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What is the Steam Community?

The Steam Community is comprised of people who play all sorts of PC games. Through the Steam Community, you may find someone to play a game with, meet up with friends, and connect with groups that share similar interests. You can also host and join chats, matches, and tournaments. All of these features are offered completely free of charge.

Through the Steam Community, you can:

  • Create your own individual user profile.

  • See your friends online, chat or join servers where they are playing.

  • Create and join groups of players with similar interests.

  • Track gameplay statistics and achievements where available

  • Schedule group events.

  • Access Steam from within any game using the Game Overlay system.

  • Voice chat in-game or out.

Steam Community Features:

Control Panel and Actions

The Control Panel offers you a central overview of your personalized Steam Community. You can see invitations, events, group membership, gameplay stats, and a list of your friends, all at a glance from the Control Panel.

View my Profile
This link will take you to your Steam Community profile page. Your Steam Community page shows how you appear to everyone else in the Steam Community. This includes your Profile, Groups, Gameplay stats, Friends, and Profile Comments.

Edit my Profile

  • Profile Tab - Allows you to edit how you appear to the Steam Community at large. You will be able to edit your Steam Community Profile name/persona and customize your profile URL, Location, Avatar Image and up to three web links.
  • Groups Tab - Allows you to edit your Primary Community Group to display on the front of your Profile page.
  • Settings Tab - Adjust your privacy settings and comment permissions
  • Invites - Accept or decline friend and group invites coming from other Steam Community users.
  • Upcoming Events - lists upcoming events set in your group calendars.
  • Groups - Allows you to quickly jump to any of your groups to see what’s happening in the community.
  • Gameplay Stats - Gives you a quick glance at what you’ve been doing with your time.
  • Friends - Shows you who is online, what games they are currently playing, and lets you quickly join them or start chatting, among other things.

Privacy and Security Recommendations

As with any large community of people, there are those who will attempt to trick you and take advantage of your decent and trusting nature. At Valve, we refer to these people using any number of colorful names, but for this purpose, let’s just call them hijackers. Never give your password to anyone over the Steam Community—even if you are sure they aren’t a hijacker, because almost inevitably, they are a hijacker.

While Valve employees are part of the community and it is possible that you may contact them, or they may contact you through the community, they will never request your account information. Only a hijacker will do that, and the unfortunate truth is that there are far fewer Steam employees than there are hijackers. In addition, the likelihood of a Steam employee just popping into your chat for a quick “Hello” is about as likely as a Hello Kitty mod for Counter-Strike, so save yourself some grief. Don’t give out your password.

Game Overlay and Notification System

The Game Overlay System lets you jump into the Steam Community directly while in game and keeps you informed when your friends come online, join a game, or send you a message. The default shortcut to open the Steam Community while in game is Shift + Tab. You can change the shortcut by clicking the Steam menu > Settings > and go to the In-Game tab.

Customizing, Troubleshooting and Disabling the Game Overlay

You may customize what types of notifications you receive using Game Overlay.

  • Click Steam > Settings, select the Friends tab.

  • Under Notifications & Sounds uncheck Display a notification for anything you wish not to get a popup for.

You may completely disable Game Overlay by going to Steam’s Steam > Settings menu and selecting the In-Game tab. Then uncheck the Enable Steam Community In-Game checkbox.

The Game Overlay will work with third-party non-Steam games which you have added to Steam.  The basic requirement is that the game uses Direct3D 7, Direct3D 8, Direct3D 9, Direct3D 10, or OpenGL for rendering.  Some 2D games which use DDraw or software based rendering methods are not supported (ex/ Diablo).

Reporting Offensive Content

The link to report offensive content is in the upper right-hand corner of each profile and group page. You can send a report on any group and any profile except your own profile.



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