Taking a screenshot on Steam is pretty easy. If the game is already in your Steam library, just press the F12 key when the game is running. If the game is not already in your Steam library, you will have to add it to Steam and then press the F12 button. You can also reconfigure this button to be something else according to your requirements. So this is the easiest way to take a screenshot on Steam while gaming. Further methods will be listed in detail, which you can follow if you cannot take a screenshot just by pressing F12.
Methods to take Steam screenshots
Even though the above method exists which is the most popular way of taking Steam screenshots so far due to the efficiency of the method, there are some other methods as well that can be used for taking screenshots of your Games. Here we are going to list some of them which you can use. These are the ways for taking screenshots on the Steam video game digital distribution service.
Method 1. Screenshot using F12
If you are looking for the easiest method for taking a Steam screenshot, it is definitely using the F12 key as mentioned above. There is no easier way than pressing a single button and getting the game screen captured. If your game supports to be added in the Steam library, everything is pretty easy for you, and collecting them can be done via the Steam screenshot folder. All your screenshots that are taken using the F12 key will be saved to the default Steam screenshot location, which you can later collect as per the requirements.
As we already mentioned, the shortcut will only work on the games in the Steam library. If the game is not in the Steam library, you will have to add it in order to take screenshots using Steam.
Method 2. Use a Screenshot Software
If you do not like following the default method of taking a screenshot using the F12 key, you can always choose a third-party screenshot software to capture those beautiful moments from your intense gaming sessions. Almost all of those tools provide everything you need to perfectly capture the exact moment you want to view or share later.
You can assign your own keyboard shortcuts to capture the screenshot just like in the default screenshotting method that comes with Steam. Apart from that, there are lots of additional functions and features provided by such tools because they are dedicated to the screenshotting requirements specifically.
While Steam just provides the basic method of taking screenshots from a game, such tools will have additional functions and features to take, manage, and edit your screenshots. So, before uploading them to the internet or sharing them with the community, you can further beautify your gaming screenshots using the provided tools in the software.
Some tools such as Snagit come with a dedicated screenshot editor to add things like arrows, shapes, etc., and blur a certain portion of the screenshot which you do not want anyone to see.
So using such software that is dedicated to taking gaming screenshots would be ideal for frequent games to get better control over the taken screenshots. For those who do not want anything more than a screen-copy of a certain moment, the default method provided by Steam would be more than enough. Such people shouldn’t go for extra software to help them grab screenshots from the games run on Steam.
Method 3. How to take Steam screenshots on Mac and Linux
Even on Mac and Linux operating systems, F12 is the default key for taking screenshots on Steam. However, it might not be that easy if you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and no dedicated function row. If you press and hold the function key (Fn) the function row will pop up in the Touch Bar, now you can press F12, and you’re done!
How to take a Screenshot on the Steam Deck
On this portable gaming device, taking a screenshot is quite easy. You only need to hit “R1” and “Steam” at the same time. On your Steam Deck, “R1” stands for the top right bumper button. The screenshots are available by pressing “Steam” once more, followed by “Media.”
How to find Steam screenshots on Linux
The default location for Steam screenshots on Linux is /.local/share/Steam. Once there, locate the userdata folder and either conduct a search or browse your way to the screenshots folder. You might need to access an array of files with numbers on them; the numbers correspond to various user accounts, in order to access the latter.
Steam vs Screenshot Software
There are several screenshot software available on the market that lets you take screenshots of your Steam games. You do not have to depend on the Steam feature in order to have a screenshot. In addition, such software comes with additional features such as screenshot editors which will be useful if you need to customize the taken screenshot further which is not available in the default Steam screenshot tool. So, making a decision on this would be good before you start using them for your needs.
So, which one should you go for? The simple Steam screenshot solution or an advanced screenshotting tool such as Snagit allows you to take gaming screenshots without minimizing the screen. Just like the Steam screenshot method, you can assign custom shortcuts to take screenshots.
In terms of usability and user-friendliness, such tools will be as good as the method we described above. So, it shouldn’t be a concern when comparing the default screenshot mode that comes with Steam and a professional screenshotting solution.
Just like that, the quality of the screenshots also stays the same on almost all of the tested tools including the default screenshot tool coming with the Steam as well as many other dedicated or all-in-one screenshot solutions. So, you also do not have to worry about the quality of the screenshots taken as long as you are going for good screenshot software on your computer.
What else should you consider? It all comes down to the features you need on your screenshotting solution. If you need to mark some spots using the arrows, crop the images, or blur out some areas of the image, you shouldn’t depend on Steam to take screenshots for you. Because it is not possible in the software. In that case, you will have to opt for a 3rd party software to edit the screenshots. Or, if you find the Steam screenshot option easier and wouldn’t mind using an image editor such as Photoshop to edit the images, you can also do that. It’s all about your convenience.
So, we recommend going for the simple Steam screenshot option if you just want a plane image of the moment you are trying to capture. And go for a dedicated gaming screenshot software if you need to edit the taken screenshot further and add something to it or edit it according to your requirements. It will make your day a lot more productive and save up the time took editing the image on a professional tool that may not be familiar to you.