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How to Build a Huge PC Game Library for Free



How to Build a Huge PC Game Library for Free

THE Covid-19 pandemic’s lockdown and lingering effects, plus the sudden drop in price of powerful PC graphics cards this year, led to an unexpected renaissance in computer gaming.

The argument against PC gaming often boils down to: It’s cheaper and easier to deal with a video game console than to set up a powerful gaming rig. But many console jockeys paying full price for new games may not be aware of a simple PC gaming fact: You can get lots and lots of the best PC games of recent years for free, no strings attached, and mitigate your system cost.

While Xbox and PlayStation stores offer free games each month to subscribers, you have to pay a fee to access and keep them. On the PC side of things, you can regularly access and keep free games from outfits including Epic Game Store,, Steam and even Amazon, if you have a Prime subscription.

Building out your PC game library requires patience and persistence. For instance, Epic offers two or three free games per week, but only for a limited time. Once that time expires, the games are no longer free, but if you grabbed them while they’re available, they’re yours to keep forever. (Or whatever passes for “forever” in the era of digital licensing.) You just have to remember to keep coming back to grab games you want during that window, set up a free account, and have their game

It should follow that games given away for nothing should be the subpar dregs of the industry. But that hasn’t been the case with games on some of these services. In my Epic Games library alone, I’ve accumulated 160 titles, most of them freebies. Among them: ControlAlien: IsolationBioshock Infinite: The Complete EditionBorderlands 3Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year CelebrationNBA 2K21InsideStar Wars: SquadronsSid Meier’s Civilization VISUPERHOTJust Cause 4, and XCOM 2.

That’s enough high-quality gaming to keep me busy for years to come; and yes, I’m aware that I’ll probably never have time to play them all.’s giveaways are usually posted for a limited time on their homepage and get added to your library. You don’t need to download and install an app launcher to grab them. Some free games GOG has offered include Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate EditionMiddle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year EditionFlashbackShantae and the Pirate’s Curse, and the classic Harlan Ellison game I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Similarly, Amazon Prime Gaming has this year allowed Prime subscribers to grab and keep games such as Football Manager 2022Starcraft: RemasteredManiac MansionFar Cry 4, and Madden NFL 22. Some of those giveaways spit out a code you must redeem on game services like the EA app or Ubisoft Store, where those titles might also be offered free for a limited time. Amazon also offers Prime subscribers some games that can be played free on its Luna streaming service, such as Dusk and Joggernauts, as well as codes to unlock skins and other content for Apex LegendsDeathloopRoblox, and other popular games.

Speaking of popular games that happen to be free: There’s a whole world of free-to-play games including ApexOverwatch 2Destiny 2, and the ever-popular Fortnite. Some MMOs such as World of Warcraft are still largely free to play when you begin. You can do a free trial or play until Level 20 before you hit the paywall.

If you want access to lots of new games but don’t want to pay for them all, Microsoft’s PC Game Pass starts at around $10 and you can quit at any time. Unlike Epic and Amazon’s giveaways, though, you don’t get to keep the games when your subscription lapses. Some PC Game Pass titles include Halo InfiniteMinecraftOri and the Will of the Wisps, and Back 4 Blood.

If you’re inclined to break from free and spend a little money, The Humble Bundle storefront has lots of excellent gaming packages with money going to charity and prices set at pay-what-you-wish. You can sometimes land a huge collection of titles, such as the Jackbox collection, for much less than you’d pay for the games individually.

Cheap Ass Gamer has been leading the charge on bargain gaming news since 2003 and is a great resource for getting good deals on top titles. Keep an eye on their discussion area and homepage for good deals.

If patience is one of your top virtues, you can get some fantastic deals on PC games by waiting for Steam’s multiple sales per year (its Winter Sale 2022 runs from December 22 to January 5, 2023) and Epic’s Mega Sale scheduled for May 2023. Retailers including Best Buy and GameStop sometimes offer good deals on PC games if you’re willing to wait a while after their release. And of course, those retailers offer trade-ins, so if you’ve given up game-console life for good, you can get some credit for your old hardware and game


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