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Valve is testing a new Big Picture Mode for Steam. Here’s how to try it

Valve has announced that it is running a beta test for an updated version of Big Picture Mode for the desktop version of Steam. According to a blog post published on Thursday, the proprietary UI is being updated to make the desktop interface look like the Steam Deck.

The updated version of Big Picture Mode comes with a host of new features, including a new home screen that lets you continue playing recent games and check for updates of any games in your library with a new universal search that nets results from your library, your friends list, and the store. It also brings updates to quick access, controller configuration, and system menus.

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Valve said that the new UI still has some “rough edges” that need to be smoothed out, so it’s asking Steam users to help test it. To try out this new version of Big Picture Mode, simply opt into Steam’s beta client on your PC and edit the launch shortcut with the launch parameter “-gamepadui.”

The updated Big Picture Mode for desktop has been in talks since July 2021, when a Valve employee responded to a post on the Steam community forums saying that the original version would be given a total makeover to make it resemble the UI from the Steam Deck, buttons at the bottom right corner of the screen and all. With the testing version of the new Big Picture Mode for desktop now out, this version of the Steam client will look more modern than ever.

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