Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Tech | By

Valve completely overhauls Steam client chat, beta available to try out

Valve completely overhauls Steam client chat, beta available to try out

The new friends list enables favorite friends, groups, and chats to be maintained at the top of the list, where they're easily accessible, and they can also be grouped by game or by party, making it easier to keep track of who's playing what, and who's playing together.

Valve's feeling the pressure from Discord (and other chat services) and an overhaul of the chat interface and functionality was long overdue. You can also see what exactly a friend is doing in the game, whether sitting at the main menu or now in a match. Voice chat was rewritten using WebRTC which means that voice chat is encrypted now, that traffic is sent through Steam servers, and that it uses Opus encoding now. New features include a modernized chat experience, a more flexible friend list, group chats built for gaming, and more.

The new Steam Chat offers some great features that come as standard with other services. But Steam isn't available everywhere, one core region yet to be tapped is China.

It is easier to start a voice chat now to get everyone join the same channel within seconds of posting the voice chat link in group chat. It also comes with end-to-end encryption for added privacy and security.

The new chat features are now in open beta. Available in beta now, the Steam Chat update acknowledges that a chat-life without animated gifs, YouTube links, and voice chat that doesn't blare out your IP address every time you speak isn't a chat-life worth living. Today, though, Valve revealed a much-needed modern makeover, and you can try it now. Do you think that the new Steam Chat has what it takes to bring down Discord?

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