Steam has received a few big redesigns over the years, but usually, the core aesthetic and functionality of the software remains relatively unchanged. Soon, that trend will finally be broken: starting on September 17, Steam’s long-awaited Library revamp will begin rolling out.
Aesthetics and taste in general are subjective, so it’s tough to say whether or not the new Library is a direct improvement over the current version. However, it is streamlined, easier to navigate, and includes some much-requested organization features. Touching on the design first, the new Library initially resembles what you’d see in a content streaming service.
There are large banners with game art and icons (like Hulu or Netflix) as well as the traditional Library list on the left-hand side. Further, you can now take advantage of an in-depth search system that lets you browse your Library by tag, game mode (single player, multiplayer, and coop), and “Play State.”
Perhaps the most exciting feature to arrive with the new Library is “Dynamic Collections.” Unlike the old Category system (which is being scrapped), Dynamic Collections require minimal input. Whereas before you’d need to apply, say, an “RPG” Category to every new game you purchase, Dynamic Collections use Steam Store tags to do this automatically. When you purchase a new RPG, it’ll automatically be sorted into the appropriate Dynamic Collection.
Though Dynamic Collections are getting most of the press attention, we should point out that it will be possible to create disconnected, offline Collections. This will be particularly helpful for anyone who doesn’t have faith in Steam’s tag system (I’ve personally seen several games get tagged improperly by users).
At any rate, one of the other main draws with the redesigned Library is the new “Home” page. This will work a bit like GOG Galaxy 2.0’s similar offering, allowing you to see recent game activity from friends, news or updates from specific titles, and a list of any games you’ve booted up over the past few days.
There’s a lot more to dive into with the Steam Library redesign, but we’ve covered most of the important points now. If you do want to learn more about the update before it launches in a couple of weeks.