Steam’s modernised chat update is out of beta, available for all to use.
The new Steam chat UI went into beta in June, shortly after a leak on a Russian forum.
If you’re unaware, Steam’s new chat UI takes a lot of inspiration from Discord, both in design and functionality. On top of the better laid-out UI, Steam’s friends window is more flexible, allowing for group chats, grouping by games, and voice chat all within the same window.
In particular, group chats now work similarly to Discord’s server chats, with the ability to embed GIFs, videos, and seamlessly transition between text and voice channels. The main advantage here being that your games are likely already on Steam, so you’re able to join friends in progress, particularly when the game uses Steam matchmaking.
Rich Presence is another new addition, greatly enhancing the information shown about the games your friends are playing such as mode type, party size etc.
Groups can be saved and returned to whenever, the same way you can do so today with many chat platforms. The biggest new addition, however, is that all of this is available through the browser as well as the Steam client.
You’re able to send group links for others to join in, and they don’t need to have Steam installed. It really is a big leap forward.
“Friends and chat are just the beginning,” Valve said. “This update was built using a new UI framework and includes some important architectural improvements under the hood, all of which allow us to make more frequent updates to our web-based Steam components.
“There are many improvements to the overall Steam experience that we plan to tackle, and your feedback helps us to prioritise what’s next.”
Your Steam client should have already been updated. If not, manually check for updates through the Steam menu in the main window.