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Steam Family Library Sharing Now Available to Share Games

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.

  • tobalaz
    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.
    Reply
  • Benthon
    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!
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    ...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.
    Reply
  • Mike Friesen
    12783877 said:
    ...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...
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    12784006 said:
    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. :)
    Reply
  • unksol
    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.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    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”.
    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    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.
    Reply
  • TwistedDruid
    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.
    Reply
  • unksol
    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
    Reply