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Valve finally overhauls Steam Chat with new and improved features

By midian182
Jun 13, 2018
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  1. An open beta version of Valve’s new chat service is available right now. It features an improved, more flexible friends list that lets you keep your favorite friends, groups, and chats right at the top, making them easier to access. Your friends are also now grouped by game and party, showing what they’re playing and if they’re playing it together. Some titles will even provide in-game details such as maps and game types.

    It’s impossible not to notice the similarities between Valve’s new group chat and Discord, such as being able to invite friends with links, create persistent text or voice channels within a group, and the ability to share in-line images, video, tweets, audio, and other media.

    Steam said a new webRTC-based backend was rewritten from the ground up to improve security. “As a result, voice chat uses high-quality Opus encoding, voice traffic is encrypted, and all traffic is sent through Steam servers rather than directly to peers. This keeps your IP address private, which masks your physical location and also prevents network attacks.”

    All the features work on both the Steam client and on the web. While the upgrades are unlikely to worry Discord, the platform’s many users will doubtlessly be pleased to see the chat service finally get an update. You can leave your feedback by joining the beta at the bottom of this page.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,625   +2,364

    Actually, its pretty bad at the moment. I've already opted out of Steam betas until I hear friend list is improved.
  3. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    exactly. its terrible. you cant even right click a friend and hit "join game" anymore.......why the FAWK would you remove that.......
  4. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 370   +236

    I probably haven't used that function for years. Most of the games on Steam that I play have an in-game way to join friends. CSGO and Insurgency are the exceptions for me. I actually have no problem with the new features as is, but they are in beta for a reason.

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