It's now possible to take your Steam friends and the conversations with those friends with you anywhere you go thanks to the release of Valve's new 'Steam Chat' application, which has just landed on mobile devices as of this week complete with what at first glance appears to be a robust set of features and a slick UI.
Right out of the gate reviews from users seem to be praising both Valve's decision to launch the app as well as the design of the user interface, with some referring to it as clean and blazing fast. Things are off to a good start for Steam Chat it would seem, which is technically good news for Valve so long as the positive opinions of the app continue to stay positive.
Valve is introducing this new mobile method of chatting with your Steam friends in an age where options like Discord have been available on mobile devices for a couple of years, and with Discord being the current popular catch-all for gamers for their conversational needs with other friends who play games, not to mention Discord's nifty Steam integration, Steam Chat may just be yet another messaging app for users to have to keep up with.
Putting that aside, any users that wish to use Steam Chat to keep the lines of communication open with their Steam friends even when away from home will have a healthy set of features to sink their teeth into. Everything from seeing which of your friends are online and what games they may be playing to customizing your notifications is present here.
Of course you can access currently open chat logs with friends, create new ones, or even engage in group chats, and the chats even have GIPHY support which means you can send GIFs to your heart's content.
Chats also support video, high fidelity links, tweets, and Steam emoticons among a number of other things that you may want to share, and what's more is that with it being linked to your Steam account you could respond to messages from the phone app without having to open the chat overlay in Steam on your desktop if you're in the middle of a game.
One thing that is unfortunately not available right now is voice chat. Though Valve claims to be working on developing this feature for Steam Chat to be added at a later date, for the time being users who wish to voice chat with their Steam friends will still have to rely on other means, such as Discord.
One interesting thing of note is that the Steam app, meant to be the mobile version of the Steam PC client, also includes chatting with your Steam friends, but seems to be less desirable when compared to the new Steam Chat option which is dedicated entirely to the chat function.
Users already seem to view Steam Chat as being easier to use for conversations than the actual Steam app, which showcases that Valve certainly has an interest in keeping friends in touch through mobile as it could have simply left chat to the Steam app without releasing an option that would be a dedicated tool for it, yet it chose to improve the experience.
With the positive responses so far about the Steam Chat's UI design, it gives users of the Steam app hope that Valve may finally revamp its UI as well, something which has been a point of contention for users for quite some time. If you still use Steam to chat with your Steam friends, Steam Chat should be live for all users where Steam is an available PC gaming platform.