The Steam Awards 2021: Winners, nominees, free rewards

Andrew Amos
The Steam awards 2021 keyart

The Steam Awards 2021 have now wrapped up ⁠— here’s a full breakdown of all the winners, the nominated games, and a look back at the free rewards previously up for grabs.

It might not be on the same scale as The Game Awards, but The Steam Awards are still a great honor for any game to win. It’s often a fan contest, based on votes from the players themselves, highlighting the best experiences in 2021.

The latest iteration also coincided with the platform’s annual Winter Sale, which provided big bargains during the holiday season on many popular titles.

Here’s what you need to know about The Steam Awards 2021, including all the winners, nominees, and the free rewards that were on offer for those who took part.

The Steam Awards 2021 art
The Steam Awards returned for another round in 2021.

The Steam Awards 2021: All nominees and winners

Dozens of unique titles were up for awards across 10 distinct categories this time around. From the best soundtrack to the best multiplayer game, there was plenty to pick and choose from.

Below is a full look at each category, the nominees, and the winners highlighted in bold.

Game of the Year

  • Valheim
  • New World
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Forza Horizon 5

VR Game of the Year

  • Sniper Elite VR
  • Cooking Simulator VR
  • Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
  • I Expect You To Die 2
  • Blair Witch VR

Labor of Love

  • Dota 2
  • Terraria
  • Rust
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Apex Legends

Better With Friends

  • Valheim
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Halo Infinite
  • It Takes Two
  • Crab Game

Outstanding Visual Style

  • Psychonauts 2
  • Subnautica: Below Zero
  • Little Nightmares II
  • Bright Memory: Infinite
  • Forza Horizon 5

Most Innovative Gameplay

  • Inscryption
  • Twelve Minutes
  • Moncage
  • Deathloop
  • Loop Hero

Best Game You Suck At

  • World War Z: Aftermath
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • Nioh 2
  • Age of Empires IV
  • Battlefield 2042

Best Soundtrack

  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…
  • Persona 5 Strikers
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles

Outstanding Story-Rich Game

  • Life Is Strange: True Colors
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Days Gone
  • Mass Effect

Sit Back And Relax

  • Unpacking
  • Potion Craft
  • Farming Simulator 22
  • Townscaper
  • Dorfromantik

How to vote in The Steam Awards 2021

Voting in The Steam Awards was easy, and if you happened to be a collectionist on the gaming platform, there was extra incentive to do so. Here’s how fans were able to cast their vote:

  1. Log into Steam.
  2. Click on The Steam Awards 2021 on the store homepage
  3. Scroll down to vote in each individual category
  4. Once you finish voting, you should receive some free rewards

Voting was open until January 3, 2022, with hundreds of thousands making sure their voices were heard.

How to claim free rewards during The Steam Awards 2021

Just by voting in The Steam Awards 2021, fans could earn free rewards in the form of random cards. These could then be used to craft badges on your Steam profile.

Each vote cast came with one card from the Winter Sale Trading Cards set. There were 10 cards in total, named after each of the categories.

With a full set of 10 cards in hand, participants could craft them into the Steam Winter 2021 badge. This badge is upgradeable up to five times, and each time you’ll earn some Profile XP which goes towards increasing the size of your friends list and more.