Valve introduces a revamped Steam Chat set to take on Discord


Valve is officially bringing Steam to China with the help of game and movie company Perfect World, it announced Monday. 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. It's free. You don't have to chat like it's 2004.

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.

Other media content is recognized automatically, e.g. videos on YouTube, and embedded so that the content can be viewed directly in the chat window and not by clicking on the link to load an external resource in a web browser.

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The chat experience has been updated, allowing users to embed video, pictures, tweets, gifs, and much more.

Valve's feeling the pressure from Discord (and other chat services) and an overhaul of the chat interface and functionality was long overdue.

Chat makes it easy now to add friends to group chats and these chats even persist across Steam sessions so that they become available whenever you sign in to Steam on supported devices. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel. This keeps your IP address private, which masks your physical location and also prevents network attacks.

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The new Steam Chat was released today and is available now via the Steam Beta option you which you can find in Settings and then Account.

This Steam Chat update looks a lot like Discord, another gaming-centric chat platform which has been called the "Slack for gamers."

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