Steam Reportedly Streamlines Its Family-Sharing Feature

Steam reportedly streamlines its family-sharing feature. This new development simply means that Steam will not boot up when your kids load up a different game from the ones you already have installed or know.

Steam Family Sharing Feature

Steam Family Sharing Feature

Today, Steam introduced Steam Families, a major update to its family-sharing system. This new system eliminates restrictions on how many people can access games from one library, simplifies game purchases for children, and introduces new parental controls and sharing features.

Previously, users had to navigate two separate systems — Family Sharing and Family View — to share their library while controlling which games their children could access. Additionally, only one person could play a game from another’s library at a time.

With the new system, if you’re playing a game from your library and someone else wants to play a different game, they can do so without disrupting your game session. However, they will be kicked out if you start playing the same game they’re accessing.

How to Access the Family Sharing Feature

To try the new system, users need to join the beta program by accessing Settings > Interface > Client Beta Participation and selecting “Steam Family Beta.” To create a family, navigate to the Store page, click on your account, then go to Account details > Family Management > Create a Family.

While accounts can still share their library with up to five family members, there’s no mention of limits on authorized devices, unlike the previous cap of 10. Offline play is now supported, eliminating the need to be online to access shared games.

Benefits of the New Parental Controls

The new parental controls make managing children’s access to specific games, monitoring playtime, and setting time-based restrictions easier. Parents can now approve their children’s game requests directly, eliminating the need for gift cards or sharing credit card information.

Limitations to the New System

However, there are some limitations to consider. The new system is region-locked, potentially preventing sharing with users in other countries. Additionally, if a user leaves a family, they cannot join or create another family for a year.

Steam states that developers must opt in their titles for family sharing, and certain types of games, such as free-to-play games or those requiring third-party keys, accounts, or subscriptions, cannot be shared.



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