Steam’s new open beta design, as always happens with such a drastic overhaul of a familiar UI, has certainly divided opinion. It’s definitely very in your face and seems to be chasing that contemporary design trend of making everything large, evidenced by the new vertical art dominating your library.
One change that has more or less flown under the radar for the new Steam beta, however, has been the option to include animated covers by uploading animated PNGs.
There’s a little bit of work (especially if you want to make them yourself) and sleuthing involved, but setting up animated Steam covers will eventually be so easy for you that your Steam library will end up looking like every Flash-filled early 2000s website if you aren’t careful.
The most important thing to note with the Steam icons is that you must first download the animated PNGs themselves — there’s no official support from devs and publishers just yet. Likewise, there’s no official resource for them as of this writing, though the Steamgrid subreddit is the best place to find some of the coolest community creations so far.
To search by game, use the search function within the subreddit. Bear in mind that this is all very much in its infancy, so you may not find what you’re looking for straight away.
Once you have found a design you like for a game in your Steam library, simple save the file while ensuring the APNG is animating (perhaps open the image in a tab separate from Imgur to be sure). A lot of creators are favouring 320×480 for dimensions for smaller file sizes, though these things are still rather girthy no matter what.
After you’ve gone on a downloading binge, head over to your Steam library and right click the icons/portraits; it won’t work if you click from the list of names on the left. From right click, select manage, set custom artwork, find the right file, and it’s as easy as that.
Don’t forget that you can set custom artwork for any game in your library — it can even be a commom ol’ static poster if there isn’t an animated variant out in the wild yet. There’s an awful lot of games that haven’t had their portrait covers updated yet, so you may have a lot of work on your hands.
Also bear in mind that having a tonne of animated icons could potentially slow your Steam right down, so maybe show a little bit of restraint. Does DmC: Devil May Cry really need an APNG of Dante throwing away a white wig?