Steam's mobile app finally lands on Windows Phones

Valve may not be too happy about Windows as a PC platform, but the company has finally rolled out a Steam app for Windows mobile devices.

Rejoice o’ ye forgotten gamers, or as most people would call us, "Steam gamers who have Windows phones." Valve has heard our entreaties and answered with an official Steam app for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile.

The new app went live last night; it's still so new that the app didn’t appear as a top result when searching for “Steam” on the Windows Store. Searching for “Valve Corporation,” however, did bring up the app.

Why this matters: As we’ve mentioned before, Steam does not let users expedite trades and market transactions without a phone using Steam’s Mobile Authenticator. There were some third-party apps that claimed to provide this functionality to Windows mobile users, but trusting a third-party app with your Steam account is insecure and basically madness. Thus Windows phone fans still clamored for an official app. Now it’s here, and it looks pretty good.

Well, almost.

Hands-on with Steam's Windows Phone app

darklightsteamapp

Steam using Windows 10 Mobile’s light theme (left) vs. the dark theme (right).

One small quibble is the new Steam app doesn’t work well with Windows 10 Mobile’s light theme. In my tests with a Lumia 950 certain sections of the Steam app were nearly invisible with the light theme enabled, including the Settings screen and chat windows. That’s an obvious design flaw that Valve will hopefully fix with an update. (Assuming the company remembers it has a Windows mobile app. You’d be surprised how many developers don’t.)

Overall, the Steam app looks pretty nice and is similar to the versions for Android and iOS. The Windows version, however, has far fewer options hidden behind the “hamburger” menu icon on the left hand side.

On Windows, you have menu options for your profile, confirmations, chat, the Steam store, the ability to switch accounts, and the app’s settings. The essentials are there, but options like inventory, groups, a friends list, friend activity, and Steam news are missing.

Some of the missing options are still accessible, however—just not from the menu. Your inventory and library, for example, are available via your profile page. You can also get to various games-related information such as news and forum posts by selecting a game from your profile page.

But even with a minimal feature list it’s great to see an official Steam app arrive for Windows phone users.

Notably, this app is not a universal windows (UWP) app. Most likely, Valve didn’t want to do that since UWP apps work with Windows 10 devices only. Supporting Windows 10 Mobile exclusively doesn’t make much sense when a good chunk of Steam users with Windows phones are probably running 8.1. Plus, Valve just needs this app to work on phones, not PCs, tablets, the HoloLens, and Xbox.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags SteamWindows Phone 8.1Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?