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I like to discover games with Steam Discovery Queue. However, I have been encountering an error for several years, I am not the only one in this situation, and I have not found any fix yet.

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Let us say I have finished discovering a set of 12 games and want to discover another set of 12 games. Then I have to click on Start another Queue. At this point, either the process goes fine, or I encounter the following error:

There was a problem saving your preferences. Please try again later.

When I click OK and then reload the page, after around 6 seconds, another error message appears:

An error was encountered while processing your request:
Failed to load queue

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Here is a video recorded by a Steam user of the process described above:

Steam Discovery Queue broken: video proof

The error message Failed to load queue can also appear as soon as I click on Click here to begin exploring your queue. When this is going to happen, there is no background game banners visible behind the brown rubber band.

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It might be relevant to mention that there exist preferences for Steam Discovery Queue at this webpage:

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After I refresh the Steam Discovery page, or go to a page on the Steam store, or visit a profile on Steam community, the issue sometimes disappears. Sometimes, if I manage to modify my preferences for Steam Discovery, the error disappears. Sometimes, I just give up and the issue disappears when I try again a few hours later.

I believe this error mostly happens to people who have already discovered thousands of games. It seems the error also occurs for some users during major sales, and could be linked to Steam network being overloaded.

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    Are you using the Steam client or a browser? If a browser try with no addons. If steam client, exit client and restart should fix it. Not sure what the error is from exactly but I've run into it pretty much exactly as you've described. – Viper_Sb Jun 24 '18 at 20:47
  • The error happens with both the Steam client and my usual web browser (Firefox). – Wok Jun 24 '18 at 20:50
  • For the Steam client, I will try your piece of advice (exit and restart). It could do the trick. However, I will need some time before reporting back with more confidence: the error is quite random and it is not easy to infer whether it is fixed or not. – Wok Jun 24 '18 at 20:54
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    I have, on many occasions, encountered an issue where the Steam client basically "forgets" that I'm logged in. It still shows my account name, wallet funds and notices in the top right, but for all other purposes it acts like I'm not logged in (ie: the store front is generic, no queue, etc.) I can believe it would cause these errors if it "forgot" I was logged in while generating a new queue. Exit and restart always fixes it, but it's still annoying for the frequency with which it occurs. I think it's just a bug that Valve needs to fix (hopefully soon!) – Steve-O Jun 25 '18 at 14:00
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    Restarting the Steam client did not fix it for me yesterday. The only reliable fix seems to be to give up and try again a few hours later. Which could point at an issue on Valve's side. – Wok Jul 3 '18 at 5:22
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The cause is, like you proffered, in all probability a server overload.
As comments here and in other relevant threads suggest, this occurs more frequently during sales and other large events: in the Steam Community thread you linked, most users complain about not being able to get event trading cards.
This same overload - it seems - can also

  • cause inventories to not show up;
  • show impersonal (generic) pages (as suggested in the comments above);
  • or, which happened to me regularly, give error codes upon loading pages (Error code: -330. Failed to load web page (unknown error)).

I think (and I have little knowledge about these matters) the reason this tends to happen right after finishing a queue, is that these queues are fully preloaded in advance. This is substantiated by the fact that if you deviate from the queue and continue later, it will let you pick up where you left it.
Moreover, this would also explain it happening generally to users with a higher discovery count (since, I guess, it will take longer to parse the database).

An interesting comment in that same thread sheds some more light on a possible underlying complication:

The queue-generation [of Steam] works on the same principles as the post history: each request gets a fixed number of milliseconds of time to finish. If it cannot finish within that time, all work done so far is thrown out; the request is killed; and you get sent back an "oops! something went wrong!" instead.


As for circumventing this problem:

  • Refreshing the page often works.
  • Failing that, you can log out and restart Steam.
  • In some cases, waiting for an extended amount of time before trying again, helps (which also corroborates the assumed cause).

A better question would be why this is still happening. In anticipation, and answering your main question directly: yes, but only Valve can fix this.

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