everything will get a price cut – we can’t expect the newest titles to drop dramatically from the RRP, but 2023 has been a great year for games, so there may be some games on offer that you definitely should pick up if you don’t own them already.

So does that mean you shouldn’t be buying any Steam games right now, before the sale? Probably, especially if it is not a brand-new title. You can work around it to some extent with Steam’s refund policy that lets you get your money back if the price suddenly drops if you bought the game within the last two weeks or just don’t like it. So we are almost in that zone now – the caveat being you must have played the game for less than two hours as well.

Gone seem to be the days when Steam would put different games up for sale on different days. This led to players holding off buying in case something they wanted more came up – these days everything usually goes on offer and stays there for the duration.

When is the Steam Winter Sale? Date and start time

The Winter sale is slated to begin on 21st December and will run until the 4th of January. This gives you plenty of time to make calculated decisions on what it is you want to buy and add to your collection. Opening its doors at:

  • 6 PM GMT
  • 10 AM PST
  • 1 PM EST
  • 7 PM CET
  • 11.30 PM IST

What games will be in the Steam Winter Sale?

At this stage, we can start to make some educated guesses and we think there is a very good chance there will be some great games set to cost less during the sale period. Below are some we think might make an appearance.


Image from Bethesda's Starfield

Image courtesy of Bethesda

Now this is a big call and the one we are most likely to be wrong about, but Bethesda is rarely shy about putting its games into sales – in fact, it currently has a small discount right now, but could it drop lower?. Skyrim has been a permanent fixture in the Steam sales for the last decade so we may just see another discount to help get people interested again. Bethesda has already said they want Starfield to be as enduring as Skyrim, and it is by no means a bad game just because it came out at the same time as Baldur’s Gate 3.

Hogwarts Legacy

Image of Hogwarts Legacy

Image courtesy of Warner Brother Games

There is a real chance that Hogwarts could feature in the sale – it is the best part of a year old now so is unlikely to be gifted this holiday season (excluding the recently released Nintendo Switch version which will doubtless find its way under a few Christmas Trees. It’s also a good game in its own right that really brings the Harry Potter universe to life in a way we have not seen before. It may have missed out on any Game Awards nominations but don’t let that detract you from picking it up if it does appear in the sale.

Cyberpunk 2077

image of Cyberpunk 2077

Image courtesy of CD Projeckt Red

The base Cyberpunk 2077 game has been discounted before and likely will be again. The new Phantom Liberty DLC and recent patches finally made the game what many hoped it would be upon its original launch. If you haven’t got it in your library definitely pick it up this time around.

We will bring you news of the best of the Steam Winter sale when it goes live later in the month.


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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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