Steam’s latest update is pretty good, in fact

The Steam logo appears with pieces of the game's art in the background.

picture: valve

Steam is getting a new update, and it’s bringing very useful features to your PC games to allow you to do more without having to leave your game.

the Full update It has not been published yet but is available through the Steam Client Beta for testing. Valve’s biggest change is an overhaul of the in-game overlay, which will now allow you to use many features without having to close your game. There is now a toolbar that allows you to access many features as pop-ups, including chat with friends, achievement progress, guides, discussions, and your browser. There will also be customization options, which will allow you to pick and choose which of these features you actually want to use. Don’t really care about your accomplishments? Save this screen space by removing it from the toolbar entirely.

The Steam toolbar appears during a Moonlighter session.

picture: valve

While the toolbar will be customizable to get as much or as little information as you want to see, there’s also a game overview, which Valve describes as a “one-stop shop” for every game in your library. It shows you things like achievements, which friends are also playing the game, and directs you to news and guides about the game in question, all accessible through a popup. Most exciting to me is the Notes app, which is exactly what it sounds like. This is an in-app place to take notes and to-do lists for the game, which I’m sure will come in handy for the latest hottest open world. You can also pin any of these to be visible while you play, with customization options for transparency and placement.

The Steam Notes app displays with a menu that includes killing bad guys, getting their loot, selling their loot, and not dying.

picture: valve

While most of these updates are again related to accessing features without having to downgrade your game, there are some general changes also coming to Steam as part of the update. This includes smaller things like streamlining the notification menu to just let you know when something new is queued up and letting you change thumbnail sizes in the screenshot manager. Right now, there’s no date for when this update will be available to general users, if you’re using Steam on Mac or Linux, Valve also says it has enabled hardware acceleration for the player on those operating systems. The new client is available for Linux users now, though Mac users will have to wait “two weeks” before this update is available.

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