In the past it was very easy to share our games with friends and family. It was enough to leave them the CD or DVD (the same as with the console games) and they could play them without problems. However, times have changed. Since the arrival of games in digital format, sharing them with other people has been, if not impossible, something very complicated. Luckily, there are platforms like Steam that encourage us to continue sharing games with friends and family. And that’s what Steam’s “Family Sharing” is for .
Steam Family Sharing is a feature that allows us to allow other people to access our library of games, download them and play them as if they were their own without having to buy them. The only limitation of this system is that the family member can only play our games when we are not playing. If we are playing, our library will be locked.
We should not confuse family Sharing with Steam Remote Play . The first allows other people to download and play our games on their PC, while the second allows a friend to connect to our PC to play our game cooperatively.
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Steam Family Sharing Limitations
Although this service is very interesting, when using it we can find ourselves with some technical limitations that we must assume:
- Steam allows us to share our games with 5 people (members) on a maximum total of 10 computers.
- We can only share our entire library, not specific games.
- Not all games are available. Depending on the developers, some may not be shared.
- You cannot play the same game at the same time. And we as owners will have priority. If we try to play, the friend or family member will see a message indicating that they have a few seconds to save and the game will close to let us enter.
- You need to be online to play shared games, nothing to play offline.
This function is available to all Steam users, although the truth is that it is somewhat hidden. And it is somewhat complicated to configure and use. Therefore, in this article we will explain how we can configure our Steam and Family Sharing to share our games with other people.
Protect your Steam account
The first thing we must do to be able to use this function is to protect our Steam account. In addition to using a strong password that prevents other people from accessing the account, we must also make sure to activate Steam Guard. This security measure asks us for an access code, via app or email, to be able to enter the account. If someone gets our password, they will not be able to access the account without this code.
To do this, what we must do is open the Steam Preferences menu, and in the Account section, click on the Manage Steam Guard protection button for the account.
The Steam website will open, and from it we can activate the type of authentication we want. This can be through the Steam app for Android or iOS, or by email.
If we already have double Steam authentication activated, we can continue.
Using the Steam Family Sharing
With our account already protected, the next step is to enable the family sharing. This is not done through a simple option, but in order to use it we must personally log into the other person’s computer . Games are not shared with other accounts, but with other PCs.
Once we are logged in, what we must do is open the Preferences menu, and move to the “Family” section.
Here, what we must do is check the “Authorize the family sharing on this computer” box.
We apply the changes and that’s it. We will have already shared our games library with the computer where we have logged in. Now we can log out of that PC and the other person can log in. Inside your library you will find all shared games.
How to stop sharing our Steam games with other people
We may not want the other person to continue accessing our games later on. In that case, what we should do is return to the Preferences> Family menu, and from there we can remove the box that allows us to have our games shared.
We can do this from our PC, we don’t have to do it from the other person’s computer. When we accept the changes, the other person will no longer have access to our library.