September 17, 2019 The new Steam Library beta is live.
As Valve announced a few weeks ago, Steam’s big library redesign goes into public beta on September 17 – which, as you’ve likely already astutely noted, is today. The changes have been years in the making, and are aimed at better showcasing the most relevant games in your library so you can more easily decide what to play.
To opt-in to the new library, all you have to do is open Steam, head to your settings, open the account page, and click the ‘change’ button under the beta participation header. You can select the Steam beta update from here, and after you restart the client, you’ll find all the new library features at your disposal.
Your library will now have a new front page that showcases games that you or your friends have been playing recently, as well as titles that are running events – part of the Steam event system that Valve has detailed in the past. Valve’s Alden Kroll says that this landing page is built “help players find the next game they want to play,” and so it surfaces games that you’ve got a reason to play.
You can still view a full list of all your games or organise the library manually, of course. Categories are getting replaced by ‘collections,’ and your old groups will automatically move forward to the new system. You can directly drag and drop games between collections, and you can even use filters to create custom collections like, say, co-op games with controller support for multiplayer party sessions.
These collections can go on your library page as ‘shelves,’ which in turn can be sorted by criteria like release date, hours played, or Metacritic score. They’ll also appear on the usual column of games on the left of the page, just as categories currently work.
Game pages themselves are also getting a facelift. You’ll see events at the top of the page, then a long train of friend activity, including things like screenshots, comments, and achievements, then the same sort of feed from the larger community. On the right side of the page, you’ll see summaries of achievements and trading cards you’ve earned, screenshots you’ve taken, and Steam Workshop items that are available. You’ll also be able to find a personal recent activity report on this page that breaks down what you’ve accomplished in each of your recent sessions.