Valve Updates Steam Chat With New Friends List, Group Tools

CREDIT Valve

Valve has released a beta for its all-new Steam chat with new features, including a revamped friend list and chat system.

Xiao, Perfect World's CEO, says the company will introduce more games to China through Steam China, "providing quality content and improving the experience for both gamers and developers". In addition, Steam Chat can now show you which of your friends are in a party together.

For PC gamers there are plenty of avenues to purchase titles digitally, yet the dominant platform most will use is Valve's Steam.

Starting things off, there is now a favorites tab on top of the friends list, where users can pin their friends and group chats for easy access.

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China is now the world's biggest video games market, valued at more than $25 billion in 2016, according to a report from IHS Markit. Soon, the AOL-esque chat of yore will be gone, replaced by the slick, fancy Discord chat of the present. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel.

Channels may be added to group chats in a similar manner that they are in Discord or Slack, with new persistent channels bring added for text or voice chat. 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.

If you are already enrolled in the beta releases, you may have to restart your client to get the new chat features. Available in beta now, the Steam Chat update acknowledges that a chat-life without animated gifs, YouTube links, and voice chat that doesn't blare out your IP address every time you speak isn't a chat-life worth living.

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