Valve Introduces New Steam Family Game Sharing Program

Valve Introduces New Steam Family Game Sharing Program

Valve has announced Steam Families, a revamped program that allows players to create a group to share and play games with close family members. The program launches today in the Steam Beta Client and it replaces the Steam Family Sharing and Steam Family View features. 

Steam Families can have up to six members, and joining gives you access to any sharable games in each member’s library. “Sharable games” is an important distinction, as Family Sharing is a feature that any developer can choose to opt out of for any reason at any time. Some games are also ineligible for sharing due to technical reasons. 

Noteworthy games currently eligible for Family Sharing include Helldivers 2, Baldur’s Gate 3, Balatro, Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, and Hogwarts Legacy. You can read the full list here. 

While playing a game that a family member owns, you will create your own save files, earn your own achievements, and have access to workshop files, among other features. When you purchase a game, it still remains in your ownership and only appears in your own library.

Two members cannot play one copy of a game at the same time. For example, if two members want to play co-op using Member 1’s copy of Helldivers 2, Member 2 will either have to buy their own copy or play another copy owned by a different member in the family.  

Steam has released an FAQ that answers some burning questions about Steam Families, including parental controls and how to manage child purchases. We recommend reading the full post for all the finer details, but here are some of the biggest takeaways:

As previously mentioned, some games are ineligible for Family Sharing due to technical reasons. These include:

To create a Steam Family, you’ll need to opt into the Steam Family Beta. Click on Steam in the upper left, then choose the “Settings” menu. Select “Interface”, then under “Client Beta Participation”, select Steam Family Beta from the dropdown menu. You’ll then have to restart Steam to complete the process.

What do you think of Steam Families, and do you plan to make one? Let us know in the comments!

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