Steam Announces 'Steam Chat' Client to Improve On-Platform Communication

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PC gamers using the Steam client have typically had to turn to third-party programs such as Discord or Teamspeak to power in-game voice chat, but it looks like Valve is finally getting around to integrating the much-desired feature with the introduction of a new Steam Chat service. The gaming company just announced Steam Chat, which is now in beta for anyone to try. For those of you who still remember Myspace, the new friends list will also let you designate some friends as "favorites", so get ready to compete for that coveted status. While in that mode, you can see your friends (and enemies) and chat just like normal, without so many people chatting at you that you spill your tea into your lap.

The quality and security of Steam voice chat have been revamped from the ground up, providing a new WebRTC-based backend, which comes with high-quality Opus encoding and encrypted traffic.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. Soon, the AOL-esque chat of yore will be gone, replaced by the slick, fancy Discord chat of the present. This keeps your IP address private, which masks your physical location and also prevents network attacks.

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

As mentioned before, the chat window will now expand and show any media that is posted on it without needing to open the link, applying to videos, images, gifs, tweets, and more.

Steam Chat is now available to test out during its public beta. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel.

All features of the client are available in a desktop version, as well, meaning users may continue conversations after having logged out of the Steam client.

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