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Steam’s latest update refreshes UI and introduces new features

Valve recently released a new version of the Steam client for all users. This update includes new features that have undergone extensive testing and refinement in the beta branch. Some of these additions won't be noticeable immediately, but others certainly will.

Much of the work put into this update was focused on enhancing code sharing between the Steam Desktop client, Big Picture mode, and Steam Deck. These improvements enable faster implementation and iteration of new features. As a result, many features in this update, such as Notes in the overlay, are simultaneously available on Steam Deck due to the shared codebase.

In addition to behind-the-scenes enhancements, this update brings targeted visual and usability improvements across the Steam platform to various elements, including dialogues, menus, fonts, and colours. Notably, the main Steam header and footer, Settings, and the Screenshot Manager now feature a refreshed UI. Steam notifications have also undergone updates and improvements to provide you with a more useful experience. That includes improving how the green bell works, streamlining the tray view with new notifications, accessing a historical view of notifications through the “View all” page, and introducing new settings to customise which notifications you receive and where you see them.

The in-game overlay has received a complete overhaul, now sporting a new UI with additional utility and customisation options. The new toolbar grants quick access to various features, such as friends chat, achievements, guides, discussions, a browser, and more. There are some pre-selected features already, but you can change them according to your needs and depending on the game. Moreover, Valve introduced the Notes feature, which allows you to take game-related notes while playing. It supports rich text formatting, image pasting, multiple notes per game, and can even be used in offline mode. They're saved per game and synced across any other PCs or Steam Decks you are logged into. You can also access your notes on the game details page.

Furthermore, you now have the ability to pin windows from the overlay, allowing them to appear on top of the game while you're playing. You can adjust the opacity level of these windows, and only the window's contents will be pinned. This new functionality is available for Notes, Guides, Discussions, Achievements, and the web browser. The overlay now also includes a Game Overview panel that displays your ongoing achievements, which friends are playing, top guides, news, and more. The browser, achievements, and screenshot manager windows have also been revamped in the overlay and the desktop client.

The controller experience was also improved with an updated controller configurator from Steam Deck and virtual menus accessible while gaming on the desktop. The technical enhancements in this update enable hardware acceleration for the Mac and Linux versions of Steam, bringing them on par with the Windows version. When you enable this feature, expect smoother animations, scrolling, and more responsive UI elements. You can find a comprehensive list of all the updates and improvements in the full patch notes.

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