How to family share on steam?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 9, 2024

Steam Family Sharing is a feature that allows multiple users to access and play each other's Steam library of games. This is particularly useful for families or friends who want to share their purchased games without buying multiple copies. Below, we provide a detailed guide on how to set up and use Steam Family Sharing.

Understanding Steam Family Sharing

Steam Family Sharing allows users to share their game library with up to 5 accounts and on up to 10 devices. It's important to note that not all games are shareable due to various restrictions, such as region locks or third-party DRM. Additionally, only one user can access a shared library at a time.

Setting Up Steam Family Sharing

Step 1: Enable Steam Guard Security

Before you can set up Family Sharing, Steam Guard security must be enabled. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam and log in to your account.
  2. Click on your username in the top right corner and select Account Details.
  3. Under the Account Security section, ensure that Steam Guard is enabled. If it's not, follow the prompts to activate it via email or the Steam Mobile Authenticator.

Step 2: Authorize Shared Devices

Next, you'll need to authorize the devices that will have access to your library:

  1. Log in to your Steam account on the computer you want to share your library with.
  2. Go to Steam > Settings (or Preferences on Mac).
  3. Select the Family tab.
  4. Click on Authorize Library Sharing on this Computer.
  5. Log out of your account and have the user you want to share with log in to their own Steam account on the same computer.
  6. Return to the Family tab in Settings and check the box next to their account to authorize it.

Step 3: Accessing Shared Games

Once the device and accounts are authorized, accessing shared games is straightforward:

  1. The user with whom you've shared your library will see your games in their own library, marked with your username.
  2. They can install and play any of the shared games, provided you are not using your library at the same time.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Shared Library Not Showing

If the shared library is not appearing, ensure that Steam Guard is enabled on both accounts and that the device has been authorized correctly. Double-check that the correct accounts are selected under the Family tab in Settings.

Game Not Available Due to Region Lock

Some games may not be shareable due to region locks or other restrictions. Verify the game's sharing status by checking the Steam store page or the game's community discussions.

Library in Use

Remember that only one user can access a shared library at a time. If the owner is playing a game, the shared user will not be able to access the library until the owner logs out.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Managing Multiple Users

To efficiently manage multiple users, consider setting up a schedule for when each user can access the shared library. This can help avoid conflicts and maximize playtime for everyone involved.

Using Offline Mode

If you want to play a single-player game without interfering with the shared library, use Steam's Offline Mode. This allows you to play your games without needing an internet connection, freeing up the library for others.

Sharing DLC and In-Game Content

While base games can be shared, DLCs and in-game content may only be accessible to the account that purchased them. Check the specific game's policy on DLC sharing to avoid any surprises.

Security Considerations

Account Security

Ensure that all accounts participating in Family Sharing have strong, unique passwords and that Steam Guard is enabled. This helps protect against unauthorized access and potential account compromises.

Monitoring Shared Activity

Regularly review the activity on your shared library. Steam provides logs of which games were played and by whom, allowing you to monitor usage and detect any unusual activity.

Expanding the Experience

Steam Remote Play Together

In addition to Family Sharing, Steam's Remote Play Together feature allows you to play local multiplayer games with friends over the internet. This can complement Family Sharing by enabling cooperative gameplay even when friends are not physically together.

Exploring Steam's Ecosystem

Take advantage of Steam's vast ecosystem, including the Steam Workshop for mods, Steam Cloud for saving game progress, and Steam Community for connecting with other players.

With these steps and tips, you can make the most of Steam Family Sharing, creating a shared gaming experience that brings friends and family closer together, all while maximizing your game library's potential.

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