Great news for friends and family members who don’t want to spend money on the latest installment of XYZ game.
After six months of beta testing, Steam has just launched a new Family Sharing service.
You can lend your gaming library to others and allow them to download and play, while earning their own achievements, and saving their game to Steam’s cloud without interfering with your own – and vice versa, where you can request permission to play a friend’s games.
Family Sharing lets 10 computers share one library at a time where up to five different accounts can use any of the aforementioned computers – similar to how you can sign up a certain amount of computers for iTunes.
If you’re worried people in your life will somehow ruin your account, don’t fret – you’ll always have access over those you’ve given permission to peruse your library.
Cue the requests (and bribery?)
Have a game on your wishlist but don’t have the dough? Simply send a request to a friend and if this person is willing, voila, you’re set.
Of course, there are caveats. You both cannot play from the same library simultaneously; Steam notes that "a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time" – meaning if you’re playing on a borrowed account and your friend wants to hop on, you’ll be prompted to quit or buy your own game.
Additionally, region restrictions are still the same and if titles that need an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.
But for the most part, as long as the borrower is trustworthy and it’s an available title, seems like their Steam library is fair game.
- Speaking of Valve, we’re hoping to hear more from the company during GDC 2014.