Steam introduces Family Sharing

#1 Edited by jimmyfenix (3852 posts) -

GAME CHANGER. Or maybe not ?

http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/

I want to try this! How can I join the Family Sharing Beta?

To express interest in beta participation, join the Family Sharing Group on the Steam community. The Family Sharing beta will begin in mid-September, when a thousand Steam accounts from this group will be granted access to share their Steam libraries. You’ll know you’ve been selected when you receive an email from Steam inviting you to try out the new feature.

How do I enable Family Sharing on my computer?

Family Sharing is enabled in one of two ways: You can either locally enable sharing in Account Settings, with Family Sharing & Devices, or remotely respond to a user’s Steam request to share your previously installed games via email.

Is there a limit to the number of devices I can authorize to share my Library?

Yes. A Steam account may authorize Family Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time.

Can I share specific games, or do I have to share my whole library?

Libraries are shared and borrowed in their entirety.

Can all Steam games be shared with friends and family?

No, due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.

Can a friend and I share a library and both play at the same time?

No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

Sometimes the games I’ve borrowed are unavailable for me to play. Why?

Borrowed games are only available on devices that have been authorized by the lender. Borrowed games will be unavailable on even an authorized device when the lender’s library is currently in use on another computer.

Who owns and can access the DLC and in-game content associated with a borrowed title?

A borrower will have access to the lender’s DLC, but borrowers may not purchase DLC for a base game they don't own. Any player may purchase, trade, earn, or otherwise acquire in-game content while playing a game, but in-game items cannot be shared between accounts. These items remain the property of the account that purchased or acquired them, whether borrowing or lending the base game.

Can region-restricted content be shared across regions?

No, any region restrictions will remain in place when lending or borrowing content.

Will I be punished for any cheating or fraud conducted by other users while playing my games?

Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked if your library is used by borrowers to conduct cheating or fraud. We recommend you only authorize familiar computers you know to be secure.

#2 Posted by chiablo (924 posts) -

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

#3 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@chiablo said:

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

You mean the plan that MS had originally and people wanted it gone?

#4 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -

@the_laughing_man: I don't think anybody wanted that part gone. Not requiring always online didn't mean they had to remove family sharing.

Moderator
#5 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -
@the_laughing_man said:

@chiablo said:

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

You mean the plan that MS had originally and people wanted it gone?

Exactly, wut?

Hopefully MS still goes through with their original plan. This was always a great sounding idea, great that Steam is doing it too. I love digital downloads but there's the little convenience and rights issues that stuff like this goes a long way to solve.

@mracoon said:

@the_laughing_man: I don't think anybody wanted that part gone. Not requiring always online didn't mean they had to remove family sharing.

Pretty irrelevant. The point being they were trying to be progressive with digital downloads.

Lets hope they pick that program up again.

#6 Posted by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

The issue with Microsoft's original was the way they handle disks and the wishy washy way they would address details.

#7 Edited by DrSwank (442 posts) -

Seems ill conceived. If you're already on the same machine, why would the family member need to download the game again? Now, if you could share games with family who weren't on the same machine, that would be awesome.

#8 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@chiablo said:

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

You mean the plan that MS had originally and people wanted it gone?

Exactly, wut?

Hopefully MS still goes through with their original plan. This was always a great sounding idea, great that Steam is doing it too. I love digital downloads but there's the little convenience and rights issues that stuff like this goes a long way to solve.

@mracoon said:

@the_laughing_man: I don't think anybody wanted that part gone. Not requiring always online didn't mean they had to remove family sharing.

Wow I utterly miss read the thing. You have to use the same machine? How is that different then just popping a disk into your console?

#9 Posted by jimmyfenix (3852 posts) -

@drewmaw: In patricks article on the homepage he says 10 devices. Maybe that means 10 separate PC`s?

#10 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

I'm pretty certain it's not saying the same PC. The language isn't clear but it's saying the person who wants to lend another's games has to have their PC authorized, then they can download a friends games on their authorized PC.

Waiting for more clear details and language but there's no point to this being on the same PC, that can't be what is being gotten at with this.

#11 Posted by chiablo (924 posts) -

@drewmaw: In patricks article on the homepage he says 10 devices. Maybe that means 10 separate PC`s?

There's ambiguity there, the official forums seem to imply it's accounts, not devices. Which would make more sense since a Steam account doesn't lock you down to a specific machine.

#12 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3201 posts) -

Wonder if this will answer Patrick's topic from earlier this year about what happens to steam accounts when the person dies. Wonder if this may be some way for people to gain access to the accounts later on.

#13 Edited by Brodehouse (9875 posts) -

So me and my girlfriend have our computers across from each other in the living room. Can we share our accounts to both computers and have our cumulative libraries, so I can play her copy of Saints 4 on my machine and she can play my DmC on hers?

Or is it just our accounts are shared and I can access her library through my account, anywhere? Is it devices or accounts?

#14 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

From Steam, should probably be added to the OP:

I want to try this! How can I join the Family Sharing Beta?

To express interest in beta participation, join the Family Sharing Group on the Steam community. The Family Sharing beta will begin in mid-September, when a thousand Steam accounts from this group will be granted access to share their Steam libraries. You’ll know you’ve been selected when you receive an email from Steam inviting you to try out the new feature.

How do I enable Family Sharing on my computer?

Family Sharing is enabled in one of two ways: You can either locally enable sharing in Account Settings, with Family Sharing & Devices, or remotely respond to a user’s Steam request to share your previously installed games via email.

Is there a limit to the number of devices I can authorize to share my Library?

Yes. A Steam account may authorize Family Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time.

Can I share specific games, or do I have to share my whole library?

Libraries are shared and borrowed in their entirety.

Can all Steam games be shared with friends and family?

No, due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.

Can a friend and I share a library and both play at the same time?

No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

Sometimes the games I’ve borrowed are unavailable for me to play. Why?

Borrowed games are only available on devices that have been authorized by the lender. Borrowed games will be unavailable on even an authorized device when the lender’s library is currently in use on another computer.

Who owns and can access the DLC and in-game content associated with a borrowed title?

A borrower will have access to the lender’s DLC, but borrowers may not purchase DLC for a base game they don't own. Any player may purchase, trade, earn, or otherwise acquire in-game content while playing a game, but in-game items cannot be shared between accounts. These items remain the property of the account that purchased or acquired them, whether borrowing or lending the base game.

Can region-restricted content be shared across regions?

No, any region restrictions will remain in place when lending or borrowing content.

Will I be punished for any cheating or fraud conducted by other users while playing my games?

Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked if your library is used by borrowers to conduct cheating or fraud. We recommend you only authorize familiar computers you know to be secure.

#15 Posted by chiablo (924 posts) -

@chiablo said:

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

You mean the plan that MS had originally and people wanted it gone?

People didn't want the family plan on XBox One removed, everyone I know was excited for this and it solved a lot of problems that exist with digital games on consoles. Everyone was outraged at the crippling DRM and wanted that removed so they could trade and borrow discs. The family sharing on XBox One was one of the unfortunate casualties of Microsoft's humming and hawing about their policies.

#16 Posted by DrSwank (442 posts) -

^ from the wording here. it sure seems like friends and fam on other machines can access your library. pretty cool!

#17 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@chiablo said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@chiablo said:

Check.

Your move, Microsoft.

You mean the plan that MS had originally and people wanted it gone?

People didn't want the family plan on XBox One removed, everyone I know was excited for this and it solved a lot of problems that exist with digital games on consoles. Everyone was outraged at the crippling DRM and wanted that removed so they could trade and borrow discs. The family sharing on XBox One was one of the unfortunate casualties of Microsoft's humming and hawing about their policies.

Wasnt it removed because you would have to stay online? Which looks like the same for this plan.

#18 Edited by jimmyfenix (3852 posts) -
#19 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

#20 Edited by chiablo (924 posts) -

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

I think the simultaneous play was time based, I think it was a 45 minute demo mode. Not a lot of detail came out of this because it was shelved so quickly.

If someone is playing a game from your library and you launch it, they are immediately kicked out.

#21 Edited by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

Maybe? Again the issue with Microsoft's original plan was how it handled disks where they gave contradictory answers on whether or what would happen. A lot of it was a case where they should have said "We will reveal details later" instead of saying "Yes" then "No" then "Maybe" then "Yes on these certain configurations and no on others. Except on Tuesday".

#22 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

If only one game can be played on an account, shared or by the actual Steam user on his own PC, then this is a dumb program that is worthless to almost all people.

#23 Posted by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

I read that restriction as "Sharing is one game at a time". Due to restrictions already mentioned, they can't share your entire library and expect everything to work at the other machine.

Side note: I didn't consider what would happen with schemes like this and anti-cheat mechanisms.

#24 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

@extomar said:

I read that restriction as "Sharing is one game at a time". Due to restrictions already mentioned, they can't share your entire library and expect everything to work at the other machine.

Side note: I didn't consider what would happen with schemes like this and anti-cheat mechanisms.

it clearly says you can't play any of your own games while anyone is lending one of yours:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

#25 Edited by AlexGlass (688 posts) -

Well it was rumored awhile back.

MS, I'm looking at you! Where's my digital game sharing?

This might convince me to hold off even longer on an Xbox One and upgrade my PC. Sounds like it's the same deal, up to 10 friends or family members. Awesome stuff.

#26 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

Well it was rumored awhile back.

MS, I'm looking at you! Where's my digital game sharing?

This might convince me to hold off even longer on an Xbox One and upgrade my PC. Sounds like it's the same deal, up to 10 friends or family members. Awesome stuff.

It's not the same deal.

Xbox plan allowed people to share your library and you still play it as well, this doesn't allow that. Which is a huge feature to be missing... basically the whole feature really.

#27 Edited by AlexGlass (688 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

The part where 2 people could play 1 game was initially implied, but then they never officially clarified that point.

That part is very different though if true. Very lame.


Edit:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

I still think they're doing the same thing as MS though. They need to clarify. It could still be that you can't share that ONE game. Not that they get kicked off if you're both playing different games out of the same library. It still prohibits co-op, which sucks, but better than nothing.

#28 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

@alexglass said:

@artisanbreads said:

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

The part where 2 people could play 1 game was initially implied, but then they never officially clarified that point.

That part is very different though if true. Very lame.

Yeah I was uncertain about when it came to a single game on the Xbox deal, but you could at least play a different game in the library while the person lending played their own game.

This missing that really makes it such a tiny feature with such limited appeal. Like some have said, hopefully it's baby steps towards making it more per game rather than sharing the whole library, because as is it's pretty useless.


Edit:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

I still think they're doing the same thing as MS though. They need to clarify. It could still be that you can't share that ONE game. Not that they get kicked off if you're both playing different games out of the same library. It still prohibits co-op, which sucks, but better than nothing.

I think you're reading it wrong. The "one" you underlined is saying when you decide to play any one of your games, one that's being shared or otherwise. And they explicitly say "library" is being shared, not just games. So only one person gets access to your whole library and when you play any your games in that library they get the boot out of it, no sharing.

#29 Posted by AlexGlass (688 posts) -

@alexglass said:

@artisanbreads said:

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

The part where 2 people could play 1 game was initially implied, but then they never officially clarified that point.

That part is very different though if true. Very lame.

Yeah I was uncertain about when it came to a single game on the Xbox deal, but you could at least play a different game in the library while the person lending played their own game.

This missing that really makes it such a tiny feature with such limited appeal. Like some have said, hopefully it's baby steps towards making it more per game rather than sharing the whole library, because as is it's pretty useless.

@alexglass said:


Edit:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

I still think they're doing the same thing as MS though. They need to clarify. It could still be that you can't share that ONE game. Not that they get kicked off if you're both playing different games out of the same library. It still prohibits co-op, which sucks, but better than nothing.

I think you're reading it wrong. The "one" you underlined is saying when you decide to play any one of your games, one that's being shared or otherwise. And they explicitly say "library" is being shared, not just games. So only one person gets access to your whole library and when you play any your games in that library they get the boot out of it, no sharing.

We'll need clarification, because if they're not allowing you to share different games simultaneously, it kind of sucks. I'm still holding out hope that the way I'm reading it is the way it is. If it's strictly sharing all your library or nothing, then that's not very useful. Unless you're a gamer who doesn't game on a regular basis. Or you share with someone from the other side of the world on different time schedules.

#30 Edited by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

In "classic terms", how do you share a cart you are playing at the same moment? You either have the cart and can play it or they have the cart and they can play it. "But it is digital" skirts the issue doesn't solve the licensing issue. Sharing shouldn't be a "buy in bulk" thing otherwise they would charge us as such.

Meh, I never was or really ever will be a fan of "digital lending" or it is silly cousin "used digital". Make it easy to see what friends are playing a lot of and make it cheap to buy. These systems does not need more rules that deny running games.

#31 Posted by chiablo (924 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:

@alexglass said:

@artisanbreads said:

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

The part where 2 people could play 1 game was initially implied, but then they never officially clarified that point.

That part is very different though if true. Very lame.

Yeah I was uncertain about when it came to a single game on the Xbox deal, but you could at least play a different game in the library while the person lending played their own game.

This missing that really makes it such a tiny feature with such limited appeal. Like some have said, hopefully it's baby steps towards making it more per game rather than sharing the whole library, because as is it's pretty useless.

@alexglass said:


Edit:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

I still think they're doing the same thing as MS though. They need to clarify. It could still be that you can't share that ONE game. Not that they get kicked off if you're both playing different games out of the same library. It still prohibits co-op, which sucks, but better than nothing.

I think you're reading it wrong. The "one" you underlined is saying when you decide to play any one of your games, one that's being shared or otherwise. And they explicitly say "library" is being shared, not just games. So only one person gets access to your whole library and when you play any your games in that library they get the boot out of it, no sharing.

We'll need clarification, because if they're not allowing you to share different games simultaneously, it kind of sucks. I'm still holding out hope that the way I'm reading it is the way it is. If it's strictly sharing all your library or nothing, then that's not very useful. Unless you're a gamer who doesn't game on a regular basis. Or you share with someone from the other side of the world on different time schedules.

I think game publishers would have outright said "no" if it was on a per-game basis instead of an account-wide share. There's too much room for abuse of the system and I could easily see steam share sites opening up that would let you rent out games to other people.

There have been a few times when friends ask me "I see you have _________ in your library, is it any good?" and I've wanted to let them try it for themselves, but didn't want to go through the process of temporarily changing my steam password and letting them borrow my account. This would solve that process.

#32 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3801 posts) -

@chiablo said:

I think game publishers would have outright said "no" if it was on a per-game basis instead of an account-wide share. There's too much room for abuse of the system and I could easily see steam share sites opening up that would let you rent out games to other people.

Microsoft was very close to implementing a system that was more or less that (I think only one person could share any game on your account at once? I forget exactly how it worked), so we'll have to see where it goes in the future.

#33 Posted by AlexGlass (688 posts) -

@chiablo said:

@alexglass said:

@artisanbreads said:

@alexglass said:

@artisanbreads said:

A couple things off the top:

Didn't the Xbox One plan have simultaneous play of a game? This doesn't. That's obviously on hold but just curious about the differences.

And so only one person on your group can share any of your games at one time? Just imagining that as a reality, it would be weird. Can you boot people off your game?

EDIT: Oh and wait, so if any game on my account is being shared and I want to play one of my own games, then once I launch a game there can be no sharing of any of the games on my account? Well then this whole thing is stupid and pointless.

The part where 2 people could play 1 game was initially implied, but then they never officially clarified that point.

That part is very different though if true. Very lame.

Yeah I was uncertain about when it came to a single game on the Xbox deal, but you could at least play a different game in the library while the person lending played their own game.

This missing that really makes it such a tiny feature with such limited appeal. Like some have said, hopefully it's baby steps towards making it more per game rather than sharing the whole library, because as is it's pretty useless.

@alexglass said:


Edit:

When I authorize a device to lend my library to others, do I limit my own ability to access and play my games?

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

I still think they're doing the same thing as MS though. They need to clarify. It could still be that you can't share that ONE game. Not that they get kicked off if you're both playing different games out of the same library. It still prohibits co-op, which sucks, but better than nothing.

I think you're reading it wrong. The "one" you underlined is saying when you decide to play any one of your games, one that's being shared or otherwise. And they explicitly say "library" is being shared, not just games. So only one person gets access to your whole library and when you play any your games in that library they get the boot out of it, no sharing.

We'll need clarification, because if they're not allowing you to share different games simultaneously, it kind of sucks. I'm still holding out hope that the way I'm reading it is the way it is. If it's strictly sharing all your library or nothing, then that's not very useful. Unless you're a gamer who doesn't game on a regular basis. Or you share with someone from the other side of the world on different time schedules.

I think game publishers would have outright said "no" if it was on a per-game basis instead of an account-wide share. There's too much room for abuse of the system and I could easily see steam share sites opening up that would let you rent out games to other people.

There have been a few times when friends ask me "I see you have _________ in your library, is it any good?" and I've wanted to let them try it for themselves, but didn't want to go through the process of temporarily changing my steam password and letting them borrow my account. This would solve that process.

If publishers don't care about Blockbuster, or GameFly or you being able to share with your friends now, why do you think they are so against this? Publishers that are against me being able to share a video game with a friend, can go screw themselves if you ask me.

Video games are no different than music, movies or other media. They need to allow for this and deal with it, or I won't support them. I want the ability to share my game and play it with a couple of friends. In today's digital age it only makes sense to allow you to do it over the internet especially with friends moving further and further apart. They win some by not having to pay the extra price of physical discs and packaging and could even bypass retailers. We win convenience. I understand the need to put a limit on it so it doesn't get abused, but something needs to be given back to me as a consumer.

I'm not spending $1,000s on digital games that will be completely worthless when I'm done with them. I feel sorry for those who spent so much on games such as XBLA titles. They're getting royally screwed over.

The current model of digital games is take, take, take form the consumer while offering nothing in return. They're using the digital game medium to heavily screw the customer over and maintain full control. It's an excuse to fatten their pockets. One of the main reasons I'm not a PC gamer.

So something like this, helps go a long way to make up for it. In fact I completely support them even putting a time limit so new releases can't get abused just and open it up for sharing 2 weeks later or something. Just like they do with rentals. That way gamers who want it early or on day 1, would still have to pay for their own copy.

#34 Posted by spraynardtatum (2811 posts) -

I wonder what the reason is that you can't play any of your games while your library is being shared. I understand that you're sharing all your games at once but why wouldn't Guy A be able to play any game other than the one Guy B is playing.

#35 Posted by Forcen (1815 posts) -

@spraynardtatum: People would rent out games for keys or some other way to abuse it.

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