Epic Games Store Social Update
We kicked off 2021 by recapping major features added in 2020 in the Epic Games Store Year in Review and gave a taste of what’s coming in 2021. Now it’s time to take a deeper dive to talk about what is changing, what’s launching now, and what’s around the corner.
A major priority continues to be including more features that connect you to your friends and to the games you love. That involves improving existing features like Wishlists, adding Achievements, and rehauling the Social Panel!
Vision for the Future of Social on Epic Game Store
We want to transform the Epic Games Store into a place where you can connect with your friends across platforms, effortlessly jump into parties with voice chat, and play games together without missing a beat. There are a lot of exciting features to come but today we want to share with you an early look at the Party System.
Party System Intro
In the future, the Epic Games Launcher will feature a new party system that enables players to group together and communicate via voice, text, and more. You’ll drop in or drop out at any point of a party experience with shared controls among all teammates. Talk to your friends and teammates whether you are playing a game or hanging out while searching for a new game to play together.
The Party System coming soon will feature an “Active Party Window”, a dedicated window for the Party you are actively engaging in. In this window you’ll have a host of options with your friends and teammates to communicate and play. Share your latest highlights to convince your friends to play a game with you or kick off a match with only a few friends in the group while being able to continue talking to your entire Party.
Drop In / Drop Out Parties
There will be no single owner of the party, so if a friend needs to head offline, the remainder of the Party will continue on. Inside the window, each party member will have control of their own audio and video options. You can also invite other players and lock the party.
Continue the Party In-Game
The addition of the Party Window will also feature In-Game Party Representation. A simplified view of the party will be toggleable while in-game, showing party members and their status.
What is Coming This Month!
To make sure that we’re creating a seamless social experience for our users, we are constantly building, improving, and iterating on existing features. We’re revamping our Social Panel to improve functionality across the board and here’s some of the awesome features you’ll start to see this month:
Player Cards are coming! Clicking on a friend in the Social Panel will pull up their Player Card and give you multiple new options. Viewing the card will allow the player to take important actions to manage their friendship and see mutual friends. In the future, you’ll also be able to join their party, invite them to a new party, and even customize your Player Card.
The new Epic Games Store Social Panel comes equipped with a more efficient search tool. We’ve improved the search query and the results will now feature mutual friend count, the ability to search across platforms, and better matching overall. If you have a pending game invite, you’ll be able to click “Join” and the game will launch and auto-join your friend.
While you’re browsing the Epic Games Store, we wanted users to be able to interact with an accessible, minimized view of the Social Panel without having to open an entirely separate window. Here you’ll be able to see notifications such as game invites and friend requests.
Do Not Disturb
With the addition of extra social features, we understand that you might not want to be interrupted while you’re in the launcher or a game! The “Do Not Disturb” button will make sure that you’re not notified of game invites or friend requests while playing.
Whispers haven't been wildely used, so this feature is going into the vault for now, but we’re hopeful to bring it back later with improved functionality for messaging your friends.
More Updates Coming
On top of more major game releases and weekly free games you won’t want to miss, we’ll have more updates to share with you soon!
We’ll continue to improve existing features while building out new ones. Be sure to stay up to date on features coming to the Epic Games Store by bookmarking and checking out the official Trello.