How to connect a Gigaset DECT phone to a VOIP router

How to connect a Gigaset DECT phone to a VOIP router

Hi guys today, I have something special for you. We are going to look at the gigaset CL660HX, which is an IP phone made in germany, and all you need to use one of these really. Nice phones is a router that supports this DECT standard. With this CAT-iq extension 2.0, it also features HD voice and yeah.

It is made in Germany, and one thing I want you to keep in mind – is that if you want to connect this to your router, make sure that your router supports this expanded CAT-iq standard? That’S here that way, you can use it with a variety of routers such as tp-link and the like, and I will show you how to configure this as well and gigaset has launched this HX series specifically to work with your router. So you don’t need a separate base station for your phone.

It communicates directly with the router, which is very nice. So let’s have a look inside the box and then I’m also going to show you how to set this up. So, first up we find a manual and yeah since I am in Germany. That’S all in German, very nice little compact charger yeah. So that’s the charger.

I don’t know whether you can see these specs right here. So next up. We have like a really fancy. Looking base station – and that’s like a really nice material right here and here in the back – is where you can insert the power adapter yeah that looks very nice next up. We have the phone and yeah. What I like about the phone is that let’s turn this around real quick, it has a really nice fit and finish, and the displays is also very large, so …

And yeah look at this dial pad. You know how many phones, like you, have like these really small buttons, and this is like a really nice size and just to give you an idea, i’m going to put in the batteries right now and turn this thing on and yeah the phone comes with two 750 mAh batteries – let’s take this out real, quick and for any electric device, make sure you pay attention to the polarity of the batteries. Put them put them in the right way, like so …, and it’s already starting up and yeah what the phone is telling me right now, it’s to register it with the base station,

so I will be right back and set this up for you and yeah, like I said before, instead of connecting the phone to a base station, i’m connecting it right to a voice over IP capable router by the company tp-link, and this router supports up to six of these handhelds ( DECT phones, ) and yeah, basically to pair the phone with The router you just have to push this DECT button and then hook it up with the phone. It’S a very easy and straightforward process. Now let me see whether I can get you a close-up shot of that router button as well and yeah. Here you see the voice over IP capable router, with its three buttons at the side and the top one is where you connect the phone,

and for that you just push that DECT button for a few seconds and then a light starts to flash and you pair It with your phone and yeah once the handset is connected. It should look something like this. That’S literally how easy it is here. You see the time and then you have a menu right here where you can change the sounds and a lot of other things.

So that’s a really nice easy to use phone and on the site right here, I even found a connector for connecting a headset. So if you wanted to, you could even take like a call center style, headset like this and just plug it in and plug it. In like so like so and off you go so, I think that’s really great a handset ( DECT phone ) that works with a voip router that has big buttons, that has a nice menu where you can easily navigate everything and you can connect a headset. I mean that’s really great and to check that everything is set up correctly. Let’S take my other voice over IP phone and pick the u.s

Line and call that newly setup handset ( DECT phone ) and yeah, should you happen to miss the call. You also see this by this flashing indicator light, and it will also display it here as a missed call as well and a yeah just to give you an idea. You have also a variety of sounds that you can pick as well and yeah when it comes to the sounds. There are some nice sounds in there, but there’s definitely room for improvement, but i did also see supposedly you can also load up. Your own sounds to that phone, because the phone has the USB connection as well, and you can connect that to with a software to your computer and copy sounds as well as pictures when someone calls you, as well as your all, your contacts.

Using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

Using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

Are you a Medicare Part A provider, a Federally Qualified Health Center, a Home Health or Hospice provider, or a Medicare part B provider who bills Medicare claims to National Government Services for Jurisdiction 6 or Jurisdiction K? Did you know you that you can get information specific to your patients and general information outside of normal business hours, and without speaking to a representative by calling the National Government Services Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system? The IVR is maintained on a separate line from our customer care representatives and is available beyond the normal contact center hours.

As a result, you have greater access to the information you need, when you need it and at a time that works for you. There are a few things you can do to make using the IVR easier. Remember to speak naturally and use the mute button when you are not speaking. Try using touch-tone if an element is not recognized by your voice. You cannot combine speech and touch-tone when providing a single element. For example, you cannot speak the numbers in a patient’s Medicare number and then enter the suffix via touch-tone. However, you can switch between speech and touch-tone throughout the call. There is no need to wait for a prompt to try touch-tone; it is available throughout the IVR. Once the CMS required authentication elements have been verified, you can obtain answers to numerous inquiries through this self-service option. If you select Option 1 in the IVR, you can obtain Eligibility information including: Part A and Part B effective and termination dates, Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) type, insurer name, effective and termination dates Medicare Advantage Plan number, name, address, telephone number, effective and termination dates Eligibility information is not available if the date of service is greater than one year from the date you are calling the IVR.

In addition, eligibility information is not available for terminated providers. If you select Option 2, the IVR will offer you the option of receiving information about pending, approved to pay and finalized claim count information. You can also receive claim-specific status information. The IVR also provides Appeal status when you select Option 7, General information when you select Option 8 and much more. If you are interested in learning more about what the IVR has to offer, visit the NGSMedicare.com web site, and click the Use the IVR System tab in the middle of the homepage. The next time you have an opportunity, we encourage you to take advantage of the benefits of the IVR.

Stay tuned to the National Government Services YouTube channel for more educational opportunities, designed for you..

Read More: IPPBX Phone System for SMB – Yeastar S-Series VoIP PBX

New iPad Pro 2020 – deals, price and where to buy Apple’s latest tablet

New iPad Pro 2020 deals are already starting to emerge this week, despite Apple’s new tablets being barely a month old. More and more retailers are starting to stock these premium tablets, and once more, even start to offer some great price cuts on the older ranges. We’re here to help you navigate the current iPad Pro deals landscape, show you where to buy these latest tablets, and tell you how much you should be paying.

Two brand new Apple iPad Pros for 2020 were launched in mid-March of this year replacing the capable, but venerable 2018 iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9. These new top of the line iPads contain some brand new features and tec, that we’ll briefly go over on this page. Most importantly however, we’ll be comparing them to the last-gen and asking ourselves the question – are these brand new tablets from Apple worth it?

Currently, you can order the all-new iPad Pro online at Apple.com in the US, UK, and Australia. If you’re not going to buy from the official Apple store then the good news is many retailers are now also beginning to stock these new devices. In the US, BestBuy and Adorama have launched them on their websites, and BHPhoto has even offered some tidy discounts, so definitely consider these options. In the UK, we’ve seen Currys, John Lewis and Amazon all offer the new tablets at launch prices currently, though stock remains an issue at Amazon. Note – Apple is only offering their orders directly from their websites right now, as their physical stores remain closed due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. 

Cut to the chase? Here’s where to buy the new Apple iPad Pro 2020

New iPad Pro 2020 price: How much does it cost?

New iPad Pro 2020 price

(Image credit: Apple)

Release date prices for the new iPad Pros are in line with Apple’s previous iPad Pro range – that’s to say premium prices for premium features. Here are the current launch starting prices for each size:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
  • 128GB – $799 / £769
  • 256GB – $899 / £869
  • 512GB – $1099 / $1069
  • 1TB – $1299 / $1269
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020)
  • 128GB – $999 / £969
  • 256GB – $1099 / £1069
  • 512GB – $1299 / $1269
  • 1TB – $1499 / $1469

It’s worth mentioning that these are just starting prices for the Wi-Fi only models, if you want to include the option for cellular capabilities then you’ll be spending an extra $200 on top of the above asking prices.

If you’re looking for the best new iPad Pro deals specifically, then you might have to wait as we’ve only got release prices right now – make sure you bookmark this page though, as we’ll be sure to update it with any price drops.

New iPad Pro 2020: Specs and features

These iPads come with a selection of storage sizes (128, 256, 512GB, and 1TB) and in two colors (Silver, Space Gray). All variations and sizes feature the brand new Liquid retina display and A12Z Bionic chip – which the company claims is excellent for “editing 4K video or designing 3D models”.

If you go for the 11-inch screen, you’ll get yourself a 2388 x 1668 resolution, while the bigger 12.9-inch model has 2732 x 2048 standard. Both screen sizes offer 264 pixels per inch and a rapid 120HZ refresh rate, which should provide a smoother viewing experience when scrolling or watching over the normal 90HZ rate.

These iPads are also the first to feature two rear cameras and the new LiDAR Scanner – which aim to improve depth-sensing capabilities for portraiture and improved augmented reality app support. The cameras will also handle 4K – if you want to shoot footage directly from the iPad itself for ease of use.

Software-wise these new 2020 iPad Pros come with the latest iPadOS 13.4 and can, of course, be expected to be supported with the latest upgrades from Apple for many years to come. iPadOS 13.4 specifically comes with trackpad-like support, which Apple claims will enable more fluid switching between apps.

What about older Apple iPad Pro prices?

A new iPad launch is also great news if you’re looking for something a little older – specifically the last generation models, which are sure to have some nice little price drops to make way for the newer, shinier offerings.

When looking at iPad Pros, you should definitely consider the 2018 iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9. At their current price, you can hope to save around $50 / £50, depending on your country and which retailer you go for. These iPads are still great buys, despite being a little older, as they still retain top of the line specs and components under the hood.

Looking for something other than an iPad Pro? check out our full range of the best cheap iPad deals in March 2020

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Cisco Offers Big Payment Deferrals Until 2021 as Companies Seek Remote-Work Tools

Cisco on Tuesday launched a $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 19,040 crores) financing program that lets its customers defer 95 percent of payments until 2021, giving companies additional leeway at time when some are facing a cash crunch but also need more remote-work tools.

As the coronavirus forces many businesses to operate entirely online, many of them have adopted or boosted usage of video conferencing and virtual private network software, including Cisco’s Webex and AnyConnect. The surge in internet activity has also increased usage of networking equipment that Cisco also sells.

The financing offer, which requires no payment for three months and then 1 percent of money owed in each of last five months of 2020, could help Cisco stand out among competitors in software and hardware and keep revenue flowing in a challenging economic climate.

Customers “are trying to reconcile how to make this investment to acquire solutions without knowing what’s around the corner,” Kristine Snow, senior vice president for financing arm Cisco Capital, said in an interview.

Cisco, which has extended financing for over two decades, had $9.6 billion (roughly Rs. 73,111 crores) in loans and other instruments in its portfolio as of Jan. 25. The company held about $8.5 billion (roughly Rs. 64,733 crores) in cash and equivalents at the time.

Its new program will be initially available in 19 locations, including the United States, Greater China, India and Germany. Hardware, software and services are covered, as are some fees charged by Cisco’s sales and installation partners.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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The best Steam games 2020

Narrowing down the best Steam games of 2020 is practically backbreaking work, mostly because you’ll spend hours hunching over your computer doing so. There are over 23,000 titles on the popular online gaming platform, after all, and new exciting titles are popping up every day.

It’s not just the vast catalog. The best Steam games also encompass a wide variety of game genres, from the best open world games and best MMO games to the best co-op PC games you can enjoy with friends. And, while part of the fun is browsing and discovering all these games, many of which you’ve never heard of before, your time is perhaps best spent on immersing yourself in the games instead of the hunt.

That’s why we dug deep and did the work for you. We scoured Steam ourselves and found the best Steam games of 2020, some of which are among the best PC games we’ve ever played. Whether you want something brand new, a recent hit or a classic, you can’t go wrong with any of these titles on our list.

Kenshi

You’re going to get hours upon hours upon hours of gameplay out of Kenshi. (Image credit: Lo-Fi Games)

Kenshi

Some of the best Steam games 2020 has are those that cannot really exist anywhere else. Complicated RPGs and strategy games require the unique features of a gaming PC to thrive, and Kenshi is a perfect example. 

Taking cues from the old Mount & Blade games, Kenshi is a sandbox, squad-based RPG where you’re in charge of your own story. You’re dropped in the midst of a massive world – think Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall huge – and you’re not limited by any of the gameplay systems. You can simply build a home for yourself, or set off on a grand adventure. 

You’re going to get hours upon hours upon hours of gameplay out of Kenshi, because the world is the game, not just its setting.

What Remains of Edith Finch

If you’ve played and loved Firewatch, you’ll definitely enjoy What Remains of Edith Finch. (Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

What Remains of Edith Finch

One of the best Steam games is actually this indie smash from 2017. However, since it’s won a ‘best game’ BAFTA award, it’s time to give it another go. What Remains of Edith Finch, easily one of the first best Steam games on our list, is a narrative-led adventure in which you walk, first-person style, around as Edith Finch, exploring the house in which you grew up.

You look over the preserved relics of dead family members and are sucked into vignettes that tell the stories of how various Finches died. We get it, it sounds grim. However, its appealing style and magical realism make What Remains of Edith Finch touching and profound rather than depressing. 

It plays out a little like an interactive movie. You can’t fail as such, aside from getting lost, and the entire experience lasts 2-3 hours rather than 20. 

Don’t buy this if you’re going to feel short-changed by its length, but if you’ve played and loved Firewatch, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture or Gone Home, you’ll definitely find What Remains of Edith Finch to be one of the best Steam games 2020 has.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon

There’s plenty of fantasy fuel in Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon, and it’s more immersive than your average game. (Image credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon

While the first Ni No Kuni game was a collaboration with Japanese animation masters Studio Ghibli, Ni No Kuni II is not. It does, however, hold onto the same delightful art style. 

It also switches up the fighting mechanics. As opposed to training up avatars to fight for you, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has a fun real-time battle system. You control three fighters with fast, slow and magic attacks, and the ability to dodge. And, the sequel is a bit more action-packed than the first one. 

It’s not all about action, though. While Ni No Kuni II is an action-adventure RPG, you also build up a kingdom, which lets you bonuses for your characters. This part is unexpectedly addicting.

The story is more conventional than that of the first game, which might be down to Studio Ghibli’s limited involvement. However, there’s plenty of fantasy fuel, and it’s more immersive than your average game, deservedly earning it a spot among the best steam games 2020 brings to the table.

Into the Breach

Into the Breach is moreish, smart and deceivingly deep. (Image credit: Subset Games)

Into the Breach

Not every top Steam game is an epic open world title that will set you back $60 on PS4 and Xbox One. Into the Breach is a sophisticated sci-fi strategy blast that you can play on your lunch break at work. 

It is made by the team behind Faster than Light, still one of our favourite PC games of the last decade. And for the handheld gaming veterans out there, there are shades of Advance Wars to it too.

Earth has been attacked – and almost occupied – by aliens. In Into the Breach, you control groups of mechs sent from the future to reverse this fate. That may sound like a mind-bending premise, but it actually proves that the plot doesn’t matter too much sometimes. We know Earth will come out tops, it’s just a matter of how.

Each encounter takes in an 8×8 block grid, your battlefield. Play unfolds in turns, and your mechs have to stop aliens from obliterating too many of the field’s buildings and outposts. It has the tactical purity of chess. As you play, you can upgrade your mechs to improve your chances. 

Like FTL, Into the Breach is moreish, smart and deceivingly deep. 

Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars’ survivalist approach to “city” building is absorbing. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Surviving Mars

Some screenshots make Surviving Mars look like The Sims: Red Planet edition. However, this best steam game is, in fact, more like Sim City meets The Martian. You build an outpost on a barren patch of Mars, and have to keep it running to avoid your colonists from dying on the planet’s harsh surface. And, it’s harder than it sounds. 

That is, while mismanaging resources in Sim City or Civilization may make your inhabitants angry or lower your income, in Surviving Mars it can cause a chain reaction that sees life support systems fail. You’ll hear “a colonist has died”, and be left scrambling to fix the problem before other inhabitants start dying like bubbles popping as they touch the ground. 

Surviving Mars’s interface leaves something to be desired, but its survivalist approach to “city” building is absorbing.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is somewhat different from the FF games of old. (Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XV

After the massive multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix finally got back to their series’ single player roots with Final Fantasy XV. It came to PS4 in late 2016, but was only ported to PC in March 2018. However, you do get all the DLC released on the consoles and, if your PC is beefy enough, you’ll experience better frame rates.

Final Fantasy XV is somewhat different from the FF games of old. You travel around an open world, often by car, packed with Americana-style buildings, all your companions are human and the combat plays out in real time, not as turns. Still, you can tell this is a Final Fantasy game just by catching a 15-second clip of it in action.

Descenders

A mix of mobile game style and merciless old-school progression mechanics gives Descenders a fresh feel. (Image credit: No More Robots)

Descenders

The PC tends to get linked with the kind of games that sit you down – for hours on end until your eyes are red and part of you start to regret your life choices. However, it isn’t always that way. 

With Descenders, you can play in quick blasts. If you can drag yourself away from its moreish-ness, anyway. You’re a downhill free rider who has to get down procedurally generated courses with as much style as possible, preferably using a gamepad. It might remind you of the heyday of Tony Hawk games, or snowboard console classic SSX. 

The use of generated “tracks” means you can’t master courses, which means that it’s the mastery of the bike’s physics you need to be shooting for. A career mode pits you against a series of courses in the same style of environment, each with objectives. Finish the “boss course,” and you unlock a new terrain. But you have limited lives for the whole run. A mix of mobile game style and merciless old-school progression mechanics gives Descenders a fresh feel, just one of the many reasons why it’s made our best steam game list.

American Truck Simulator

There’s a business side to American Truck Simulator that gives it depth. (Image credit: SCS Software)

American Truck Simulator

Not every game has to be about destroying aliens or gunning down unnamed soldiers. For instance, American Truck Simulator, one of the best steam games to play in 2019, feels like mindfulness meditation next to those games.

You drive a big 18-wheeler-style truck over the long highways of the US, transporting cargo from A to B. Breaking the traffic codes doesn’t end in a GTA-style police chase, just a fine. This is the sort of game you can put on like cozy slippers after a long day at work. 

Yet there’s also a business side to it, giving it depth. You start as a lowly contractor, but can earn enough money to build your own shipping empire.

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity is a challenging, slightly retro-flavoured RPG. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Pillars of Eternity

PC gamers who have been playing since the ‘90s might remember all the fuss surrounding the Baldur’s Gate titles. In fact, some of their most loyal fans still get teary-eyed reminiscing about their favorite side characters. 

Isometric role-playing games like Baldur’s Gate don’t cut it in the AAA world anymore. However, Pillars of Eternity brings back the spirit of those games to the Steam crowd. This is a challenging, slightly retro-flavoured RPG in which you control a band of classic fantasy-style adventurers. It’s made by Obsidian, the team behind Fallout: New Vegas. Pillars of Eternity II is on the horizon too. 

If you like your RPGs fantasy-themed, also consider Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Legend of Grimrock II

Legend of Grimrock II is a dungeon crawler where you move in blocks. (Image credit: Almost Human)

Legend of Grimrock II

Another throwback to a style of game that has all but disappeared, Legend of Grimrock 2 is a dungeon crawler where you move in blocks, as opposed to freely. Why would you want that? It changes your relationship with the environment, making it feel more like an intricate puzzle instead of an open world a texture artist had been let loose on. 

There are an awful lot of actual puzzles involved here too, in-between the bouts of classic “Dungeons & Dragons” style combat encounters. Plus, as retro as the play style is, Legend of Grimrock 2 looks incredible, with many outdoors areas to prevent you from getting bogged down in dimly-lit dungeons.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PUBG remains one of the most fun shooters on the market in 2019. (Image credit: PUBG Corporation)

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

When it comes to in-vogue games, few titles continue to capture the zeitgeist (and fill it full of bullet holes) the way PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds does. It may have one of the worst acronyms ever, but that hasn’t stopped PUBG from putting the ‘battle royale’ subgenre on the map and turning itself into a phenomenon in the process. Sure, there’s a lot of hype still surrounding it, but the game behind all the coverage and Twitch fascination is still one of the most addictive on Steam, as well as one of the best steam games this 2019.

That simple premise – parachute into a map with no gear, scavenge for weapons and armour, and fight for survival with a single life in a continually shrinking map – is still engrossing, even if it has a few too many bugs. Whether you’re teaming up with friends or braving its maps by your lonesome, PUBG remains one of the most fun shooters on the market in 2019.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the latest releases on our best Steam games list. (Image credit: Deep Silver)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

One of the latest releases on our best Steam games list, Kingdom Come: Deliverance boasts an experience that’s both reassuringly familiar and deeply alien. Set in a fictional Medieval Europe, it’s a first-person RPG where dialogue choices mold your world as much as your ability to problem solve and your skills in melee combat. It’s a game of unbelievable freedom, allowing you to carve a path through the Dark Ages however you see fit.

You might get off your face on schnapps and get in a fight with the town drunk. You may start filling your pockets with the gold of unsuspecting townsfolk, Thief-style, or stain your blade with blood in the battlefield. Part Elder Scrolls, part Dark Souls, part something else entirely, it’s an action-RPG that punishes as much as it empowers. It also runs best on PC (with the right specs, obviously) so get it on the download pronto.

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six: Siege is one of those success stories that keeps on succeeding. (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six: Siege

Who knew, way back in 2015, that a Tom Clancy game would become one of the industry’s biggest success stories. But here we are, four years later, with a game that has over 25 million registered players and in its fourth year of consecutive content updates as well as premium bells and whistles. Rainbow Six: Siege is one of those success stories that keeps on succeeding, and for one very important yet simple reason: it’s fun as hell to play.

Paring back the Rainbow Six formula to its roots – two teams fight in the same map, one protecting an objective while the other attacking and fighting their way in – no two matches in Siege are ever the same. You’ll be barricading doors, breaching through walls, blasting through ceilings and building an operator that’s attuned to your playstyle. It might not be groundbreaking. However, add in the limited time Outbreak mode (think Siege plus zombies), and you’ve got one of Steam’s most complete packages.

Celeste

Celeste is one of the most unforgettable games we’ve come across in many years. (Image credit: Matt Makes Games)

Celeste

From the indie team that gave us TowerFall and TowerFall Ascension comes one of the most rewarding pixel platformers in years. As you climb the titular mountain, flame-haired heroine Madeline battles her innermost demons just as much as the harsh and dangerous conditions around her. In its simplest form, Celeste is a tight, 2D, twitch-style platformer, but in reality it’s one of the most unforgettable games we’ve come across in many years.

As poignant in narrative as it is unforgiving in gameplay, Celeste has over 700 ‘scenes’ to traverse, a myriad of secrets to uncover and a story that will grip you as much as the muscle-memory building formula of its platforming. For a game built around the simple mechanics of jump, air-dash and climb, there’s an incredible amount of depth to be found as you claw your way to the summit in more ways than one, which is why it warrants a spot on our best steam games list.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2’s secret sauce is the complexity of its combat. (Image credit: Larian Studios)

Divinity: Original Sin 2

When Divinity: Original Sin 2 was released in 2017, it had quite the legacy to live up to, that of its predecessor, which incidentally happens to be one of the most accomplished RPGs of all time. Then what does developer Larian Studios do? It only goes and follows it up with one of the most important additions to the genre in years. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an enthralling fantasy world with a deep and complex combat model and one of the most riveting stories you’ll experience outside of a 1,000 page tome.

The big selling point, and the main ingredient of Divinity: Original Sin 2’s secret sauce, is the complexity of its combat. You control a party of characters together with your own custom avatar, and utilize each one individually in battle. With countless skills and attributes to mix and match, the breadth of tactics available makes this a daunting yet deeply rewarding way to test your RPG abilities.

Stellaris

There’s a wealth of sci-fi lore and mechanics to delve into with Stellaris. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Stellaris

The grand and operatic strategy genre has given us some true classics on PC, experiences that consoles have consistently failed to duplicate. From Crusader Kings to Europa Universalis, these are games with bucket loads of tactics and guile. 

Well, it just so happens the developer of those very games has taken that deeply immersive concept and put it in the dark ocean of space. Enter Stellaris, an evolution of the genre that takes the space exploration of EVE Online and Mass Effect and hits the hyperdrive button.

You’ll traverse through countless of procedural galaxies, filled with thousands of planets and a myriad of alien species, each one possessing unique traits, economies and social strata. Whether it’s the power (and consistent balancing act) of interstellar diplomacy or the deep customisation of starship designs, there’s a wealth of sci-fi lore and mechanics to delve into with Stellaris.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is still one of the most addictive titles on Steam. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Dota 2

By far one of the oldest games on the list – well, that is if you consider 2013 old – Valve’s MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), Dota 2, is still one of the most addictive titles on Steam. It’s also the only game on this list that’s free-to-play, so you don’t even need to have a healthy bank balance to enjoy its addictive battles. Age aside, Valve has been constantly updating and overhauling the game since launch, making it one of the most evolved MOBAs on the market.

If you’ve never played it before, it’s a simple yet intoxicating setup: two teams of five players face off in a large map. Each one is defending a base with an ‘Ancient’ inside that must be protected at all costs. Find your opponent’s base and raze it to the ground to win. Anticipate to experience brilliant hero v hero showdowns, brutal ambushes, tactical plays and nonstop action.

Cuphead

Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Cuphead is a must have Steam title. (Image credit: StudioMDHR)

Cuphead

Run and gun platformers have carved a niche out for themselves on mobile, but they’re few and far between on PC. Luckily, this one was built to be a Microsoft exclusive with Xbox One in mind and the result is one of the most unique gaming experiences you’ll ever come across. Intended to capture the look and atmosphere of 1930s cartoons, Cuphead places you in the shoes of the titular hero and tasks you with battling across three distinct worlds and bosses that will capture your imagination with their ingenuity that crush your resolve with their difficulty.

Recommending a notoriously tough game might sound counter-intuitive, but the steep difficulty curve is part of its appeal. With a distinctive soundtrack and those standout visuals at your side, you’ll earn every stage clearance like a piece of territory in a war, each victory feeling that much more satisfying. Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Cuphead is a must have Steam title.

Subnautica

Subnautica is a survival game set deep in the ocean on an alien world. (Image credit: Unknown World Entertainment)

Subnautica

Another somewhat fresh release on this list, Subnautica has already made waves (pardon the pun) despite having only dropped in January of this year. A survival game set deep in the ocean on an alien world, its unique twist on the classic template makes for a game that’s both entrancing to watch and challenging in its many interconnected mechanics. You’ll explore shallow reefs, dangerous trenches on the seabed and everything in between, all the while managing your precious oxygen supply.

Oh, and there’s an entire ecosystem of alien marine life to contend with. Plenty of these fishy and mammalian critters want to add you to their menu, so you’ll need to outsmart and avoid them while scavenging for resources to build new equipment and tools. Like all the best survival games, the very best materials lie in the most dangerous of places. Do you dare swim deep enough to find them?

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus dials up the violence and the depth of storytelling. (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

With so many multiplayer shooters sharing the spolight in this feature, it seemed high time to pay homage to one of the best single-player FPS games ever made.

MachineGames gave Wolfenstein a bloody, alt-history revival in the form of 2014’s The New Order, so it had its work cut out for it when it came to bettering all that visceral Nazi slaying. Then along comes 2017’s The New Colossus, dialing up the violence and the depth of storytelling that it would make most Call Of Duty titles look at the floor in humiliation.

What makes The New Colossus so vital is how it doesn’t stray from its formula, but polishes and expands on it in almost every way. Bigger and more challenging bosses; intense set-pieces; myriad weapons that spit glorious death; a story that asks far more questions and presents some bold answers. It’s also rock hard, and consistently unforgiving, so lock and load at your peril…

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

You’d be crazy not to add Resident Evil 7: Biohazard to your Steam library. (Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard 

It’s not often that a franchise as significant as Resident Evil gets a new lease of life – especially when you consider the zombie-loving license had fallen into a lifeless parody over the past decade – but here we are with a truly terrifying horror game with the words ‘Resident Evil’ in the title. What a world, eh?

While us PC folk aren’t allowed to scare ourselves half to death in VR yet (RE7 is a PSVR at the moment), that doesn’t mean it’s any less frightening. Dropping the third-person perspective that’s felt tired and rote for awhile now, RE7 embraces the first-person view that’s helped Outlast and company re-energize the horror genre, and boy does it make for one chilling 8-10 hour scare fest.

With Capcom’s big budget, a creepy swamp setting (honestly, just go with it) and a storyline that feeds back into the series’ winding mythology, you’d be crazy not to add this to your Steam library.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Civilization VI gives you more freedom and control than ever. (Image credit: 2K Games)

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

How could we make this list of games to play on Steam and not include the most recent offering from the master of turn-based strategy and tactical simulation? The Civilization series has gone through many forms over the years, but the sixth entry takes all the best bits from those earlier incarnations, smooths off the edges and serves up one of the most rewarding turn-based video games ever made.

There’s nothing quite like building a nation from a fledgling settlement and nurturing it into a worldwide powerhouse, and Civilization VI gives you more freedom and control than ever. Eliminating the pre-set paths that hampered the still stellar Civ V, Civ VI transforms into a landscape that rewards intrepid explorers and self-assured conquerors with the opportunity to expand their budding society with new technologies and alliances. Sid Meier’s name alone is part of PC gaming’s lofty heritage, so owning this little doozy is a no-brainer.

Undertale

Undertale weaves all the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre into world built on choice, consequence and compassion. (Image credit: Toby Fox)

Undertale

Undertale is one of those games that stays with you. A work of digital art whose charm and creativity never fails to keep its edge, no matter of how many times you play it through. And considering just how many innocuous JRPGs are out there right now, that’s a pretty extraordinary feat in unto itself.

So why is Undertale so superb? It takes all the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre and weaves a world built on choice, consequence and compassion. As a child dropped into an underground world filled with terrors, you’ll have to face a whole host of monsters to make it home. How you face them and what choices you make, define your journey. 

And its Telltale-esque consequence system doesn’t just extend to dialogue choices – you can spare monsters after a fight, forging possible crucial alliances for later in the game. You can even end fights by telling your opponent jokes. It’s a game of such warm and pleasant quality you’d almost believe it was a JRPG from the earliest heyday of the genre.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There are just so many virtues The Witcher 3 has to its name. (Image credit: CD Projekt)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

For years, one game sat atop the dark and misty mountain of action-RPGs. Skyrim was its name, and no other franchise, be it Dragon Age or Dark Souls, could even come close to breaking its iron-clad grip upon the genre. Then along came Geralt of Rivia, riding atop The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with a confident swagger, ready to give The Elder Scrolls a good thrashing.

If you’re looking for a game that strikes a perfect balance between length of play (you could easily spend 100+ hours across its unbelievably diverse map – one that’s a good 20% bigger than poor old Skyrim) and sheer quality, then The Witcher 3 is a must. There are just so many virtues The Witcher 3 has to its name. Brilliant writing, memorable quests, truly challenging beasts and a pair of DLC expansions (Hearts of Stone, and Blood and Wine) make this one of the best games of this or any other generation.

Inside

There’s a reason Inside won many a GOTY award in 2016. (Image credit: Playdead)

Inside

Inside will break your heart. Fair warning. If you’re not off-putted by that, then see it rather as a mystery to be solved scene by heart-wrenching scene. Created by the same studio that made the wonderful 2.5D platformer Limbo – you know, the one about a little boy stuck in a nightmare world where a giant spider chases him endlessly – it should come as a huge shock to learn that Inside will leave you just as tearful as its predecessor.

Thing is, Inside is a brilliant piece of art. Without a scrap of dialogue, you’ll explore a world in a similar platforming vein as Limbo, overcoming various ingenious environmental puzzles and evading both the flashlights of an oppressive government and the shadow of a conspiracy that’s clearly not going to end well.

But it’s worth every second. There’s a reason it won many a GOTY award in 2016, so you’d be a fool not to add this to your Steam library. Just remember to pack a few tissues.

Rocket League

Rocket League boasts fine-tuned physics and a larger focus on multiplayer. (Image credit: Psyonix)

Rocket League

Once upon a time there was a little game on PlayStation 3 called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. It was all about using remote control-esque cars to knock a giant football around a makeshift pitch. Thing is, no one played it and the game slowly faded into obscurity.

Then Rocket League came along, which was fundamentally the same thing, albeit with fine-tuned physics and a larger focus on multiplayer. One trip into PlayStation 4’s PS Plus lineup later and the game went supernova.

And with good reason, too. It’s a modest concept but it just works – it’s a place where skill shines through as you boost your little RC car and hit the motorized equivalent of a bicycle kick. It’s magnificent, offering one of the best ways to play online (whether with friends or a bunch of strangers). Come on, who doesn’t want to spend their evening chasing a football with a car? FIFA? Pfft.

Portal 2

Portal 2 manages to take a brilliant recipe and somehow make it even more delicious. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Portal 2

Portal, back in its day, was groundbreaking. Sure, it sounds like we’re filling out boots with hyperbole, but back in 2007 all those portals, companion cubes and sociopathic AIs were blowing our minds over and over. Then Portal 2 came along and made the original look like a crossword puzzle in The Sun.

Okay, the first Portal is still remarkable, but Portal 2 took a truly revolutionary concept and twisted it into something new. Everything in this game works without a hitch – the ebb and flow of its story, the growing difficulty of the puzzles and the new ways you’re forced to make your mind think with portals. It’s even got Stephen Merchant and JK Simmons in it!

Portal 2 manages to take a brilliant recipe and somehow make it even more delicious, sprinkling in all new depths of platforming and puzzle flavour. If you haven’t played it, buy it now. If you have, play it again.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley’s pixelated retro graphics, unique soundtrack and kooky characters make for a relaxed and fun game. (Image credit: Chucklefish / ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley

The incredibly charming Stardew Valley is an indie farming RPG which sees you moving from the bustling city to your grandfather’s old, run-down farm near sleepy Pelican Town. You’ll get to uncover the secrets of the mysterious town while growing a thriving farming empire.

Stardew Valley’s pixelated retro graphics, unique soundtrack and kooky characters make for a relaxed and fun game which combines elements such as farming simulation, adventure, dating simulation and crafting.

Get ready to become emotionally attached because once you step foot in Pelican Town, it’s hard to ever leave.

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Google’s Covid-19 tracker will be delivered to your Android phone via Google Play

There have been some unexpected side-effects to the coronavirus pandemic, including the teaming up of Google and Apple to provide information to the public about the spread of the disease.

But while we’ve known for a few days about the two companies working together to keep mobile users informed about infected people nearby, there was something of a question about just how updates were going to be pushed out to users.

Now the company has shed some light on how the process will work, saying that it will used the established Google Play Services infrastructure to ensure that as many people as possible get the updates.

The benefit of using Google Play Services to update Android users with the latest information about Covid-19 tracing is that it means updates can be pushed to all handsets running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.

As well as maximizing the number of people that can be reached with individual updates, opting to using the Google Play Services infrastructure means that updates can also be spread much more quickly.

There had been fears, for instance, that operating system updates – of the style used to issued monthly security updates to Android – would not only mean people with older handsets would miss out, but also that the rollout of important informative updates would be much slower due to the involvement of handset makers.

Keep informed, keep safe

As reported by the The Verge, there will be two phases to the opt-in Bluetooth contact tracing framework which will enabled people to anonymously broadcast the fact they have tested positive for coronavirus. Both phases will be reliant on Google Play Services for updates, starting with the initial API rollout next month. Following on from this, “in coming months” we can expect to see APIs that are built into Android directly.

There will be a different system in place for Huawei phones that are not able to use key Google services. For these handsets, Google intends to produce a special framework for devices from Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese manufacturers, which they will have the option of using.

Via The Verge

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