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Steam is finally getting integrated voice chat

13 June 2018

Steam China will function as a new way for Chinese gamers to get access to a new library of games, "providing quality content and improving the experience for both gamers and developers".

Improvements include a simplified "favorites" list that will pin certain friends to the top, an expanded detail set for what each friend is playing and where they are in the game (for instance, sitting on the main menu or facing off in deathmatch), as well as organisational changes, such as grouping friends by the game they're now playing or the party they're in.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. Rich presence has arrived as well, where users will now display their current in-game status such as the game mode or if they are currently matchmaking. You have the in-line media, the ability to create multiple text or voice channels in each group, and the ability to invite friends to a group with a link.it's nearly like someone at Valve opened Discord and chose to make the UI look more like Steams.

A preview of the Steam Chat platform.                  Screenshot by Gordon Gottsegen  CNET
A preview of the Steam Chat platform. Screenshot by Gordon Gottsegen CNET

Finally, Valve said it also made some "improvements" to Steam's voice chat. You'll also see in-game friends at the top of your list, grouped together by game or even by party, making it easier to join in, or just to see which games are popular among friends.

For PC gamers there are plenty of avenues to purchase titles digitally, yet the dominant platform most will use is Valve's Steam. This keeps your IP address private, which masks your physical location and also prevents network attacks.

The new features are only available for those in the beta. The option to opt-in into this beta can be found in the Steam account settings.

Steam is finally getting integrated voice chat