Epic Games Store lines up new social features including a party system

First it's adding player cards that make it easier to see who your friends are.

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Epic Games Store social panel

Over the last couple of years, Valve has responded to Epic's Game Store threat by filling in some of Steam's missing features around game recommendations and social connections. Now Epic is going to try and catch up on the social side in 2021, whether or not the areas where it's focusing are the ones gamers use the most.

In a blog post the Epic Games Store team revealed plans for a party system that includes Discord-style voice and text chat, as well as extending inside game experiences to let you know what your party members are up to. Meanwhile, the existing "Whispers" DM system is going away because people apparently weren't using it. 

While the party system is due in the "future," changes that should arrive this month include Player Cards in the social panel that make it easy to figure out who someone, search, do not disturb and more. These features probably aren't enough to make anyone choose the Epic store over Steam, but they could it make it a little more sticky once someone makes the jump part-time. If that's not what you're looking for from Epic, keep an eye on their Trello board to see what else is on the works, like Achievements (that's been on the list for a while) and wishlist improvements.

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