Jump to content

Welcome to the upgraded PCGamingWiki forums and files page. The current Wiki and Forum bridge is not functioning at the moment, therefore your Forum account currently has no password set. Please reset your Forum password via email check to generate a new password. If you have any issues please message Andytizer on Discord.

Andytizer

Steam Family Sharing hands-on impressions

Recommended Posts

Steam Family sharing started its Beta access and few lucky accounts can try this new feature. How it works, what do you need to do, what the limitations are and other burning questions we can answer.So how do you share your library with a friend? Unfortunately, one of the big drawbacks is that you will need to have logged into your Steam account onto your friend's machine at least once.

 

Let's say Alice has a game that Bob really wants to play. Alice needs to visit Bob, log in onto Bob's computer with her Steam account and then authorize Bob's computer.

 

Many believed that you can request authorization via Steam profile pages but that is unfortunately not the case. There is an option to request access via email, but again, the person you'd want to borrow a game from needs to have to logged into your machine before. It may be possible to circumvent being physically present by using a remote desktop application such as TeamViewer.

 

When you log on your friend's computer, you are asked to enter Steam Guard password and also you can name your friend's computer for better recognition.

 

Authorizing is done via the Manage family sharing & devices menu, that can be found under Steam > Settings and Account tab.

 

 

There you can see all accessed computers and here you can also authorize or deauthorize machines. Here you have screenshot where This Computer is my main machine and computer named Crystal belongs to my friend and he has access to my steam library.

 

 

So you managed to gain access to your friends library and now you are wondering, where are the games and how can I play them? Remote libraries are stored in the main Library tab on the bottom of your game list. Games from all libraries are counted so expect number in All Games to rise considerably, but games that both parties own are not shown in remote libraries.

 

 

Now you can just pick a game and start downloading it just like it is yours. When games owner wants to play something from his library, you will be given 5 minutes timer to leave the game and notified by Steam overlay notifications every minute. After this period game is forcefully ended (we are suspecting some sort of process killer performs this task).

 

 

The library owner is also notified who is currently accessing his library, but the notice is not intrusive and is only shown in list view as a single line:

 

 

Unfortunately the sharing recipient will be kicked from game A even if library owner will starts playing game B. This rules out any kind of way of sharing a game and playing multiplayer through Steamworks.

 

Currently it is possible for more the Steam library owner to play at the same time as the sharing recipient by switching Steam to Offline mode. That way you can play game from all libraries that are in your computer without interruption. It remains to be seen whether it's possible to have both parties connect to a non-Steamworks multiplayer service, e.g. a Quake III dedicated server.

 

There are indications that this process change in the future, and that the game owner will be able to set more refined rules what games you can access. The SteamOS page states: "Soon, families will have more control over what titles get seen by whom, and more features to allow everyone in the house to get the most out of their Steam libraries".

 

We yet do not know how third party DRM games will behave exactly (Uplay, GFWL games) but they are also shared in the library. We suspect that you will need a new account (and therefore to purchase the game individually) for this to work.

 

Update: Uplay and GFWL games are protected by CD-Key that will be shared with your friend. Steam library is being updated and these games should not be shared anymore, however some low profile games still can be shared.

 

Do not share your library unless you've claimed (started playing) all your third party and CD Key protected games.

 

Update 2: Beta participants can share their libraries with ordinary users, but ordinary users can't share their libraries back.

 

Be sure to come back for updates as we are still researching this new feature or visit official guide at Steam Support page.

Many thanks to user Crystal for assisting with testing.

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PSA: dont share your games that easily, if game use 3rd party DRM with additional cd keys, your partner will see those cd keys...of course, they dont work so easily[tested splinter sell conviction uplay DRM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this "walkthrough". It seems a limitation I did not expect is that you can't play a different game from the same library at the same time. I wonder what the point of this limitation is if you can just go into offline mode?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read the article on the BETA, which I have it myself, wanted to ask, how can I find what games of mine have keys, like third party protected ones, which I need to activate before sharing my library? I mean, I don't think I can install and uninstall each to check, and like half of my library is still unplayed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read the article on the BETA, which I have it myself, wanted to ask, how can I find what games of mine have keys, like third party protected ones, which I need to activate before sharing my library? I mean, I don't think I can install and uninstall each to check, and like half of my library is still unplayed.

 

The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam lists most known cases of third-party DRM on Steam.

 

The Steam catalogue is gradually being updated to mark such games as unable to be shared; this will probably be listed on the store pages at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've updated the article, some games are not shared, but we have not clear confirmation, if all CD-Key protected games are excluded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tested something with family sharing.  If both accounts have a game, and the sharing account has DLC for the game, the DLC will not be shared. 

 

In the test, I had my main account sharing Civ V Gods and Kings, and an alt account with vanilla Civ V.  I was unable to access Gods and Kings with the alt, even with sharing. 

 

Standalone DLC like Deus Ex HR: The Missing Link still work.  DLC for games that aren't on both accounts still work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting.... i would love to test it my self.

 

You might already be in the beta; many users (including myself) got the Family Sharing button added without an accompanying email.

 

If you're in the beta you'll have a Manage Family Sharing & Devices button under Steam > Settings. You have to authorize a system from this button before other users on the same system can access the shared games through their Steam accounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Caleb Wysor
      As Valve's Steam Labs launch three new experimental features today, one has caught the interest of many Steam users: its new algorithm for game recommendations based on Valve's machine learning technology.
      Valve says the Interactive Recommender uses a "neural-network model that is trained to recommend games based on a user's playtime history, along with other salient data." The data is modified by two sliders that users can edit: one ranges from "popular" to "niche," while the other slider ranges from "older" to "newer" games.

      Rather than base recommendations around genre or category, the Interactive Recommender instead scans through Valve's data sets to find other Steam users with similar tastes. The model then recommends titles the user might enjoy based on other games played by like-minded Steam users.
      Valve also says they discard most category information about the game when entering it into their model.
      "We don't explicitly feed our model information about the games. Instead, the model learns about the games for itself during the training process. In fact, the only information about a game that gets explicitly fed into the process is the release date, enabling us to do time-windowing for the release-date slider. It turns out that using release date as part of the model training process yields better quality results than simply applying it as filter on the output," Valve said. They also discard information about review scores and tags, relying only on popularity and age variables.
      Users worried about this experimental technology replacing their regular Steam recommendations have nothing to fear for the time being. Rather, Valve says users who want to try the Recommender will have to specifically choose it under the Steam Labs experiments section. Regular Steam recommendations will still function as before.
      Since their algorithm discards the categories most other game recommendation algorithms operate by, Valve also claims that developers won't have to worry about optimizing their game description to make it more likely to be recommended. 
      "The best way for a developer to optimize for this model is to make a game that people enjoy playing. While it's important to supply users with useful information about your game on its store page, you shouldn't agonize about whether tags or other metadata will affect how a recommendations model sees your game," Valve said.
      If you want to try the Interactive Recommender, head over to the Steams Labs experiments section.
      (via PC Gamer)
       
    • By Caleb Wysor
      Crystal Crisis launched for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch earlier this year. Now publisher Nicalis has announced that Crystal Crisis will be coming to PC via Steam at the end of the month.
      The competitive puzzle fighter features popular characters from Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, and Astro Boy. Seen as a spiritual successor to the cult Capcom arcade game Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Nicalis describes Crystal Crisis as the "apex of the head-to-head puzzle battle genre."
      Crystal Crisis launches on Steam July 31 for $19.99, but pre-purchases will receive a 25% discount, lowering the price to $14.99.
      You can find Nicalis's full description of Crystal Crisis below.
       
    • By Andytizer
      Classic games The Lion King (1994) and Disney's Aladdin (1993) have been delisted from Steam without so much as a word. 
      Thankfully GOG.com have given a short warning of just over 24 hours in this forum post announcement :
      Another Disney game, The Jungle Book, has been delisted from Steam but still available from GOG.com - who knows if more Disney games will be delisted in the future?
    • By AnotherGills
      This year’s Steam summer sale introduced the Steam Grand Prix, a meta-game which gives players the chance to win their “Most Wished For games”. The wording of this competition has caused confusion as many Steam users believed that winners would receive random games from their wishlist. This led to many Steam users removing cheaper games from their wishlist, most notably from independently developed games.
      As such, many developers and publishers were less than thrilled with this year’s meta-game.  Developers receive notifications based on additions and deletions of games to users wishlists. Within hours of the Grand Prix launch, developers watched large amounts of users remove their games from wishlists in nearly real-time.
      Dan Hindes, developer of the upcoming title, WildFire, tweeted about the situation, showing a graph chronicling wishlist deletions for Wildfire.

      Thankfully, Valve addressed the furor before it could erupt, and modified the promotion’s guidelines. The new rules now clarify that “if your team makes it to the podium and you are randomly chosen to win something off your Steam Wishlist, then we’ll grant you the top item.”
      Hopefully, this revision can ward off some of the damage caused by the wishlist purging.
    • By AnotherGills
      Tim Sweeney, founder of the mega-popular studio Epic Games, took to Twitter in a dialogue regarding the recent Shenmue III fiasco.
      For those unaware, Shenmue III is a crowdfunded game produced by Ys Net. At E3 2019’s PC Gaming Show, Ys Net announced that Shenmue III would be launching on the Epic Games Store, instead of the previously announced Steam platform. Many backers were aggravated at the bait-and-switch, with no option to receive a Steam key, nor a refund.
      Sweeney revealed an alleged Steam policy discovered through partner discussions, “Valve policy prohibits providing Steam keys for games that aren’t going to be available at launch on Steam.”
      Furthermore, Sweeney criticizes the policy, “Steam policy change traps crowdfunded projects into either launching on Steam for 30% or offering backers refunds.”
      He further clarifies, “By “traps”, I just mean: requires that the game be distributed on Steam, ruling out any funding opportunity associated with exclusivity or preferential terms that might “disadvantage Steam customers””
      Finally, when inquired about the fairness behind paying for exclusivity, Sweeney states “Valve has every right to make deals with developers and publishers to secure more exclusives, just as Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Epic Games do!”
      What are your thoughts on the matter? If Valve truly has a policy prohibiting keys for non-launch titles, would you agree that Steam is "trapping crowdfunded projects"?
  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 87 Guests (See full list)

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Forum Statistics

    1,136
    Total Topics
    6,532
    Total Posts
×