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Steam’s in-game overlay just got a whole lot more useful

An update to the Steam in-game overlay adds fantastic functionality to Valve’s leading PC gaming platform, with options to pin notes or web pages on-screen.

Steam update - the logo for Valve's Steam platform, overlaid on a blurred screenshot of the new in-game overlay

A Steam update is incoming that’s set to revolutionise your PC gaming, with a big overhaul to the Steam in-game overlay now available for testing on the Steam Client Beta branch. The headline feature is the ability to pin windows such as notes or web pages on-screen while playing a game, which should make tasks like finding all the Star Wars Jedi Survivor cosmetics easier, but there are improvements to notifications, screenshots, and even more.

At the centre of this overlay overhaul is a new toolbar that lets you quickly toggle off which windows you want access to, and you’ll be able to customise what’s on by default and save it to stay the same between games. Alongside that is the new ‘Game overview’ window, which comprises stats such as playtime and achievements, gives you quick access to your screenshots, and lists the top guides and recent news stories for that game.

Probably the most exciting new feature, however, is the ability to pin windows so that they stay visible when you close the Steam in-game overlay and go back to playing. You can do this for Steam guides, discussions, the web browser, and a new ‘Notes’ app that can be used to create and save multiple notes that will be kept on a per-game basis and synced with the Steam cloud, perfect for all your own personal checklists and reminders.

Window opacity is adjustable, too, so you won’t have to block off a chunk of your screen for it – an incredibly handy feature, especially for those gaming on a single-monitor setup or a gaming laptop. Whether you want to catch up on your favourite TV shows picture-in-picture, keep track of all those intriguing landmarks you want to visit in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, or have your favourite PCGamesN guides handy, you’ll be set to go.

Steam in-game notes app - screenshot of a player in a cave in Elden Ring, with a semi-transparent "to-do list" pinned in the upper right corner of the screen

Alongside this, Steam notifications will now only light up that green bell button when it’s something actually new and noteworthy, and the outdated screenshot manager has had a nice makeover to spruce it up. There are also a number of small tweaks to the user interface across the whole of Steam, and slicker performance on Mac and Linux. On the backend, Valve says this update will “also mean a quicker implementation and iteration of new features” in the future, so expect to see even more updates coming your way from here on out.

Check out the best free Steam games if you’re short on things to play as you test out these new features. You might also want to try Steam in-home streaming so you can take your gaming anywhere around the house, or set up Steam family sharing to let your whole household get access to that extensive Steam library of yours.