Valve Just Made Every Steam User’s Gaming Library Hidden by Default, Essentially Blocking SteamSpy

Alessio Palumbo

We've often cited SteamSpy as the statistics it fetched from Steam were very helpful for everyone in the industry. Unfortunately, that's coming to an end now as Valve has rolled out changes to privacy settings.

Today’s update expands on your Profile Privacy Settings Page, giving you more control over the privacy of your Steam account. With more detailed descriptions of what profile information is included in each category, you will be able to manage how you are viewed by your friends, or the wider Steam Community.

You can now select who can view your profile’s “game details”; which includes the list of games you have purchased or wishlisted, along with achievements and playtime. This setting also controls whether you’re seen as “in-game” and the title of the game you are playing.

Additionally, regardless of which setting you choose for your profile’s game details, you now have the option to keep your total game playtime private. You no longer need to nervously laugh it off as a bug when your friends notice the 4,000+ hours you've put into Ricochet.

Looking ahead a little, we are also working on a new “invisible” mode in addition to the already existing “online”, “away” and “offline” presence options. If you choose to set yourself to invisible, you’ll appear as offline, but you’ll still be able to view your friends list, send and receive messages. Sometimes you’re feeling social, and sometimes you’re not; this setting should help Steam users be social on their own terms. We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon.

Like many Steam features, these privacy options come directly from user feedback. If you would like to join that conversation, as always, we welcome you to visit the Steam Discussions and add your feedback.

What the blog post doesn't explicitly say, according to SteamSpy creator Sergey Galyonkin, is that Valve now made every user's gaming library hidden by default - which prevents SteamSpy from working altogether.

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On Twitter, Galyonkin also suggested that if Valve really wanted to protect their users' privacy they would have hidden the profiles' information first and foremost, but that's still public for now.

What do you think about this policy change by Valve? Let us know in the comments section.

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