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Steam now lets you buy games privately and hide them from public view

Steam beta Cart update

Just head of the next major Steam sale, Valve has pushed out a new beta update for users looking for a bit more privacy when it comes to their purchases. Once opted in, the beta lets customers try out a new version of the Steam shopping cart, and receive a new option to have owned games disappear from public view.

The Steam cart update brings three new features. The new private purchasing option is available from the cart itself, letting customers mark the games as private before they even enter the library. This will stop the purchases from appearing in user profiles and even hide them from friends when playing.

Next, buying gifts for friends usually means making a new cart and going through the purchasing process for each and every Steam account. The new Inline gifting feature streamlines this to make purchasing multiple gifts a single action. Gift messaging has been changed to "speed up the checkout process" as well.

Lastly, beta users will find that their Steam cart is now shared between all their devices that they have signed into.

Steam beta Cart update

The private games function also extends to already purchased items:

Starting today you’ll be able to mark specific games as private and they’ll disappear from anywhere they’d be viewed by someone other than you. That includes: your ownership, in-game status, playtime, and activity in that game. This additional control allows you to keep most of your Steam Library visible to your friends, so they can see what you are playing and join in, yet also keep a few of those games just to yourself.

Marking a game as Private will do the following:

  • The game will no longer appear on your Steam Community profile games list, or in the recently played games section.
  • Your status on the Friends List of other users or in chats will not change to "In Game".
  • Your activity in the game (like achievement unlocks or "Played for the first time") will not appear in the Activity feed of people on your Steam Friends List.
  • When a Steam Friend is browsing the Steam Store, your profile will not appear in the "Friends who own this game" section.
  • If a Steam Friend attempts to buy a game as a gift that you have marked private, you will not show as already owning the game.
  • Showcases on your Steam Community Profile will not show the game or achievements for the game (such as the "Rarest Achievements" showcase).
  • You will not receive Steam Trading Cards for the game while it is marked as Private.
  • If you have changed the "Game File Transfer over Local Network" setting to allow other users on the same network to download games, they will not be able to transfer games that have been marked as Private.

Games can be marked as private from the shopping cart, the games list straight from a web browser, or via the Steam client by heading to Game page > Settings > Manage.

To enter the Steam client beta and use the new features, head to the Interface tab in Steam Settings use the Client Beta Participation dropdown. Valve is currently testing an upgraded Steam Workshop too, bringing popular modding features like load orders and dependency displays.

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