Through Steam, Valve offers literally thousands of old and new games developed by the biggest names in the gaming industry as well as independent developers who are still starting out.
With Steam, gamers no longer need to go to each developer’s individual websites and purchase the games separately. We can do everything in just one digital platform, where paying, downloading, and installing all happen.
Aside from the convenience, Steam also holds promotions regularly, which means games can purchase games at a discounted price. Even though it’s the largest marketplace for games, most of Steam’s special deals are still cheaper than anywhere else on the internet. And yes, that’s the reason why gamers were able to build a massive gaming library for themselves.
Since not everyone has the time to play games everyday, Valve thought of a way of maximizing its customers purchased games. The result? Steam game library sharing. With your permission, your family and friends can now take advantage of your idle library of games and play it themselves without needing to pay for the game or anything.
An interesting benefit that you can get with Steam Family Library Sharing is it gives you the ability to test games that your friend owns (if it’s allowed) to see if you’re going to like it. This way, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing games. Even though you’ll share the same library, game saves, progress, and achievements are separate from each other so you won’t accidentally ruin each other’s game.
Steam Family sharing tutorial
Before we can start with the process, you must enable the Steam Guard security feature if you haven’t done so yet. You can do this by going to the Steam settings menu -> click on the Account tab -> select and click “Manage my account with Steam Guard security”.
Afterwards, log-in to your friend or family member’s computer with your own Steam account. Then, launch the settings menu -> click on the Family tab -> choose authorize this computer. Once done, you may now authorize and give access to other Steam accounts that have previously logged into the same PC.
If you have successfully completed the steps provided above, log out your Steam account and let your friend or family to log in their own Steam account. Now, they should be able to see and download the games included in your gaming library.
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Limitations of Steam Family Sharing of game library
If you think that the main purpose of having this feature is to share your games to as many people as you can, it’s not. It’s actually just meant to share games with your family and/or close friends. You can only give access and authorize up to 5 accounts and up to 10 computers for your Steam gaming library.
In order to access the Steam game library, you need internet connection for validation and to see the list. Not all games are available for sharing, as there are “technical limitations” and licensing agreements, according to Valve. Probably the most common among them are games that require subscription.
It’s important to note that this process of sharing Steam Game Library doesn’t mean that you can play with your family/friend. Only 1 person at a time can access the game. So, in case you’re thinking of doing this to play together, it would not work.
The main Steam account which bought the game takes higher priority to access the games. If for some reason you log-in both at the same time, the account owner can take over. On the other hand, the user will be prompted to buy the game or end the session.