Valve initially introduced the Steam Big Picture mode back in 2012 as a way for gamers to launch a console-like dashboard on their Steam client and navigate through it without cumbersome menus and mouse requirements. It is a full-screen interface that combines all your games into one library and is meant to be used with a controller. However, while it sounds like an ideal system, it was far from it. The Steam Big Picture Mode was clunky and cumbersome. Thankfully, after ten years, Valve is finally revamping it.
Valve is porting over the Steam Deck interface to the PC and mac versions of Steam in the newest beta and aims to transfer the current Steam Big Picture Mode into the same layout. This means users can look forward to a new interface with new tabs for friends, recommendations, your own profile section, a new search bar and more.
The new enhanced Steam Big Picture Mode also adds cool new features like an in-game overlay system, quick access many and other useful tabs. Valve is also working on a whole separate new Steam Store interface that can be accessed in the Big Picture Mode. You’ll now be able to navigate through the store with your controller, browse content and even purchase games without having to leave this new layout.
At the moment the new Steam Big Picture Mode is still in beta testing meaning you’ll have to opt for the Steam Client beta if you want to use it. This can be done by heading into the Steam settings menu, Account tab and clicking on the “opt into the beta” option. Once done, the client will update to this new build once you restart the software. However, if you want to jump right into the Steam Big Picture Mode when launching the app, you’ll simply need to add the “-gamepadui” text to the end of your shortcut.
Find out more about the beta build and how to get access here.