Steam Family Sharing Is Now Available For All Users

Subject: General Tech | February 28, 2014 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: steam, valve

Today, Valve announced that its Steam Family Sharing program is available for all users. This initiative allows Steam accounts to authorize devices to access their library on other accounts. The intention is for each family member to have their own account while being able to borrow games from one another. This can also extend to "their guests". It does not include titles which use third-party DRM, accounts, or subscriptions - Valve obviously does not have direct control over them.

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There are other rules and restrictions, of course, but the account and device limits are quite high: 5 accounts across 10 devices. This does not get around region locks and a game which is VAC-banned cannot be shared. Ultimately, be careful sharing your games with your kids if they are jerks.

To setup Family Library Sharing in the Steam Client, go to View > Settings > Family and start to authorize and manage other computers. Just do not allow Cheating Charlie. For more information, check out Valve's promotional site and FAQ.

Source: Valve

February 28, 2014 | 10:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

" careful sharing your games with your kids if they are jerks."

LOL. Not MYYYY little angel!

March 1, 2014 | 08:18 AM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

Haha I know classic. Now I know how people felt about my generation.

May 11, 2014 | 09:35 PM - Posted by Sima (not verified)

Awesome post.

March 1, 2014 | 01:14 AM - Posted by btdog

Will they post a list of games that will work with family sharing? Or at least denote some where on the game's page whether it will work?

I would hate to share a game with a friend/family only to have it prevented because of some DRM or other restriction.

March 1, 2014 | 04:00 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Usually 3rd-Party DRM, Subscriptions, and accounts are listed either near the ESRB rating on the right column or in the system requirements (both on the game's store page). I will not guarantee it, but I believe if the store page is accurate and does not list anything like that on it, Steam Family Sharing should work. Even then, some might work... but you will need to be careful.

March 1, 2014 | 02:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does anyone know how you can get the family sharing to work. I can't find any detailed guides on explaining how you share your library. I think you need to make a separate account but then if you do that you have no games in your library. Can anyone link me to a really good guide.

March 1, 2014 | 03:56 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

The point is to allow families to share pools of games despite multiple accounts. If you all use the same account, then you already had access to everything on every account your group uses - that one account.

If you made a second account, then you could add it (and the devices you intend to use family sharing from it on) to your allowed devices and accounts.

March 1, 2014 | 07:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Darn you gave me free L4D2 on Christmas and I`m addicted !

March 1, 2014 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The article is kind of misleading -- you share access to your whole library. If the person you're sharing with is playing any game from your library, and you want to play any *other* game from your library, it kicks the other person off.

Not really very useful or groundbreaking. =/

March 1, 2014 | 10:36 PM - Posted by razor512

largely useless. outside of steam= if I own a collection of 20 games, then I can have 20 different people playing my 20 different games.

By restricting it to any access to the library, it is no better than just giving them your password.

I would have liked to at least see a share on a game by game basis, for example if I have 20 games, allow me to play 1 of my 20 games, then allow another family member to play another of my 20 games at the same time.

If they want to be jerks about it, then at least allow it when under the same IP address. Also, has anyone been able to test if a free to play game will kick the family member off? for example, if I have a paid game on my library and a family member wants to play my paid game, can I still play a free to play game (especially if we both have the game?

March 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM - Posted by mLocke

Giving someone your password allows them complete access to your account, including your inventory, allowing anyone to transfer all items to another account. Never share your password.

If you're on the same IP just share the steam\steamspps\common folder over the network and try to load from the exe. A large number of Steam games act the same as DRM free games after they've gone through the initial setup process.

Any game loaded will kick other clients from their games.

Ultimately Valve/Steam could have easily decided to never do this, so at least we have the feature at all.

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