Valve has announced a new mobile app, offering a new and improved version of Steam Chat, right there in your pocket. The app, builds on the features available in the desktop version of the platform’s messenger, and is now available in beta on both iOS and Android devices.
Importantly, your friends list will remain in place, and you’ll be able to set categories and a favourites bar in exactly the same way that you currently can on PC. Once you’re actually chatting, however, things are a lot better than before, with better links, videos, and gifs, and, of course, Steam emotes.
If you’re worried about your phone constantly pinging while you’re at work, you’ll be able to customise your notifications, allowing you to carefully manage chaotic group chats or needy friends. Speaking of group chats, that functionality is now fully available, making it significantly easier to figure out whose dodgy connection is holding up game night. If you need to get new friends involved, simple invite links can now be texted or emailed to help people get together.
Valve says that further improvements – most notably voice chat – are already in the works. The new arrival will mean that the current Steam Mobile app will be seeing some major upgrades based around account security, which should hopefully mean that Steam Guard might eventually be a much smaller thorn in your side.
It’s pretty clear that this is another attempt from Valve to claw back some of the market from Discord, which recently announced it had hit more than 250 million users. Given how good the Discord mobile app has proved over the past few years, the Steam Chat app could be a difficult sell, but if there’s anyone with the resource to make something like this work, it’s Valve.