Valve Unveils Major Overhaul of Steam: Improved Look, Enhanced Features & Platform Parity
Valve releases a significant update to Steam, revamping its appearance, enhancing functionality, and achieving platform parity across Windows, Mac and Linux versions.
PC gamers often jest that three things in life remain constant: death, taxes and the timeless aesthetic of Steam. However, one of those elements has recently undergone a transformation as Valve introduces the most substantial overhaul to Steam in years, encompassing a visual makeover and a host of new features.
According to Valve, the company's developers dedicated themselves to establishing greater consistency across the desktop version of Steam, the TV-focused Big Picture mode and the Steam Deck. This codebase overhaul ensures that new features introduced to the desktop iteration can effortlessly be shipped to the Steam Deck.
Visually, the entire application has been modernised and revitalised. In most cases, the interface retains its familiar layout, albeit with subtle changes in fonts, colours, and sizes. However, the in-game overlay has undergone a more significant transformation, as have the notifications.
Steam users now have greater customisation options for notifications, including when and how they are displayed. The notifications panel exclusively showcases new notifications, with the option to access older ones through a "view all" button.
The overlay now provides more comprehensive information about the game being played, such as achievement progress and playing time. Notably, Valve has introduced substantial improvements to the controller configurator, which is now accessible via the overlay when a game is connected.
Perhaps the most noteworthy user-facing feature is the ability to take notes within the Steam overlay while playing a game. These notes are game-specific, allowing users to create multiple notes and utilise rich text formatting.
Individual windows from Steam's overlay can now be pinned to appear on top of the game, even when the overlay is closed. Users also have the freedom to adjust the transparency of these windows, catering to their preferences. This functionality extends beyond notes and includes achievements, the web browser, guides, and discussions.
These enhancements are applicable to all versions of Steam, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux. Moreover, Steam now supports hardware acceleration on macOS and Linux, achieving parity with its Windows counterpart for the first time.
These updates were rolled out earlier this week and should now be accessible to all Steam users.
Valve introduces a major overhaul to Steam, featuring a visual makeover and new features.
Efforts to achieve consistency across desktop, Big Picture mode, and Steam Deck have been made.
The application's look has been modernized, while the in-game overlay and notifications have been revamped.
Users can now customize notifications and take game-specific notes within the Steam overlay.
Windows from the overlay can be pinned and adjusted for transparency, including notes, achievements, and more.
Parity with Windows has been achieved on macOS and Linux, offering improved performance.
The updates have been rolled out and are now available to all Steam users.