Steam is one of the biggest and most popular games distributing platforms in the world. Buying a Steam game links that game to the particular account forever. This way only one person from that account can play that particular game. However, Steam also allows the sharing of game libraries between friends and family.
The Steam game sharing feature allows the sharing of your game library with one of your friends or family members, who will be able to play it while you are not. Also, they will get separate achievements for playing those games like you.
So, how to share Steam libraries with your friends and family? Here I have given a complete guide on how to game share on Steam, and I have also addressed most of the frequently asked questions related to sharing games on Steam.
Steam libraries can be shared with family and friends. This feature is known as Steam Family Sharing. Before you can share Steam libraries, you will have to enable Steam guard.
How To Enable Steam Guard?
The Steam Guard is an additional level of security that can be applied to your Steam account. Here is how you can enable Steam guard:
- Log in to your Steam account.
- Click on your profile picture, located in the upper right corner.
- Select Account Details from the menu.
- Scroll down and locate the Account Security option.
- Click on the Manage Steam Guard option.
- Now, decide whether you want the Steam Guard codes by email or on your phone number. Choose the option that is more secure for you.
That’s it, now you have enabled Steam Guard on your account.
How To Enable Steam Family Sharing?
After enabling Steam Guard, here is how to share Steam libraries with your friends or family:
- Sign in your Steam account, the account you want to share with the Steam library.
- Click on the Steam option, located in the upper left corner.
- Select the Settings option from the menu.
- Click on the Family option from the left panel.
- Check the Authorize Library Sharing on this computer box in the Family Library Sharing section.
- Now you can check the box beside the Eligible Accounts you want to share your libraries with.
After you have followed the above steps, log out of your account and let your family member or friends, basically the person you want to share your library with, log in with their account. They will now be able to see all your games in their library.
They can select a game and send a request for permission to play games from your library. You will either get an email or phone message requesting permission. Permit them to allow them to play games from your library.
Some Common FAQs On Steam Game Sharing
Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Steam game sharing.
Yes, you can technically share your game library with those that don’t share the same location as you. However, there are some technical limitations, which can lead to some issues that Steam acknowledges and they clearly say that they won’t be able to provide support for it.
No, if you want to share your Steam games, you will have to share your entire Steam library. You cannot select specific games to share, and users who in Steam borrow games from multiple libraries won’t be able to request specific games either.
Are All Games Available For Sharing?
No, all games are not available for sharing, due to technical limitations from Steam. Specifically, games that require an additional key, account, or a subscription for playing, cannot be shared with others.
If you are trying to share DLC with someone who already owns the game, then it may not be shared. Also, any free-to-play games cannot be shared. This includes those free-to-play games that have purchasable DLCs.
Another clause that prevents game sharing is the VAC ban. If your account has a VAC ban, you cannot share the VAC-protected games.
No, only one person can play the game at a time. The game sharer is always given preference over the borrower. When the game sharer opens a game from the shared library, the borrower will be notified to either buy the game or close it in 5 minutes.
Only one user can play games from a shared library at one time. This includes the owner of the library. Once the owner of the library starts playing a game from the shared library, the borrower can either buy the game or will have to close it in 5 minutes.
There is a limit to the number of accounts one Steam library can be shared with. The library can be shared with 5 different accounts on up to 10 devices.
Yes, to play a shared game, one must be online. A shared game cannot be played by being offline.
If the games on your borrowed library are unavailable for playing, it is because the sharer of the library is currently playing one of the games. Until the sharer of the library stops using the shared library, the borrowing users won’t be able to access the games.
What About The DLC Content?
The DLC content also gets shared with the game, unless the game is also owned by the borrower. Also, any item that comes with purchasing the DLC does not get shared. Any item earned while playing the game will remain linked to the borrower’s account, but they can’t access items bundled with the purchase of the DLC. These items remain the property of the account that purchased them.
No, sadly all region-restricted content will not be accessible even after borrowing the library from another region. All region restrictions remain in place, irrespective of sharing or borrowing.
Yes, if the person you share your library with commits fraud or cheats, then your Family Library Sharing privileges can be revoked and your account can even face a VAC ban. Be careful in choosing the person you are sharing your games with.
So, there you have it. Now you know how Steam game sharing works. In Steam borrow games from others when you want to give it a try before buying or if you simply don’t have the funds for it. If you have any questions regarding this topic, ask them in the comment section.