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Finding the most recent date played is simple enough, but is there a way of finding the date of the first instance it was played?

Purchase date doesn't help me in this regard as I rarely play games on the same day as they are bought.

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Short answer, nope.

Play sessions are not explicitly tracked by Steam (or, if they are, this data is not accessible on a user level through either the API or an interface), as far as I know they only log the most recent time you've played it which is then overwritten each time you start the application again (while online).

Depending on why you would want this there might be other solutions.
What would you use it for?

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    Actually I'm sorry but there is a way to view the first played date. Check my answer to view how. – eShadow Sep 17 '20 at 19:19
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The short answer is, Yes you can view when it was first played. This can be done from accessing the library,Here it is shown and the going to the game you want. For example I will take a look at beamng.drive.This is the screen you will see So you clearly see the last played date, To find out the first played you must go to the Activity bar, scroll down a bit till you find where you first played it.This is the activity bar (part of) And so you can clearly see when I first put it on my wish-list then bought it and played it for the first time. Best regards, eShadow

Edit: Some games allow you to view this option from the in-game status menu. Others don't. If your game doesn't support it you can use my answer.

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  • Ooh, that's new. Neat! – Mara Sep 18 '20 at 20:48
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I know this is super late, but for certain games such as CS:GO, if you click on activity under your name, then look on the right side of the screen and click on games, some will have a button for "personal game data", and for CS:GO it will have your first time played displayed with exact time and date.

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Old Thread, still no answer.. Only one way to narrow it down, atleast: If the game has achievements, check those for the earliest date. Some games even have an achievement for first sign in or similar stuff you do in the beginning

Hope this helps

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Alright, I know this is most likely not going to be seen but... I have had a major breakthrough. In the top left of your steam application, above the Library button there is a menu that says Help, now click on that and go to Steam Support (make sure you have played the game recently) click on the game you wish to view and it will tell you when it was purchased (Yes it works with free games too)

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/7mD6I.png Go Here and Click Steam Support

[2]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/BoRnx.png Click on the game you wish to check in my case War Thunder

[3]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/3KsuX.png and voila. Enjoy!

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    The OP asks for the first time a game is played, not purchased. – Joachim Jan 31 at 8:19
  • Well it does atleast give a rough timeframe. – Muddy Feb 1 at 9:03
  • I don't think the downvote was necessary as this does indeed give a rough timefram – Wanjia Apr 1 at 9:05
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Better late then never. It is quite easy. Check folder creation date of the game installed.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common[game folder]

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    That's a good thought, but not always accurate. I've had two or three computers since the first time I played some of the games I have installed, so the date created is just when the game was installed on my latest computer. – Mage Xy Jan 26 '18 at 16:45
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    @MageXy Completely agree. This is only accurate if the directory has never been copied from anywhere else. Backups, or transferring Steam to another location will update the creation date to the present time. – JonathanDavidArndt Jan 26 '18 at 16:57
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Sorry to necro, but you can actually see the summary of your steam purchases when going to your wallet, and clicking that one link (don't remember the name). You'll only see the game you purchased via the steam store tho, so no gifts and no keys are listed there. Hope this helps :)

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    From the question: "Purchase date doesn't help me in this regard as I rarely play games on the same day as they are bought." – user91577 Nov 2 '18 at 2:25
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i found how go on your library select the game and click on Assistance

and right after that you'll see when it was bought

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    The OP asks for the first time a game is played, not purchased. – Joachim Jan 31 at 8:19

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