This PC launcher collects libraries from all your platforms in one place, and it’s incredibly customizable

I don’t know if you remember, but when Steam appeared, people hated him in an almost visceral way. Before the advent of Valve’s platform, playing on PC was as easy as installing the game, opening an .exe, and throwing go ahead. Things have changed a lot since then, and, in fact, now this store has become the default pillar of PC gaming, although it does not reign alone. Epic Games, GOG, Itch, Battle.Net, Game Pass… lto customer list that we use is huge, and so for the past few months, I decided to look for an alternative to this. I have left Steam and other classic industry front ends to use Playniteand it is a decision that I encourage you to try.

The epidemic of launchers It’s nothing new (and nothing I haven’t already complained about, as my article on Steam and its alternatives last year shows). In 2023, I’m a little more tired of going through endless hoops to enjoy my (extensive, perhaps too much), library of games. That is why I decided to look for an alternative. This is where my experience with Playnitethe client I’m going to talk about today.

What is Playnite?

Without a doubt, the worst part of gaming on PC is having to deal with a myriad of clients depending on what you want to play. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s the best gaming platform by far by far, but have a unified catalog it elevates its potential into the stratosphere, and that is precisely what I have found using Playnite.

If you don’t know it, Playnite is an alternative client that allows you to launch any game you have without having to open each of the associated clients. For example, if I want to play something from Steam and then something from GOG, I can do it from the same program. The huge advantage that this brings is more than obvious: not having to be opening and closing several clients, and even remembering where you bought each title from. This in itself sounds great, but the independent project has many more tricks up its sleeve, although not everything is rosy on this journey.

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God level customization

But hey, starting with the positive side of Playnite, the thing that stands out for is its modularity and customization. You can add a lot of stores to it, even many you wouldn’t have thought of. From Steam and Epic Games to NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Viveport and Amazon Games, you can have in your client all the titles that you have bought on PC, and I am not just talking about the installed ones! These lists are also imported automatically, without you having to add the games one by one, just by connecting the platforms.

When it comes to playing, it’s as simple as opening the game, letting Playnite take care of running the corresponding store, and seeing how, at the end of each session, will also close it. The same thing happens with the installations: you are going to run Steam, Epic or whatever you need to carry out the operation, but then the process will end automatically.

Playnitec Image

As you can see, the variety of libraries is huge.

Despite the fact that this is the main function, this alternative client also allows you to change your interface in great depth. You can make manual arrangements through its menu with as much attention to detail that even lets you customize the fonts and their size, not to mention the collections of games, panels and types of details that are shown. Playnite wants you to have an experience made to your measure.

I understand that this can overwhelm to more than one. If that’s your case, don’t worry! A community of creators dedicated to the simplest customization has formed around this client. you have a great number of topics to use and make your interface cooler. From there, you can also make your own arrangements to adjust everything to how you like it. Of course, this modularity, freedom and customization stands out when we compare it with that of other Playnite rivals.

Very cool, but with some annoying limitations

Aside from having to install titles from whatever client you’re going to use, there are a few things you’ll have to “come home” for if you decide to go this route. The first and most obvious is to expand your library. Whether through purchases or redeeming codes, you’ll need go to your store of choice to process all this, although it is not an insurmountable contingency.

On the other hand, you’re also going to have to say goodbye to your friends lists outside of games. If you wants talk to them Without having to open a title, you will have to leave the Playnite path to connect to the Valve platform. Still, if you communicate with them more on Discord than on Steam or Epic, that’s not a huge price to pay.

The updates: the big problem.

Last but not least (quite the opposite, in fact), update your games It is something that you must do from the store where you bought them, so this adds a layer of tedium to the process that you may not be willing to deal with. Of course, you can have all the other stores open in the background to keep your games up to date, but using Playnite to launch it, yes, but that somewhat defeats the raison d’être of this alternative.

Why not use GOG Galaxy?

If you have tried the GOG client, which was betting precisely on be another all-in-one, you’ve probably asked yourself that question, and the answer goes through a colon. To begin with, I was looking something unbiased and open sourceSince I am going to separate myself as much as possible from these big brands, the more I can do it, the better. On the other hand, the level of customization from Playnite has made me very happy with how my client works now. Tailored to my needs and priorities, it’s the best experience for my taste on PC.

So is Playnite worth using? Well, yes, but it depends a lot on your tolerance for tedium and the importance you give to the negative points of this migration. if you are willing to go through some hoops and change your way of facing the gaming pc In some ways, this client can make everything a hell of a lot easier for you. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with how you are, I also recommend you try it. Who knows, you might find that you weren’t as satisfied as you thought. In my case, the difference has made enjoy more of all my video games.

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