Steam’s Latest Update Introduces Enhanced Privacy Feature for Users

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With Christmas approaching, Valve has introduced a beta version of its Steam client, offering users the ability to designate certain games as private and enabling enhanced shopping cart options for purchasing gifts for themselves and friends. The beta build, available on all current platforms that support Valve’s service, allows Steam users to explore this new game privacy feature.

Speculation about Valve providing players with control over their game libraries began circulating a month prior to the launch of the Steam client beta build. The recent update confirmed these rumors, introducing a feature that allows users to conceal specific games from public view. Despite the numerous changes Steam has undergone since its inception as a Counter-Strike launcher in 2003, the addition of a game hiding feature after 20 years is considered a long-awaited and significant enhancement to the service. While currently in beta and subject to potential modifications, Steam users can now test this new capability to keep their libraries away from prying eyes and provide feedback on its functionality.

To conceal games, users interested in hiding potentially controversial titles, like The Day Before, need to opt into the Steam beta client. According to the Steam beta notes, users can access the Settings menu, choose Interface, and select the Steam Beta Update option from the drop-down menu. This action prompts Steam to restart and download an update of approximately 88 MB. Post-update, users can mark a game as private by clicking on the cogwheel icon, effectively concealing the selected game from the view of all Steam users, including friends. This action also hides associated achievements and playtime. However, this marking can be easily reversed and applied to an unlimited number of games and applications available on Steam.

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In addition to the private game marking feature, the shopping cart has been enhanced to provide users with more efficient ways to gift games to friends. The update enables users to buy gifts for themselves and friends in a single transaction while labeling games as private from the shopping cart. This change simplifies the process of gifting multiplayer titles such as Lethal Company, facilitating enjoyable gaming experiences together over the holiday season.

With the upcoming Steam Winter Sale and future sales planned for 2024, Valve’s recent software enhancements aim to meet user demands. As for what additional features might be in store for the future, only time will tell.