Earlier this week Valve rolled its new, improved social system out of beta.
From today everyone using Steam can now try out its “richer” chat and Friends List features regardless of whether they’re accessing Steam via the web or the desktop application.
You can keep the people you chat to most often at the top of your Friends List, or drag ‘n’ drop your friends to group them by the games they’re playing. You can also see which of your friends are in party chat together, just like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One’s own party systems.
The new client also boasts full inline video, picture, and gif support, which means your friends no longer have to click links to see media.
Valve also maintains that it “offers clear, crisp voice quality” whether you’re in-game or not, and – having been rewritten from the ground up with a new secure backend – it encrypts all traffic sent through Steam servers “rather than directly to peers”, which means your IP address remains private, and your physical location masked.
Over 60,000 Steam accounts were banned in Valve’s sweep for cheaters on Thursday as the Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) sought out and penalized accounts using “third-party modifications […] designed to give one player an advantage over another.”