The All-New
Steam Chat
New friends list, chat, and voice chat features
a richer chat experience
better friends list organization
making it easier and more fun to game with friends
These features are available in Steam now
A modernized chat experience
Now inline:
Video, pictures, tweets, and more

Every chat on Steam is now multi-media friendly. Getting your point across is easier than ever, now that everyone can see your GIFs inline rather than a list of links. Paste a picture from the clipboard and upload it directly to the chat.

Add friends to a chat

Want to bring someone into a conversation? Just drag and drop your friends from the Friends List to send them an invite.

Save your group

Got a good thing going? Save your group chat with a title and avatar so you can chat or play together later. This makes it easy to pick up where you left off, and keep tabs on those friends.

Group chats built for gaming

Persistent group chats mean you can easily check in with your communities when you sign in to Steam.

Maybe you regularly play with the same group of people, a group chat makes it simple to see who is online and ready to play. Start a voice channel, send out some game invites, and you’re ready to go.

Add channels

Within any group, create a new persistent channel any time, either for text or voice. General, off topic, memes, knitting, people who love cats, etc.

It's just one click to create a channel, one click to join, and one click to leave.

Invite with a link

Now you can create and send links that will invite people directly into your group chat.

Email, message, or text the link for them to join from the Steam Client or a web browser.


Clear, crisp voice quality before, during, and after your games. Improvements to Steam voice chat makes it easier to organize games with your friends.

Quality and Security

Steam voice chat was rewritten from the ground up with a new WebRTC-based backend. As a result, voice chat uses high quality Opus encoding, voice traffic is encrypted, and all traffic is sent through Steam servers rather than directly to peers. This keeps your IP address private, which masks your physical location and also prevents network attacks.

Voice chats in your friends list

At a glance you can see if your friends are talking in a voice channel and join them.

All this on the web, too

All of these features have been built to work not only in the Steam client, but also on the web. So you can continue conversations when you have access to a web browser but you're not logged in to the Steam client.

Try the new chat now

Note: During the beta, chatting with Steam users who are NOT in the beta will be a little weird. Mainly for them. People in the non-beta Steam Client won't be able to join your group chats.

How do I give Steam my feedback?

Here's where we're collecting your feedback on the new chat features. Please let us know what you think.

The new features will ship to everyone, soon

Update: the new chat features are now available to everyone on Steam

Once we're confident that things are working as they should, and we've finished up some of the features we have planned, we'll flip the switch to release all of the new features to everyone on Steam. Until then, the new chat experience will be available to Steam client beta participants or on the web, via the links above.

What’s next?

Friends and chat are just the beginning. This update was built using a new UI framework and includes some important architectural improvements under the hood, all of which allow us to make more frequent updates to our web-based Steam components. There are many improvements to the overall Steam experience that we plan to tackle, and your feedback helps us to prioritize what's next.

So thanks for trying the beta, and let us know what you think!

Added during the beta:
Friends List
  • You can now edit your profile name from within the Friends List.
  • Added option to hide offline friends in custom categories.
  • Added option to not duplicate categorized friends in Online/Offline friends list.
  • Added “compact friends list” option under Friend Settings.
  • “Compact favorites area” option is now more compact.
  • Added 'View Game Info' button when clicking on in-game friends. NOTE: Not currently available in web interface.
  • Fix friend context menu to show Join Game if the friend is in a lobby or has a valid server IP.
  • Fixed various bugs with non-Steam game friend grouping in the friends list.
  • Fix some friends appearing with ? avatar and blank name
  • Fixed display of parties in the friends list when you are a member of the party
  • Fix the friends list docked chat toggle button sometimes making a window too large to fit on screen
Chat Display
  • Added option to always display times using 24-hour clock format.
  • Fixed scaled images and videos being cut off after a certain point.
  • Fixed certain Unicode characters spilling over into the rest of chat.
  • Fixed embedded tall images in chat in being squashed. Super-tall images will initially be clamped to a max height, but can be scaled larger by dragging the bottom right corner.
  • Fixed horizontal scrollbar when using /pre.
  • Fixed a crash while playing some types of mp4 files.
  • Improved error handling around image upload.
  • Fixed right-click paste not working in chat UI.
  • Fixed right-click to paste.
  • Fixed a bug where uploaded GIFs would turn into static images when you copy and paste the image URL.
  • Add buttons to collapse YouTube and video embeds.
  • Remember the collapsed state and sizes of embedded media.
  • Fixed embedded videos to no longer play automatically.
  • Added a limit to the length of group chat messages.
  • Enlarged emoticons in messages that are just emoticons
  • Added /spoiler command for masking text
  • Fixed uploaded images incorrectly appearing collapsed.
  • Incoming message sound reverted to original. Additionally, new sounds for 'Friend Came Online', 'Friend Joined Game', and 'Push-to-Talk Active/Inactive'.
  • Play a ring sound for the initiator of a 1-on-1 voice chat.
  • Friends in the favorites area who have sent you unread messages show a little notification near their avatar.
  • Fixed group chat tabs showing '1' for unread notification.
  • The Windows Taskbar should now always flash when a window contains an unread message.
  • Improved @mention suggestions when multiple chat members share the same name.
  • You can now set your default group chat notification setting from Friends Settings. All group chats you join will use this value unless changed per group chat.
Group Chat Permissions
  • Added permissions settings for community group chats, allows specifying what each group role (Officer, Moderator, etc) is allowed to do.
  • Added permissions setting for using '@all' and '@online' commands. Defaults to any member, but chat admins can limit this to certain roles.
  • Added role hierarchy: Each roles is listed in hierarchical order and can be re-ordered using arrows to the right of the role. 'Owner' and 'Everyone' roles cannot be re-ordered.
  • Added 'Edit Roles' and 'Assign Roles' as permissions.
  • Members with these new permissions can only edit and assign roles below their current role in the role hierarchy.
  • Fixed squashed UI when a group has too many roles listed in the permissions settings.
  • Added group chat rank icons to avatars next to chat messages.
  • Fixed some issues with Community group chats showing the wrong user as owner, and blocking some users from chatting.
General Fixes and Improvements
  • Fixed not saving settings for voice input/output device when something other than default was selected inside the Steam Client
  • Added option to disable push-to-talk or push-to-mute sounds in voice settings
  • Re-enabled desktop chat while Big Picture mode is running and temporarily disabled chat inside of Big Picture.
  • Added support for Push-to-Mute in addition to existing voice transmission modes
  • Fixed issue which could cause loading your friends list to timeout when starting Steam
  • Fixed some performance issues caused by logic running in a background-throttled window
  • Improved sorting of @mention suggestions in large rooms
  • Added suggestions for supported / commands when starting a message with /
  • You can now select a small, default, or large font size for chats under Friends Settings.
  • When disconnected from Steam because of connection issues, you can now still navigate between chat tabs and scroll chat history. Other interactions will not work until you re-establish a connection to Steam.
  • Fixed Friends List Settings not getting the correct default values when using the web browser interface.
  • Fixed multiple issues around restoring chat windows when Steam starts.
  • The Windows Taskbar should now always flash when a window contains an unread message.
  • Fixed opening the friends list window after receiving a chat message when in single window mode (friends list and chat tabs combined into a single window).
  • Fixed occasionally opening a new chat window instead of opening the friends list window when in single window mode.
  • Fixed tab switching shortcuts while using the new chat in the overlay on macOS.
  • Friends list and chat windows now snap to monitor edges on Windows.
  • Fixed Friends and Chat windows not displaying in the in-game overlay on Linux and macOS.
  • Improved performance of rendering group chats, especially groups with 1000+ members.
  • Added ability to choose a different audio output device for Steam voice chat.
  • Added the ability to right-click a friend to invite them to your current active voice channel.
  • Added a toggle to collapse and expand the Group Chats list.
  • Fixed an issue where some friends settings wouldn’t save correctly.
  • Fixed no microphone audio being transmitted in voice chats for users with a default audio playback device with a default sample rate > 48kHz. NOTE: This is fixed when in the Steam Client, but will not be fixed inside Chrome until a future Chrome update.
  • Fixed a case where a chat window running out of memory would result in all chat windows turning black and staying that way until Steam restarted.
  • Fixed chat windows not appearing in in-game overlay for some users.
  • Fixed group chat windows going blank after closing a game.
  • Fixed mini-profiles being slow to draw when hovering friends.
  • Add Ctrl-PgUp and Ctrl-PgDn shortcuts for tab switching.
  • Added Linux support for mouse buttons for push-to-talk.
  • Fixed assigning push-to-talk hotkeys from new chat UI for Linux.
  • Fixed group chat member count falling off-screen when collapsed in large groups.
Also in this update:
Rich Chat Formatting
  • Ability to share images by pasting images or uploading image files into chat
  • Embedding support for YouTube, Imgur, Giphy, Twitter, Twitch, and more
  • Rich link previews for URLs
  • /me command for emotes
  • /giphy for random gifs that may or may not say exactly what you want
  • /code command for styling blocks of code
Group Chats
  • Group chats are now persistent, you don't need to rejoin every time you start Steam
  • @mention support for group chat members (@here, @all, @member, etc)
  • Group chats are available on the web
  • Group chats now support multiple text and voice channels
  • Custom group chat invite links - shareable in and outside of Steam
  • Custom notification settings per group chats and channels
  • Saved groups have role-based permissions
Voice Chat
  • Voice chat updated to new WebRTC-based backend
  • Voice chat uses high quality Opus encoding
  • Voice chat traffic payloads are encrypted
  • Voice chat traffic is now relayed through Steam servers for low-latency connectivity and for privacy so your IP is never disclosed to those you chat with
  • Voice calls from blocked users are automatically blocked
  • Voice chat open mic support is improved with better noise filtering and volume detection
  • Voice channels include a special text sub-channel for voice members only
  • Friends in voice chats in mutual groups are displayed in the Friends List
  • Voice controls are displayed in the Friends List whenever a voice chat is active
  • Voice chat now supports individual volume for other voice chat members
  • When voice chatting in a group, users can create multiple channels without needing an admin to add additional channels.
  • Unless saved, voice channels are automatically removed when the last voice member leaves
User Interface
  • In-game friends are now sorted to the top of the Friends List
  • In-game friends playing the same game are grouped together in the Friends List
  • Setting to promote the display of nicknames
  • Expanding the Friends List window will dock chats in the window in a side-by-side view
  • Setting to preserve chat window state after restarting Steam Client
  • Steam Client now displays your Steam avatar and profile name together in the account dropdown
  • Notification of unread messages appears at the top of your friends list
  • Drag and drop friends: to invite to group chats, add to favorites, and add to friend categories
  • Easily add multiple friends to group chats or categories with new find-as-you-type friend selection tools
Chat History
  • Can now scroll back to load up to two weeks of chat history
  • Group chats also keep up to two weeks of chat history
  • Improved display of timestamps, which are now always enabled
Persona State
  • New "Invisible" mode allows you to appear offline, but still view your Friends List and chat
  • Updated display of friends who are "Away"
  • Offline friend "Last online" time now more reliable
  • Offline friends can be sorted by name or last online
Steamworks Rich Presence API
  • Added key to allow localized rich presence information to be displayed in the Steam Client
  • In game friends can now show additional information such as level or match, in the Friends List and chats
  • Friends in a party together are shown in a group in the Friends List, for games which have integrated with the Steamworks Rich Presence API
Friend Category Management (Formerly "Tag As...")
  • Can rename existing friend categories
  • Added ability to add/remove multiple friends from a category at once
  • Drag and drop to add friends to categories
  • Friend categories (including built-in categories such as "Offline" or "In Game") remember their open or collapsed state
  • Favorite friends and chats can be pinned to the top of the Friends List
Adding Friends
  • New friend management page makes it easier to manage friends, invites, groups, followed games, and more on the Steam Community
  • New custom friend-request links that can be sent outside of Steam to allow you to more easily add friends
  • Added ability to view Inventory and send Trade Offers from right click menu
  • Incoming Trade Offers from friends or users you are chatting with will show a notification and an inline message in chat
  • Built-in option to easily share your Steam Trade URL in chat rooms
New Architecture
  • New chat features can be delivered without the need to update the entire Steam client
  • Web chat now uses a websocket-based connection for much better reliability and speed
  • Nearly every feature available to Steam Client chat is also available from a web browser
Multiple Session Support
  • Changing friend nicknames, categories, and other friends settings will now be synced between all your online sessions
  • Messages delivered to sessions that have been idle are treated as "unread"
  • Sending a chat message will now show an error if there was any problem delivering the message
  • When sending a URL or something that looks like a URL, they will become clickable but maintain their original text