valve has just shipped a massive UI overhaul of Steam’s In-Game Overlay in the Steam Beta, among other fresh coats of paint. It also comes with a particularly great idea: a traveling notepad.
Yes, you probably already have a notepad app on your PC, but does yours automatically pop up the right file to match every game you play? Can you put it on top of your game so it’s visible while you play? Does it automatically sync from PC to PC via the cloud? Valve says the new Notes app does all that and works offline too.
It’s not the only window you can pin on top of a game new: Valve says guides, discussions and the Steam web browser can all be called up in your game with adjustable opacity – you can even watch video while playing a game with that browser Klep said.
You will also see a new game overview when you open the overlay, a toolbar for quick access to ‘everything you need during a game’, a revamped notifications tab and screenshot manager. The patch also brings optional hardware acceleration for the Linux version of Steam, with Mac on the way, and minor UI tweaks to other parts of the interface. You can see Valve’s full update post here with more screenshots.
Valve says it’s starting to ship changes like this in Steam Desktop, Big Picture Mode, and Steam Deck at the same time – but the Deck only has them in Linux desktop mode as of today. Valve’s Lawrence Yang confirms that features like Notes mode will also come to Deck gaming mode later.
You’ll have to sign up for a Steam beta to see this for now, until Valve adds the changes to a stable release.