Steam is a popular online platform for buying and downloading games. It also acts as a platform from where you can launch and play your video games. Moreover, you can make friends and participate in its online community as well. Recently, they introduced the Family Library Sharing which allowed its users to share Steam games with others.
However, this is possible only if the users log in to the same computer as the owner of the game.
How to Share Games on Steam?
Steam game sharing can be done in just two simple steps. Therefore, follow the steps given below very carefully.
Step 1 – Enable Steam Guard Security
The first thing you need for sharing games on Steam is to enable Steam Guard Security. You can do this by following the instructions provided below.
- Launch and open the Steam application on your computer. Thereafter, head over to Settings.
- Here, go to Accounts and then click on Manage Steam Guard Security.
- Now, you will see two options. Click on Get Steam Guard code from the Steam app on phone to receive the special code on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can choose the email option to get the code sent to your registered email address.
- Lastly, enter the code sent to you and follow the instructions that follow.
- Finally, make sure that your friends or family have done the same. This is important as it will allow them to share your games. If it is not enabled, they will not be able to do so.
Step 2 – Enable Steam Library Sharing
After completing the above steps, you need to now enable Library Sharing. This will allow other users to access the game you want to share. Hence, follow the steps given below.
- Open Steam and head over to Settings. There, click on Family or Family Library Sharing.
- Next, click on the checkbox beside ‘Authorize Library Sharing on this Computer’.
- Now, you will see a list of Steam users who have previously logged in to your computer. Click on the checkbox beside the user to share your library with them.
How to Request Owner for Sharing Games on Steam?
You can also request the owner of the game whether they want to share Steam games with you or not. To do this, follow the steps provided below.
- First, log in to your Steam account and go to your Game Library.
- Here, you will see games that are bought by other users who have logged in to this computer. This only happens if the owner has enabled Steam Library Sharing.
- Click on the game you want to access and select Play. A pop-up will appear stating ‘Request Access’ from the owner. Click on it to request access.
- Now, an email will be sent to the owner of the game. This mail will contain a link to grant access. Therefore, contact the owner to click on this link.
- When access is granted, you will be able to play the game on your Steam account.
Advantages of Steam Library Sharing
The main advantage of Steam library sharing is that the original game file and account is not affected. Therefore, two different users can play the same game with their own Steam account. In addition, users will be able to earn achievements on their own account as well.
You can share your Steam library with up to 5 different Steam accounts. However, the maximum number of connected devices is only 10. If the owner has bought any DLC pack, then the shared user can enjoy the same as well.
Limitations of Steam Library Sharing
Steam library sharing suffers from some major defects as well. Firstly, you cannot share one single game with the user. The whole Steam library will be shared. Furthermore, no two accounts can access the same Steam library. Therefore, you cannot access your library while the other person is using it.
Also, two accounts cannot play the same game at the same time. However, the owner of the game can kick the shared user if he wishes to play. Thus, the shared user will receive a 5-minute warning to either purchase the game or quit playing it.
Generally, not all Steam games can be shared. This happens in cases when the game requires an activation key or belongs to third-party sellers (who are not part of Steam). In such cases, library sharing does not work because the game requires proof of ownership.
Another limitation of Steam library sharing is that users have to log in to the same computer. Therefore, you cannot add users by their name or Steam username. Hence, Steam Library Sharing is restricted within a single home or area. However, you can share your library with friends living far from you by trying one of the following –
- Download any popular remote access software. Thereafter, instruct your friend to do the same.
- Next, ask for his ID or Access Code and enter it in the Software. Wait for him to accept.
- Lastly, open Steam on his desktop or PC and log in to your Steam Account.
- Now, head over to Settings and go to Family. Here, you will see your friend’s Steam account.
- Click the checkbox beside his account to enable Steam Library Sharing with him.
Sharing Login Info
Another way to share Steam games with distant friends and family is by sharing your login credentials. You should consider doing this only if you truly trust the person. Thus, give your login info to the person and let him login to your Steam account. Once he has allowed himself to be shared, instruct him to log out. After that, change your Steam password for safe measure.
To conclude, you will be able to share Steam games by following the instructions provided above. This works with only some games and can be shared with a maximum of 5 accounts. Thereafter, you may have to manage Steam Family Library Sharing to share games with more than 5 users. For this, you have to remove a user to share with another if the 5 account threshold has been reached.