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Steam Family Library Sharing Now Available to Share Games

By - Source: Valve Software | B 22 comments

Valve Software announced on Friday that Steam Family Library Sharing is now available to all Steam members. Gamers who share computers can now share their available libraries with one another as well. Both players earn their own achievements, and save their own progress thanks to the Steam Cloud. The service is absolutely free.

“See a family member's installed game that you want to play? Send them a request to authorize you. Once authorized, their library of Steam games becomes available for you to access, download and play,” reads the promo page.

To enable Family Library Sharing, first users need to make sure Steam Guard security is enabled. Customers then enable the sharing feature via Settings > Family, (or in Big Picture mode, Settings > Family Library Sharing,) where users will also authorize specific computers and users to share.

“You may authorize Family Library Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time, and for up to 5 accounts that may then use your game library on any of your authorized computers,” states the FAQ. Users also must be online to access and play games that are shared.

According to the FAQ, libraries are shared and borrowed in their entirety: you can’t share just one or two games. Unfortunately, not all games can be shared to friends and family due to “technical limitations”.

“Some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts,” states the FAQ.

For more information, everything you need to know about this sharing feature can be found right here.

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  • 1 Hide
    tobalaz , February 28, 2014 9:23 PM
    About flipping time.There's no reason I shouldn't be able to play a game on my laptop while my nephew is playing one on my desktop or vice versa.This is long overdue.
  • 1 Hide
    Benthon , February 28, 2014 9:36 PM
    I find this feature to be absolutely awesome! My girlfriend's steam library is pretty lackluster (like 10 games?) and mine has a couple hundred. Now she can enjoy The Walking Dead or Skyrim without me having to be off of Steam. Yay!
  • 1 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , February 28, 2014 10:19 PM
    I used this in the beta, worked great!
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • -2 Hide
    DarkSable , February 28, 2014 10:31 PM
    ...well screw the pooch.I find this just after spending $140 buying the best multiplayer games to put onto a separate steam account to play on softxpand when I have friends over.
  • 1 Hide
    Mike Friesen , February 28, 2014 10:56 PM
    Quote:
    ...well screw the pooch.I find this just after spending $140 buying the best multiplayer games to put onto a separate steam account to play on softxpand when I have friends over.


    Well, you still can't be playing the same game at the same time, can you? Maybe i'm wrong, but i thought that's how it worked. so for multiplayer games...
  • 1 Hide
    DarkSable , February 28, 2014 11:38 PM
    Quote:
    Well, you still can't be playing the same game at the same time, can you? Maybe i'm wrong, but i thought that's how it worked. so for multiplayer games...


    Ahh, I might very well have jumped to assumptions here. It's still a cool feature, either way. :) 
  • 7 Hide
    unksol , March 1, 2014 1:08 AM
    You all need to READ the steam FAQ as every comment above is completely wrong. ALL this does is allow them to take control of your library without your password. Its almost completely useless and you can't both be playing games from your library. Not the same game, the ENTIRE library. You access it they get kicked.

    http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/

    Can two users share a library and both play at the same time?

    No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.

    When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

    As the account holder, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when another user is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

    Sometimes the games I’ve been given access to are unavailable for me to play. Why?

    Shared games are only available on devices that have been authorized by the account holder. Shared games will be unavailable on even an authorized device when the account holder’s library is currently in use on another computer.
  • 1 Hide
    tomfreak , March 1, 2014 2:10 AM
    few people here didnt READ LOL"According to the FAQ, libraries are shared and borrowed in their entirety: you can’t share just one or two games. Unfortunately, not all games can be shared to friends and family due to “technical limitations”.
  • 1 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 1, 2014 5:18 AM
    If Steam did proper game sharing then the price of the games would become multiple times higher and people who don't have people to share with would be essentially getting robbed by sharers.
  • 2 Hide
    TwistedDruid , March 1, 2014 6:16 AM
    Quote:
    I find this feature to be absolutely awesome! My girlfriend's steam library is pretty lackluster (like 10 games?) and mine has a couple hundred. Now she can enjoy The Walking Dead or Skyrim without me having to be off of Steam. Yay!
    There is a great work around for this. I have been in the beta for a while and have my girlfriend and two friends on my account. All of them can play but the moment I get on it locks it out for them. BUT if they switch to off line mode after installing the game they can play as much as they want and I can still access my games. It works out great for games like Fallout 3 having all three of them play it. But games like borderlands they will require their own copy to play with the main account but the secondary accounts can play together.
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , March 1, 2014 7:00 PM
    lol. your "great workaround" is an obvious exploitation of how this VERY limited scheme is supposed to work. it us useless for most steam users and at best a marketing demo. it you insist on sharing your "fix" it will shortly be fixed. no sane publisher would allow your abuse once they saw it
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , March 1, 2014 8:05 PM
    I was excited - for 1 minute. Then I read more.This kind of thing is one of the reasons I don't care for Steam. For a service that has been around as long as it has it is simply poorly implemented. Their servers are terrible for playing co-op on. Their update process is slow - I often buy a game from Green Man Gaming before Steam even has it available. But then of course I have to use the code on Steam because game publishers love the service.I guess they are good at one thing, and that is managing DRM. (I wasn't impressed though when I bought a game through Steam and had to go through Microsoft Live as well as Steam to play it. Steam should have handled that process for me.)Good news for people interested in a Steam box (Why would you want something you can only play OpenCL games on? You can play DirectX AND OpenCL games on Windows.), they don't make the machines, they just make the OS, so there is one less part of that equation Steam will screw up.
  • -3 Hide
    unksol , March 2, 2014 3:37 AM
    OK Marcus you are an idiot. Steam I very well implemented. the best platform on the market. that's why everyone sells THEIR codes.

    Microsoft live/ubisoft pluggin crap is mandated by the publisher. you are FORCED to use it by them. no matter where you buy it. Yes it is BS and trash and no one wants it but then talk to/about the pubkisher
  • 1 Hide
    hoofhearted , March 2, 2014 3:58 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I find this feature to be absolutely awesome! My girlfriend's steam library is pretty lackluster (like 10 games?) and mine has a couple hundred. Now she can enjoy The Walking Dead or Skyrim without me having to be off of Steam. Yay!
    There is a great work around for this. I have been in the beta for a while and have my girlfriend and two friends on my account. All of them can play but the moment I get on it locks it out for them. BUT if they switch to off line mode after installing the game they can play as much as they want and I can still access my games. It works out great for games like Fallout 3 having all three of them play it. But games like borderlands they will require their own copy to play with the main account but the secondary accounts can play together.
    You don't need the family plan to do this.
  • 3 Hide
    stevejnb , March 2, 2014 5:58 AM
    Ok Valve, where's my invisible mode? I can't sign on to play Civilization with one of my buddies without my nephews pestering me to play with them instead, getting upset when I decline. Services have been doing this for years - why aren't you?
  • 1 Hide
    DarkSable , March 2, 2014 11:03 AM
    Quote:
    Ok Valve, where's my invisible mode? I can't sign on to play Civilization with one of my buddies without my nephews pestering me to play with them instead, getting upset when I decline. Services have been doing this for years - why aren't you?


    It doesn't have invisible mode, but you can just sign out of the chat service. Not quite perfect, but it's something.
  • 0 Hide
    Kaisfreedom , March 2, 2014 9:11 PM
    Hi, I have some questions.Is the shared library means the whole library or just one game?Can my friend/family play other game while I play the other game within shared library?
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 3, 2014 5:28 AM
    Quote:
    I was excited - for 1 minute. Then I read more.This kind of thing is one of the reasons I don't care for Steam. For a service that has been around as long as it has it is simply poorly implemented. Their servers are terrible for playing co-op on. Their update process is slow - I often buy a game from Green Man Gaming before Steam even has it available. But then of course I have to use the code on Steam because game publishers love the service.I guess they are good at one thing, and that is managing DRM. (I wasn't impressed though when I bought a game through Steam and had to go through Microsoft Live as well as Steam to play it. Steam should have handled that process for me.)Good news for people interested in a Steam box (Why would you want something you can only play OpenCL games on? You can play DirectX AND OpenCL games on Windows.), they don't make the machines, they just make the OS, so there is one less part of that equation Steam will screw up.


    I think you mean OpenGL; not OpenCL. Will there ever be any actual games that use OpenCL? I think it might be superseded by something else.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , March 3, 2014 5:38 AM
    play Civilization with one of my buddies without my nephews pestering me to play with them instead, getting upset when I decline. Services have been doing this for years - why aren't you?[/quotemsg]

    It doesn't have invisible mode, but you can just sign out of the chat service. Not quite perfect, but it's something.
    [/quotemsg]

    Sign out of chat mode? Could you explain this more? I've been following a frequently updated "Why no invisible mode?" type thread in the official Steam Forums and I've never seen someone post this as a solution. Can I play multiplayer while out of chat mode, and can everyone see what I'm doing while playing multiplayer? Thanks.

    Based on a few initial searches I've done, my guess is what you're suggesting is just going into offline mode. For multiplayer, this is *not* a solution.
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 3, 2014 7:41 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I find this feature to be absolutely awesome! My girlfriend's steam library is pretty lackluster (like 10 games?) and mine has a couple hundred. Now she can enjoy The Walking Dead or Skyrim without me having to be off of Steam. Yay!
    There is a great work around for this. I have been in the beta for a while and have my girlfriend and two friends on my account. All of them can play but the moment I get on it locks it out for them. BUT if they switch to off line mode after installing the game they can play as much as they want and I can still access my games. It works out great for games like Fallout 3 having all three of them play it. But games like borderlands they will require their own copy to play with the main account but the secondary accounts can play together.


    The more you help people with this exploit then the more you and the exploiters will rob the non-exploiters. I've already explained how, so I'm not going to repeat it.
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