Valve has recently announced the Steam Family Sharing service which grants one’s game libraries to be shared across 10 authorized devices and now the company is announcing the availability of the service in BETA. Those who have expressed their interest during the initial announcement should’ve received an invitation in their inboxes.Â Those who are interested can still join in the BETA by joining the Family Sharing group in Steam.
Valve has also released a guide for those who are participating which should also give everyone an idea on what the expect from the service. Here is the guide for your convenience:
Family Sharing User Guide for Beta Participants
Steam Family Sharing allows family members and their guests to play one another’s games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam Cloud. It’s all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.
I want to try this! How can I join the Family Sharing Beta?
To express interest in the beta participation,Â join the Family Sharing GroupÂ on the Steam Community. You’ll know you’ve been selected for participation when you receive an email from Steam inviting you to try out the new feature.
I’m in the Beta! How do I authorize my shared computer?
As a selected beta participant, firstÂ opt into the latest Steam Client Beta Update. Then,Â authorize a device to share via the â€œAccountâ€ tab in Settings, where youâ€™ll find a button to “Manage Family Sharing & Devices”, followed by a button to â€œAuthorize this Machine.â€ Now family members and guests may log in and play your shared games.
How do I access and play someone else’s shared games?
Once a device has been authorized, simply log in. (As a guest, thereâ€™s no need for you to also be a beta participant.) In your Library, youâ€™ll find access to install and play any of the shared games on this computer.
Note that shared games are only available on devices that have been authorized by the account holder. Also, shared games may be unavailable if the account holder’s library is currently in use on another computer.
I want to play my own shared games, but they’re in use. What do I do?
As the account holder, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when another user is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given five minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.
Can I share specific games, or do I have to share my whole library?
Libraries are shared in their entirety.
Can all Steam games be shared?
No, due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or a subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.
Can two users share a library and both play at the same time?
No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.
Is there a limit to the number of devices I can authorize to share my Library?
Yes. A Steam account may authorize Family Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time.
I share a computer with another Steam user and want to request access to their games. What do I do?
If another Steam user has installed a game on your shared computer, you can log into Steam on this device using your own account and send a sharing request. To do this, visit your library, where you’ll see your friend’s installed games. Select the Play button to launch a request form. Once sent, this will send an email to the account holder.
I’ve received a request to share my games. What do I do?
A friend’s request to share will arrive as an email message. Click the link within to authorize the reqeusting computer to grant other Steam users access to your games.
How do I disable Family Sharing?
To disable Family Sharing, log into the Steam client and visit the “Account” tab in Settings, where you’ll find a button to “Manage Family Sharing & Devices.” Here you can deauthorize any computer that’s been authorized to share your games. You can remotely deauthorize devices from the web too. Visit your Account Details online, then select Manage LIbrary Sharing & Devices. Using either the client or the web site, you can view all currently authorized devices and disable any or all of them.
Who owns and can access the DLC and in-game content associated with a shared title?
A guest will have access to the account holder’s DLC, but guests may not purchase DLC for a base game they don’t own. Any player may purchase, trade, earn, or otherwise acquire in-game content while playing a game, but in-game items cannot be shared between accounts. These items remain the property of the account that purchased or acquired them.
Will I be punished for any cheating or fraud conducted by other users while playing my games?
Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may even be VAC banned if your library is used by others to conduct cheating or fraud. We recommend you only authorize familiar computers you know to be secure. And as always, never give your password to anyone.