Epic Games revamps social features with new Party system

    The company will allow users to connect with their friends in voice and chat groups called parties, plus invite and interact with these friends while they're already playing a game. 
    By HT TECH
    | Updated on Mar 18 2021, 01:34 PM IST
    The Epic Games store gets a social update.
    The Epic Games store gets a social update. (Epic Games)
    The Epic Games store gets a social update.
    The Epic Games store gets a social update. (Epic Games)

    One of the biggest advantages of buying and playing games on platforms like Steam is the ability to connect with friends and chat with them while you’re inside totally different games. Users that aren’t on other platforms that don’t have features like push-to-talk usually have to rely on services like Discord or Mumble to talk to their friends. Epic Games is looking to change that, by adding in a new Party system and voice and text messaging.

    The new Social Home.
    The new Social Home. (Epic Games)
    The new Social Home.
    The new Social Home. (Epic Games)

    The gaming platform explained in a blog post that it was going to allow players to “group together” for voice, text and more, with users moving in and out of conversations while playing games or looking for games to play. The feature will also have a Party Window option, which will allow players to share highlights of their recent gameplay or talk to the whole Party, while playing with only a few members.

    Read more: Epic Games takes legal battle against Google to Australia

    These Party features will also be integrated into the games available on the platform through ‘In-Game Party Representation’, the company said. Gamers will be able to see their party inside their game which will also show their current status. Epic also says that no Party will have a single owner so anyone can drop off a Party chat and the others will be able to continue. Parties can also be “locked” after players are invited, the company says.

    In addition to Party features, Epic is also revamping its Social Panel with ‘Player Cards’ to show up different actions to manage friendship and see mutual friends. These social cards also tie into the previously mentioned Party system and can be customised. The platforms search tool will also be able to show how many mutual friends you have with a player you looked up. 

    Also read: Valve must provide Apple with Steam sales information in legal fight with Epic Games: US judge

    Epic says that if all these new social features aren’t to a user’s liking, they can simply turn on the Do Not Disturb button to turn off all notifications taking place during a game, so that their entire session will not be interrupted by friend requests, chat messages or even other game invites. Meanwhile, the Whispers feature is going into the vault for now, as they weren’t being used by enough users, according to the company.

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    First Published Date: 18 Mar, 01:34 PM IST
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