Valve today announced a visual overhaul for game libraries to make it easier to find your games, see what your friends are playing, and follow news, updates, and events from game developers. The updates come as Steam faces increasing competition from the Epic Games Store and Discord to be the central hub for PC gaming. Steam has long clung to a relatively dated user interface, so the refresh is a welcome change for the nearly 16-year-old service. The library update will be available in public beta starting on September 17th.
Here’s what the new library will look like:
If you click into a game, you’ll see activity from your Steam friends, such as their achievements and who has played recently, as well as updates and news from that game’s developers:
And here’s what those developer news updates, which Valve is calling “Steam events,” will look like:
Valve suggests that developers make them for major updates, beta tests, patch notes, free XP events, or pretty much any moment to communicate with a game’s players. Valve says that if a developer makes a Steam event once, it will be automatically added to a game’s community hub and store page in addition to being shared with user libraries, so you don’t have to be in actively monitoring your library to see updates. Tools for developers to make events are available today.
You’ll also be able to sort your games into collections, formerly known as categories, by hand-picking games or via filters like genre, the number of players the game supports, or tags from the Steam store.
Valve also announced information about some Steam Labs experiments:
- Auto-generated six-second Micro Trailers will roll out for all games on Steam on September 5th, and Polygon says the Micro Trailers will replace the images you see when searching for a game.
- An experimental search page, with new price and sale filters, infinite scrolling, and more, will also launch on September 5th.
- Deep Dive, a new way to discover games you might like based on a tool called Steam Diving Bell by Lars Doucet, is coming soon.