Steam's new chat client is out of beta, Valve says more changes are coming

The new and vastly improved Steam chat client that Valve rolled into beta testing in June, with support for group chats, multiple channels, voice chat support, and inline multimedia, is now fully operational and live for everyone. 

The new Steam chat is a big step forward, not least because it looks and acts like Discord, the current king of the game-centric chat client ring. Persistent group chats are "built for gaming," as players can see which of their regular cohorts are online, invite them to a voice channel, and then fire out some game invites. There's also a web-based option, so if you can't (or don't want to) fire up Steam, you can still participate in your communities through your browser

The release version of the Steam chat client boasts a number of changes and fixes since the beta, and Valve said that it will pave the way to future Steam updates.   

"Friends and chat are just the beginning. This update was built using a new UI framework and includes some important architectural improvements under the hood, all of which allow us to make more frequent updates to our web-based Steam components," it wrote. "There are many improvements to the overall Steam experience that we plan to tackle, and your feedback helps us to prioritize what's next." 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.