Steam skins let you change up how your Steam client looks. Some are pretty much just recolouring options while others want to have their wicked way with your menus, refining or rejigging them. Skins have been around for years now so you might have encountered some of these already - certainly, the community has clustered round a few good skins with a smattering of irregularly updated fan service when it comes to particular games, anime or My Little Pony (well hi there, Fluttershy). But there's a chance you've missed out - or you're hankering for a change of digital scenery - so here are five of the bestest best Steam skins.
I really like a midnight blue theme for my Steam at the moment. I was using a My Little Pony one - Princess Luna - for a while because it had the right shades. Unfortunately it wasn't updated for Big Picture mode so the button for that is on the top left overlapping with the Steam main menu. Gross. I lasted a week and switched back to Blue Pulse. It's a simple skin and rather lovely. The darker palette is one I'm far more comfy with on my desktop - I find it far more welcoming than the next option.
I've seen a lot of people in love with the Air skin. It's a minimalist, bright 'n' breezy overhaul of the interface with lots of aqua and pale grey. I do really like the menus and a lot of the design work, but can never seem to get on with the colour palette. Its brightness is just a bit too harsh for me so I tend to go back to my dark Steamcave. That said, I noticed that the latest version has a dark option which is much more my cup of tea. You can see it in action in the header image where I also replaced the aqua with rose accents.
Metro is somewhere between classic Steam and Air (Condensation, maybe?) and so I find it to be a better fit for me. There's not quite so much empty space and it still has that feeling of familiarity I crave thanks to the grey colour palette. There are also some degrees of customisation when it comes to accent colour and font and so on via a web app and a Steam app.
There's also Minimal Steam which is back at the darker end of the spectrum, although you can switch between red, green, blue and black colour palettes. I prefer the red because it's like trying to play games from inside a red velvet cake, although I'm not massively keen on the fonts. I tend to use it as a visual palate cleanser for when I need to shake the dust off my virtual surroundings a bit.
Pixelvision is another skin which seeks to simplify the Steam interface. I find the text uncomfortably small so I don't use it but there are a lot of enthusiasts out there for whom that's not a problem. It's no longer being maintained by the creator so bear in mind that unless the community steps in, future Steam updates might render some of the functionality broken. Aficionados might like to keep an eye on
work-in-progress [I LIED IT IS OUT NOW] Pressure as a potential replacement.
Let us know what you're using for your Steam skinning needs in the comments...