Not only a visual change but a whole lot of new features and improvements.
We all love Steam but its social features, chat included, feels a bit outdated. It is no mystery that Valve is working from a while on revamping its client but only now we can test the progress of this: say welcome to the all-new Steam Chat!
The new chat is indipendent from the Steam Client and Valve can issue new updates for it without updating their whole client. The list of new features and changes of the new chat is massive but we can summarize them in:
- a more modern chat window that supports in chat links like video links, images, tweets and others;
- an easier group chat system that let you invite seamlessy your friends and also make the group permanent assigning a name and a group image;
- possibility to create both text and voice channel into groups and both temporary or permanent invite links to them;
- a new voice chat system based on the Opus codec and centralized servers which guarantee better quality, lower latency and lower bandwidth;
- way better security, compared to the current chat system thanks to encryption and said centralized servers which hide all IPs.
If all those features sounds familiar it is because they are. The new Steam Chat reminds a lot of the popular Discord chat in both aesthetics and functionality, which isn't a bad thing, although it is to be seen if Valve will bring back Discord users to their chat.
Currently the new chat is in open beta and you can try it both joining the Steam Client Beta Test (which also seems to lighten the Steam Overlay improving games performance) or using the web version of the revamped Steam Chat. If you want to read more in detail about the new Steam Chat you can also visit the dedicated page.
If the new Steam Chat is at least on par with Discord, will you go back to Valve offering or it is not worth it? Let us know what do you think with a comment down below or on socials!