Valve introduces Steam Family Sharing

Valve has introduced a new system to Steam, which means you can earn achievements and create your own save files for games you don’t even own. Steam Family Sharing has been designed to let “close friends and family members” play through each other’s game library, without risking the accidental deletion of that crucial save file.

Requesting access on Steam Family Sharing

Requesting access on Steam Family Sharing

Anna Sweet from Valve explains the idea came from more traditional media:

Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared. Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.

Sharing your library is simple: You authorise a shared computer, and anyone who uses that machine will be able to access your collection of games, setting up their own save files, earning achievements and even storing their own customisations and preferences in the cloud – all while yours stay safe.

There are a few catches: You can’t both play from the same library at the same time – this is not a cheap way to get some multiplayer action! If you choose to play a game at the same time as your friend, then they will be given “a few minutes” to decide if they want to save and quit – or if they’d like to purchase the game.

Want in on this? You’ll need to jump in on the Steam community Family Sharing Group – beta testing kicks off in “about a week”, when 1,000 group members will be granted access. If you’re in, you’ll receive an email to tell you!

For the answers to more frequently asked questions, head to the Steam Family Sharing website – and there’s plenty of discussion going on in the Family Sharing group, too.

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