Share your library of games with Steam Family Sharing

Steam Family Sharing is now available to all users.

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Steam Family Sharing, a feature that allows friends and family to share their libraries of Steam games, is now available to all users, Valve has announced.

A user can make his library of Steam games available for others to access, download, and play on approved authorized accounts and devices. You may authorize Family Library Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time, and for up to five accounts. Though simultaneous usage of an account is prohibited, the lender is always able to play their games at any time. If the player decides to start playing while a friend is borrowing a game, the friend will be given a "few minutes" to purchase the game or quit.

Individual members can earn their own achievements and keep their own saves and application data intact with Steam Cloud.

Lenders can’t access games that aren't available in their region or games that require a third-party key, account or subscription.

You should also be careful about who you share with. Family sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may be VAC (Valve’s anti-cheat system) banned if your library is used by others to cheat.

You can find out more about Family Sharing and instruction on how to use the feature on Steam’s website.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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charon_rising

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Sharing is caring, it can be FUUUUUUUUU~~~.

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oneligas

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it's not Half Life Episode 3 or Half Life 3 so i hate it

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crazywolf5150

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I've been doing this more a few months now and it's a very nice feature, but apparently I can't play DayZ on my other accounts using this. That's the only game that I have (among over 400) that won't allow me to use Steam family share with it, which I find strange since it doesn't require a 3rd party key or a subscription and I was able to play it on my other accounts before.

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hystavito

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Maybe DayZ opted out of it? Or maybe an early access issue, have you tried other early access games?

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Slagar

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Well, I welcome the ability to do this. It's kind of mind-blowing that it wasn't part of Steam since the beginning.

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dribblesbarbax

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No matter how hard I try I just cant get this sharing thing to work. I have 2 pc's. I have 2 separate steam accounts. Both pc's are authorised. Neither can play either's games. Steam account (A) on pc (A) can see steam account (B)'s games. But cannot play them without purchasing. Steam account (B) on pc (B) cant see steam account (A)'s games. Why is it so flipping complicated?

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PowerDingALing

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What if I borrow a game from a friend and crack it?

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Thanatos2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Why bother borrowing it? Just download the cracked version, thief.

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Warlord_Irochi

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Then you are a filthy pirate and deserve holy punishement.
(No, really; what answer do you expect to that?)

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Setho10

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Used the beta of this to share my library with my brother who just bought a gaming PC. He was able to try my games without issue so this seems to work as described. Of note to those who might want to share their libraries with friends, you have to sign into your account on each computer you want to activate, so plan on being physically present when you set this up at a friend's house or be willing to share your password and access to your email.

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hystavito

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@Setho10 Thanks for that note. I was going to tell a friend about this, trying to get him interested in more gaming, but now I know there's no point until I'm at his house. Also I might want to try this with some internet friends, but I wouldn't want to give out my password.


I guess they wanted to limit this so that a lot of people won't actually use it.

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Avatar image for MBroadcloak
MBroadcloak

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Ever consider using TeamViewer? That way you remotely enter your credentials to authorize the device and vice-versa. Unless you don't trust your friend enough to not keylog you, in which case sharing is probably a poor life choice anyway.

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Setho10

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Well the service is more meant for Steam Machine users who are using Steam as a console. It's meant to work like the Xbox or Playstation that lets multiple accounts play any games installed on the system or that let's you bring a game to a friend's house. Basically it's meant to support local sharing not online sharing.

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Trender_man

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EA: haha look at those losers, what gamers really want are DLCs

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Faye_Tallity

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<< LINK REMOVED >> : D

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BuBsay

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I think it's also worth noting for all the people crying foul and saying "Microsoft tried to do the same thing and everyone hated them for it!" it's worth noting something.


Why do people buy PC's for gaming?

1. Better specs

2. Ability to customize Hardware/Software

3. Cheaper digital games.

4. A far larger indie market.


But, we also have to deal with some godawful DRM services (Uplay, Origin etc. etc.). So why did everyone get upset when Xbox One tried to introduce similar DRM?


Answer: Xbox One was trying to introduce the same awful DRM policies that we have on PC, whilst having none of the advantages that come with having a PC that I listed above; in essence trying to give us all the worst sides of the PC market, with absolutely none of the bonuses.

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Forcecaster

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Actully my only problem with the Xbox One DRM was the fact I would have to be always online. I can wait a few days for my game to download from Steam, I'm patient, but to being forced kicked every fu*king time because something goes wrong with my connection will go on my nerves.

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bu3aDeL_Maz

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<< LINK REMOVED >> i remember people hated the DRM because they wanted to sell and trade games like they did with the 360 (which is something PC couldn't do before this).


PC is awesome, but consoles are waaaay better for friends to gather around and play FIFA or Mortal Kombat or even Guitar Hero and Rock Band (that's what me and my friends do). and believe me, if the game is good then graphics won't matter.

do what I do, buy everything, start with your favorite, mine is playstation and never an Xbox console!

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vegard1985

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I use my PC in Big Picture mode when I have a friend over who likes gaming. I've played through Mortal Kombat with him that way. Plug in 2 360 controllers and there are absolutely no advantages to playing the console version any longer. And yes, Dualshock controllers work as well.


I do own consoles though, but my Wii is the only one I like co-op gaming on (Smash Bros, New Super Mario Bros etc). The only reason why a console would be better, is if your PC is nowhere near your TV, or the games aren't available on the platform.

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Avatar image for bu3aDeL_Maz
bu3aDeL_Maz

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@vegard1985@bu3aDeL_Maz exactly, PC is usually in a bedroom or in an office. my parents don't allow friends upstairs, so would be a pain to carry the PC down every time.


don't forget that consoles are great for extra accessories like Kinect, Move, Wii fit, guitars and drums for GH/RB... etc


and also, im the kind of person who would like to keep his work in a separate machine for the sake of storage and security.


I totally agree with PC being more powerful and upgradable, but sometimes visuals are not everything.


and if you ask me, I think everybody who like party games should get a Wii U

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R4gn4r0k

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@BuBsay Also you needed to do an online check on Xbone every 24 hours, making it effectively worse than most PC DRM (I say most because there is the awful, despicable AO-DRM on PC)

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Blazen702

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So when Microsoft wanted this for the Xbox One the gaming community balked but now that Steam is doing it gamers say it's ok? Typical bias against Xbox by all the sony and PC fanboys. I'm not a sheep so I got the X1 for the obvious reasons plus the better games.

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Thanatos2k

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@Blazen702 People didn't hate Microsoft for this, they hated them for everything else.


The family sharing and DRM are completely separate. Microsoft could implement family sharing today if they wanted to. But they don't.

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BuBsay

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Funny you say that, I literally just posted a reasoning as to why people were so up in arms against the Xbox's DRM as compared to PC.

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R4gn4r0k

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> inb4 people comparing this to Xbo... oh never mind

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Sefrix

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The only thing that could make this better would be to make the lending on a per-game basis, just like you could with physical copies. That would be AWESOME.

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Avatar image for PowerDingALing
PowerDingALing

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What could make it better would be some atittude like "do whatever you want with you game, lend or play online with anyone you want, you payed for it".

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Avatar image for deactivated-5a1d4b615a3a3
deactivated-5a1d4b615a3a3

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> But that isn't how software licensing works and your comment just confirms your ignorance in this matter.

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ExtremePhobia

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I suspect that this isn't a possibility probably due to legal agreements with most of the publishers. Though I'll bet Valve will start talking to Indie devs about it and it may cause a cascade effect.

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de-astroturfer

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Microsofts family sharing will return "when the time is right" by which they mean when they can reimpose used game fees, i.e. when they have enough customers locked in, so that will probably be never then !

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snakebite6x6x6

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Meh, I was kinda looking forward to this...but the way they described it was misleading.


“Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared,” explained Anna Sweet of Valve. “Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”


That's funny, because If my kids want to watch a Star Wars movie, and I want to watch Super Troopers at the same time, no problem. However, if I share my library with my family, and want to play Dark Souls....while my son is playing any other game in my library aside from Dark Souls....it kicks him out.


It defeats the purpose. Why bother with family sharing if we cannot be online at the same time. I would understand if we were both trying to play the same game.

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Thanatos2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Think of it like a TV. You might have Star Wars and Super Troopers, but you only have one TV to watch it on.

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randomkidlol

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Theres a workaround for that. Just start steam normally in online mode, but disconnect the internet on one of the users before launching the game.

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BuBsay

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Ya it's slightly disappointing. But now I've taken to whenever my girlfriend wants to play Banished I just play an MMO like Guild Wars 2 for a while, or toss in an old disc based game like Warcraft 3 while she plays.

If you have a good library of games outside of Steam as well, then Family Sharing works just fine.

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PowerDingALing

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Lame. You are forced to get out. just lame. But, you know, there are other things to do in life if someone wants to use your PC (or your account, in this case)...

And, by the way, playing videogame with your girlfriend...? Lame.

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SphinxDemon

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Lol your lame if you cant enjoy the things you love with your other. Video games are one ;)

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snxx

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Is it perfect? Nope. Is it a huge improvement over what we had? Hell, yeah! So, let's take this one step at a time, alright?

Also, you're complaining about one problem this system have over physical media, however it also have some improvements over physical media:

For an instance, I can authorize someone's notebook (say, a brother) and he can play almost any game on my library without worrying to borrow a physical disc. If he goes to, say, Europe, and I buy a new game, he WILL be able to access it as long as I'm not playing at the same time. If he lives on the other side of the city and want to play my GTA IV, he doesn't need to drive to me home to get the disc, he just installs it from the cloud.

So, it's not like the system is worse in every aspect, it only has a different set of particularities.

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ExtremePhobia

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@snxx @snakebite6x6x6 I think it might get to the point where only games are shared in time but for now it's not a perfect system. I suspect it's simply a limitation of the key system that they use. They probably can allow the "borrowing" of an account since that's handled by them but because of legal restrictions, they can't allow the borrowing of the game key itself.

This has a lot of benefit to me though since I live about 400 miles from the rest of my family for the next few years.

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MateykoSlam

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<< LINK REMOVED >> why would you want to watch super troopers? family sharing is awesome #dealwithit

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Thanatos2k

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Oh look, it's that program that all the fanboys were praising for the Xbone before Microsoft threw a tantrum and pulled it after their DRM 180.


Valve is such a better company.

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snakebite6x6x6

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Microsoft pulled the "DRM 180" because people whined about it, not because people praised it.


The difference is, is that Microsoft is a company that is popular to hate...so everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon.

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Thanatos2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Microsoft removed the DRM but took the family sharing with them, like a spoiled child taking their ball and going home.

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SpicaAntares

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

I like Microsoft for many things but once someone tries to take you by the backend you sort of feel a tingling every time you ear its name.

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ramyland

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FranklyI do not trustto sharemy collection ofgameswith my friends on steam! , the only exception will be my brother !

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NorseLax09

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You must have some pretty shitty friends.


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mr_nee

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<< LINK REMOVED >> they can't do anything wrong to it

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normanislost

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<< LINK REMOVED >> it is called "family sharing" for a reason

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