Steam overhauls notifications, UI elements and the in-game overlay

Feel like the Steam desktop client was long overdue for a major upgrade? So did Valve. Today the company released an update for the platform that includes many of the features it has been testing in the app’s beta channel. The latest client features updated fonts and menus, a revised notification system and a redesigned in-game overlay. Better still, Valve says the platform has been rebuilt with an all-new framework designed to help features ship simultaneously across all versions of Steam.

That means some of the new features baked into the desktop client are also already available on Steam Deck. Specifically, Valve called out the client’s overhauled in-game overlay — in addition to a new interface and more versatile toolbar, players also now have access to a new notes tool that syncs across PCs. Thanks to the new framework, this feature is now available on desktop and Steam Deck simultaneously. The overlay also has a new “pin” feature that will allow users to keep that notes tool (or any other window from the in-game interface) visible during gameplay.

Valve is also trying to clean up the client’s notifications. Clicking on the icon should now only show the most recent and relevant notifications, and will prompt users to click through to see a full historical view. Users should see small updates across the rest of the client as well, including updated dialog text, new fonts and tweaked colors.

The new features are nice, but Valve seems most proud of the improvements its made under the hood. In addition to the new framework, the company says that its enabled hardware acceleration for Mac and Linux users, offering a smoother experience across all platforms.

Last, and perhaps least, the update may be the end of the legacy Steam Big Picture mode. Buried among the client’s long list of bug fixes is a note that the command line option to enable “oldbigpicture” has been removed. We’re all using the Steam Deck interface now.

The new Steam Client update is available to download now. Check out the full patch notes for details.

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