Valve announced a Steam Family Sharing plan that will allow Steam account holders to freely share their Steam games' libraries with friends and family. The Steam Family Sharing beta will begin next week, with initial invitations to join the beta going out at that point. An official release date for Steam Family Sharing has yet to be announced.
Valve's Frequently Asked Questions section provides additional information about its new Steam Family Sharing.
When will the Steam Family Sharing Beta Begin?
Valve says that the Steam Family Sharing Beta will begin sometime next week.
How do I join Steam Family Sharing Beta?
To join the Steam Family Sharing Beta, you have to join the Steam Family Sharing group on Steam.
Are there any limitations to the Steam Family Sharing Beta?
Valve says that invitations to the Steam Family Sharing Beta will be sent out to the first 1,000 users from the group. Valve also says that more invites will be sent out to group members "on a regular basis" until Valve ends the beta and releases Steam Family Sharing to everyone.
How can I enable Steam Family Sharing on my computer?
Valve says you can enable Steam Family Sharing on your computer in one of two ways: via Account Settings in your Steam account or you can respond to a sharing request sent to you by another Steam user.
Is there a limit to the number of devices you can authorize to share your Steam games library?
Yes, you can authorize up to 10 devices for sharing.
Can you share individual games from your Steam games library?
No, when you share Steam games with someone, you share your entire library.
Will every game be available for sharing via Steam Family Sharing?
No, there will be case-by-case limitations for games that require a third-party key, account or subscription in order to play the game. These can't be shared between Steam accounts.
What happens if a friend is playing a game from my library and I start to play a game from my library?
Your friend will get a notification informing them that they can either buy the game or they have to exit the game in a few minutes.
Can multiple people use the same library at the same time?
No, Steam Family Sharing limits Steam library access to one user at a time.
Can I play a game that I borrowed from any device?
No, the Steam library owner has to authorize each device individually.
If I borrow a game, do I also get access to that game's DLC assuming the owner bought it?
Yes, though if you want to buy DLC for a game, you first must own the original game associated with the DLC in question.
Can purchased in-game items be shared between Steam accounts?
Can region-restricted content be shared with someone in a different region?
No, any region restrictions will remain in effect and locked to that region.
What happens if someone who borrowed my library was found to be cheating in-game?
You may have your Steam Family Sharing rights revoked. Be sure that whoever you share your Steam games library with is someone who you find to be trustworthy.
What do you think of this Steam Family Sharing FAQ? Sound off in the comments below.
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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