via Steam

Valve has released the public beta of Steam Chat, a new client that allows users to chat on the Steam platform with ease.

One of the most compelling additions comes with the inclusion of a voice channel, which provides high-quality audio before, during and after user play sessions. The improvements to Steam voice chat will make it easier for users to organize games with their friends since they will be able to see whether or not they are already in a voice channel, and may request them to join theirs with the click of a button.

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. All traffic will be sent through Stream servers rather than be directed individually to peers, meaning user IP address will remain private, keeping the possibility of network attacks minimal, as physical locations are masked.

Channels may be added to group chats in a similar manner that they are in Discord or Slack, with new persistent channels bring added for text or voice chat. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel. Other users may join channels through invites, which are sent as links. The modernized chat experience is now multimedia friendly, which allows users to send video, pictures, tweets, and GIFs, in addition to links.

All features of the client are available in a desktop version, as well, meaning users may continue conversations after having logged out of the Steam client.

Steam Chat is now available to test out during its public beta.

More: The All-New Steam Chat
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