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VGUI (or, technically, "VGUI2"), is used to display dynamic 2D images and graphical user interfaces in GoldSrc (since 2003) and Source, aswell as Source 2 (in some games). This includes dialogues and buttons, the HUD, in-game menu, and even the surfaces of monitors and screens in the 3D world. It is platform-independent and Unicode-compliant.

VGUI2 forms can technically be displayed on the Windows and Mac desktop as well as in-game. Steam Steam formerly used VGUI until June 15, 2023, when the whole Steam UI was replaced with Chromium Embedded Framework, however, Steam will fallback to VGUI only if CEF wasn't working properly, telling users to restart all or some Steam process (e.g. 🖿steamwebhelper.exe), or when Steam is running in Windows compatibility mode. This also meant that custom Steam skins (which uses VGUI) are no longer supported, and cannot be used except on few dialogs, as long it's was selected prior to the update (or through Steam registry path (Registry PathHKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Valve\Steam\Skin), which can be viewed with Windows's Registry Editor).

GoldSrc GoldSrc uses both VGUI and VGUI2. Source Source and some Source 2 Source 2 games[confirm] only uses VGUI2. Due to this wiki historically documenting Source more than GoldSrc, VGUI2 is oftentimes interchangeably referred to as VGUI.

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