It’s that time of year again as Steam rolls out the Summer Sale to discount just about everything on the platform. This time around, however, things are different because of the introduction of a new permanent feature – the Points Shop.

Most big sales on Steam come with their own gimmick and attached set of meta rules which usually involve buying more games or completing tasks on the site to earn a type of currency. While a nice little incentive, the problem with this is that the currency usually disappears once the event is over.

Now things are changing as the latest Summer Sale ushers in a permanent shop which will stick around for you to explore all year.

“Buy games, earn points, then make a quick stop at the all-new, here-to-stay Points Shop, where you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir for your summer adventures on Steam!” Reads an announcement from Steam.

The Points Shop can be found right here. On sale is a crop of animated stickers, profile backgrounds, avatars and avatar frames, chat effects and more. The focus here seems to be items to customise your Steam experience and what your profile looks like.

Some screenshots from the Points Shop.

The FAQ for how the points work are worth a read since it will work a bit differently depending on your currency. Here in South Africa, for example, five points are awarded for every R1 spent on Steam.

That may sound like a decent payout but it’s worth taking note of the prices in the Points Shop. The cheapest items seem to be emoticons at 100 points. Animated avatar borders and stickers are nearer the top at 2 000 points. The most expensive by far are the so-called Points Badges, with the level 20 variant costing 20 000 points.

All of this is to serve buying games on Steam and the Summer Sale itself. To get you started in the sale there’s a coupon on your first purchase. This again changes in value depending on your country, but in South Africa it’s a R35 discount on the first purchase of R250.

As always our suggestion for this kind of sale is to go to your wishlist and see which games have the highest discount. As limited-time deals seem to never be returning, there’s no real reason to visit the sale daily.

The Steam Summer Sale 2020 is live right now and will run until 9th July.

It would be remiss to end off without mentioning the great art that has gone into the Points Shop and all the items you can buy there. Steam has provided a list of the talented artists responsible for this on Twitter.