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Steam’s new privacy feature will let you hide those embarrassing games

Bought a Steam game that you're not particularly proud of? A new Steam feature, currently in beta, will let you hide it from prying eyes.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings, a sunken-eyed sallow-skinned creature.

Have you ever bought a Steam game you’re embarrassed to be seen playing? One that you wish would remain invisible to friends and family alike? Let’s face it, with the Steam Winter Sale and many, many sales before it, there’s bound to be at least one. Now, an upcoming Steam feature, rolled out as part of Steam’s Client Beta, lets you hide ‘private’ games from your public library.

There are a host of reasons why you might want to hide Steam games from prying eyes. Maybe they’re so adult that your Skyrim playing great-grandma would never let you live it down. Or perhaps you purchased Lord of the Rings: Gollum on the strength of the licence before discovering the horrible, horrible truth.

Whatever your motivation, the good news is that Steam’s latest client beta lets you make games private, hiding them from those on your friends list.

It hides everything, too. Valve has covered every possible avenue that people could use to see what you’re playing. That includes ownership, in-game status, playtime, and activity. If you’re in the middle of a game and a friend logs into Steam that game will be invisible to them.

And, while you can mark games as private any time you want, the ‘Private Games’ feature lets you do so before purchase, when they’re sitting in your shopping basket. That means there’s no window where friends can spy on your purchase.

Someone buying Baldur's Gate 3 in Steam and marking it as private.

So just how long do you have till you can hide your secret shame? The feature is part of the Steam Client Beta, which you can opt into right now. There’s no confirmed timeframe for the feature hitting the regular client, but based on previous updates you could be looking at a few weeks to a couple of months.

If you want to save money and get a Steam game you won’t regret buying, here are the best Steam Winter Sale games. And if you’re feeling seasonal, take a look at the best Christmas games.

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