Valve announced that they will soon be introducing a new feature called Steam Family Sharing. It’s most likely the feature you thought up in your head right now, and despite it seeming too good to be true, it’s actually happening.
With Steam Family Sharing, you’ll be allowed to share your entire Steam library with close friends and family. Those friends and family will be able to pick and choose almost any game in that library to download and play on their own devices, and they’ll be able to earn achievements and save game progress to their own accounts. Like I said, it sounds too good to be true.
The reason why I said almost any game in the library is because games that require an additional third-party access key, account, subscription as well as games that aren’t available in your region will not eligible for sharing. But considering that’s more of the exception rather than the norm, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Another restriction is that only one user can access a library at any given time. Which is understandable since, you know, then a bunch of people would stop buying games or something.
Steam users will be able to enable up to 10 different devices for Family Sharing. As the lender of the library, you’ll also always have priority access to the library. So that means if someone is playing a game from your library but you want to start playing, that user will be notified and given a few minutes to either buy the game to continue playing or exit the game.
Valve will be introducing the feature this month as a limited beta. Only 1,000 users will be given access to the beta for now, but you can express your interest in it by joining the Steam Family Sharing group.
With many Steam users having libraries with hundreds and hundreds of games, as well as families that would surely prefer not to buy a game multiple times, this is a very welcome feature from Valve.