Steam’s Latest Client Beta Teases Performance Boosts and Custom Overlays

Pin your own To-Do lists or video windows right over your game

Several new interface and usability features and updates are being tested in Steam's latest Client Beta.

Valve is trying out a number of usability improvements and interface adjustments for its Steam client, including performance boosts on Mac and Linux. The catch is they're not rolling out to the general public yet—you can only find them in the Client Beta.

Elden Ring screenshot with Steam Notes overlay

Valve Corporation

The in-game overlay has received most of the attention in this beta update, including the toolbar, which can now be customized to highlight your preferred lists and information. Your overlay preferences (chat, achievements, guides, friends lists, etc.) can also be saved to carry over to any other games you play on Steam. And a new Game Overview will give you a quick glimpse of who's playing, how your achievements are faring, highlight top news, and so on.

A Notes app is also being added to let you keep personal notes about whichever game you're playing, on- or offline. These notes and other windows, like guides or even videos playing in a web browser, can then be pinned over your game (you can adjust opacity, too). Think of it like a personal reminder or possible To-Do list you can create for yourself in any game you want, and your notes will sync across other devices you use—if you're logged into Steam, of course.

New Steam client toolbar

Valve Corporation

Steam Client Beta users in both Mac and Linux will also get faster overall performance for the client. Hardware acceleration will, in Valve's words, bring Steam's performance "up to par with Windows" with faster UI response, quicker animations, and smoother scrolling.

All these features are available to test now via the Steam Client Beta, which you can join at any time. Hardware acceleration also rolls out today for the beta on Linux, but Mac users in the beta won't have access for "a couple weeks" as Valve hasn't finished working on that version just yet. Plans for a public release have not been announced so far.

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