A future Steam update will allow PC gamers to hide their gaming habits, allowing gamers to pick individual games to hide from being broadcast.
Valve has been busy of late, dealing with major security issues on Steam and the new Steam Deck OLED model. Amongst these updates, the company may be adding a level of privacy to game lists, giving more control to users. This would allow players to prevent certain games from sending out an alert whenever they are launched.
SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik tweeted a list of hidden files that suggest an update is coming that will allow Steam users to mark individual games as private. Previously, gamers were able to hide broad categories from their online friends. With this update, it would allow granular control over which games friends can see you playing.
How do you hide games on Steam?
Users can hide games from friends on Steam by right-clicking on the title and selecting “mark as private.” The feature is not yet live in Steam, but may be added in the near future.
Djundik showed a screenshot of the new feature, including the submenu indicating that the private label will hide games from friends. The ability to hide games from Steam friends is long overdue, given the vast number of bawdy games available on the service. As well as not advertising the strange or inappropriate games being played, it could be used to hide games with long playtimes if gamers are ashamed of how long they’ve grinded away at Counter-Strike 2 or attempted to romance their favorite character in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Steam has been throwing various NSFW games at potential buyers in the “New and Trending” tab on the store’s front page for some time. Hiding gameplay information could give gamers who are curious about these titles the discretion needed to actually purchase them.
Parental controls are coming to Steam
SteamDB has found more parental controls and an updated shopping cart.
In addition to hiding individual games from friends, data mines showed evidence of more robust parental controls coming to Steam. Included in the notes about a possible future update is the ability to allow parents to set playtime restrictions and allow for children on the account to request purchases. Other than the mention of a new store cart, no other information has been given about what it may look like or how it might function differently.
All this comes from data mines, which means as likely as the new features are, they are not guaranteed to be implemented. These features could be partly developed and then nixed before launching. There is also no word on when the new parental controls or the ability to hide games will arrive on Steam, so the potential for an awkward instant message from a loved one after booting the wrong game is still there.