What you need to know
- July 29 update to the Steam beta client adds a number of new UI elements.
- Downloads and library folders get a significant upgrade.
- Update also introduces official support for yet more Xbox Series X controllers.
While the news cycle has been dominated lately by the Steam Deck, Valve's boffins continue to plug away on the Steam client for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and the latest beta client is one to pay attention to. There are the usual fixes and tweaks underneath, but what's most interesting is the emergence of some redesigned UI elements that look really rather good.
The downloads page is the biggest change, having been completely redesigned with not only a new look but new features, too. The complete list of changes can be found on the announcement post, but besides the new look, some of the key additions include:
- Re-ordering your download queue with drag-and-drop.
- Clear-all button for completed downloads to keep queue clean.
- When a game/update is actively downloading it will now display the total progression completed for the download or update. Previously the progress bar would only display the downloading content progress but not the disk allocation process which would make an update to appear completed when it was not.
- The "View News" button will now automatically display the latest patch notes if the game developer has entered them into the new event system.
The UI overhaul also applies to the library folders area of the settings menu. Each drive you have a library folder on gets its own tab and there is also an option to easily move games between drives. This doesn't seem to work at the moment, at least not with any games I have installed, but when it does it'll be a nice, easy way to move games about without having to dive into File Explorer. Presumably, this will also be useful for moving games between the internal drive and the SD card on the Steam Deck, too.
Steam Input also gets some love, with tweaks to its CPU usage, as well as support for yet more Xbox Series X controllers. Apparently, all of the newest PowerA controllers are now supported by Steam Input, making them easier to use with your PC games.
If you want to take the new look for a spin yourself you can opt-in to the beta program in the settings menu of the Steam client on your PC. The latest version is available now for Windows, Mac and Linux.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine