Steam is the ultimate online platform which was developed by Valve Corporation providing digital rights management, social networking and multiplayer gaming along with Steam family sharing feature.
The Steam platform lets you play, connect, create and much more. They host thousands of games ranging from Action to Indie.
Being part of Steam is like joining a community, you get to meet more people, join groups and even be part of or form your own clans.
The community so far has around 14,000,000 gamers online and around 4,000,000 in-game players. The best part about using Steam is that you can use it on a Mac, PC, Linux Box, mobile device or even your television!
What is the Family Sharing Feature?
Steam family sharing Library feature is all about the Steam feature which lets users play another user games while earning their own achievements and saving your game progress on to the Steam cloud.
All you have to do is grant access to your friends or friends to be able to do that.
Steam gives you the ability to share your library with around 10 computers and 5 accounts. If you choose to share your library, this will share your whole library with your friends and family.
There are a few games which require a third-party key, account details or due to a subscription may not be available for the share option.
These games will be available only to the owners. The Steam library sharing feature won’t interfere with your game progress, and you’ll always have top priority to play the game as you’re the owner.
How to set up the share game feature on Steam?
The process is relatively easy, and all you have to do is follow these steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Enabling the Steam Guard Security
- Before turning on the Family Library sharing feature, it is necessary to enable the Steam Guard Security first. How does one do that?
- The most basic and obvious step, log into your Steam account.
- Click on “Steam” at the left upper corner and then select the settings option.
- Under settings select “Account” and then select “Manage Steam Guard Account Security”.
- Now, you have to select the “Get Steam guard codes from the Steam app on my phone” or “Get Steam guard codes by email” or you could select both the options.
- This will activate the Steam guard security after which you’ll be able to activate or enable Family Library Sharing on your Steam account.
Step 2: Sharing your Games on the Steam app
The following steps will run you through the steps you can follow to start sharing your games with family and friends.
- First, you have to log into your Steam account using a friends or family’s computer.
- Again, click on the “Steam” option that you’ll find at the top left corner.
- Now, select the “family” option and tick the box next to Authorize this computer or Authorize Library Sharing on this computer.
- After this click on “OK” to save the settings.
Don’t forget to log out of your Steam account. Now, your friends or family will have access to all your shared games after you log out of your account and the other person logs into their account.
Steam also gives you the option of sending requests to play games that have been installed on your friend’s computer by simply double-clicking the installed games that you would like to play.
You’ll be able to understand this better with an example, so let’s take an example:
Let’s assume you want to play PUBG (PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUND) that belongs to your friend, all you have to is, double-click PUBG and then select the request access option.
This is no way will interfere with your game progress and achievements. If any achievements have been unlocked, it will automatically get saved to the account that plays the game.
But you have to keep in mind that shared games can only be accessed one account at a time.
Hence, if you’re the owner of the game and would like to play it, the person on the other side will have a few moments to save and quit the game, or they’d be prompted to buy the game.
If you purchase a game and you already have this game then you can refund your money back. Visit How to Refund a Game on Steam.
Brief on How to share a Game on Steam
First, make sure that you have enabled Steam Guard Security by using Steam> Settings> Account settings.
Then you turn on your sharing feature by opening Settings> Family or Big Picture mode open settings> Family Library Sharing.
Here you’ll be able to authorize computers and users that you’re willing to share.
How I stop sharing games?
If you’re done sharing your library and no longer want your friends or family to have access to it, you can always stop sharing. All you have to do is follow these simple steps
- Log into your Steam account (obviously)
- Go the Steam homepage and look for the settings option.
- Once you’ve found the settings options select the Family option under it.
- Now, untick the box next to authorized user and then click on “OK” to save the changes made.
Pros and Cons
The main advantage of using the Family Share Feature is so that your friends and family can play the games without paying for it twice.
Let’s take a family, for example, there are two children in a family, and both of them want to play games, the Steam share features make this possible without having to pay for the game twice.
Some high-end games are extremely expensive and go up to £50. Steam lets you share your library to 10 computers
But the downside of the same that limit to family and friends, you can share them only if you know them and it is important to make you know the person before you share all your details and game library.
Another drawback is that, if two people want to play the same game, it is not possible. Let’s say you and your friend want to play a game.
The owner of the account will be given top priority. It will ask the other user to save and log out of the game.
If not they will promote the game, you’re playing and insist on buying it. Hence, this wouldn’t be a suitable option for online games and even multiplier games.
But, works out perfect for small time games and story-based games as it saves money.
How to add external games to your Steam library?
Add games with a code
There are times that you might have bought games from a third-party app, stores or even services like Amazon.
Such games are often Steam games actually and can be redeem through the Steam app using the code. These codes are usually 12 characters long, and the process is relatively easy.
Once you’ve logged into your Steam account, at the top where the client option is and then look for the “games” menu which will be situated at the top.
Now, pick the option of “activating a product on Steam.” This will direct you to a new window here click on next and then select the tick the box that requires you to agree to the Steam subscriber agreement.
This will further lead you to a window where you can type in your Steam key. Click on “hit” again to confirm. And this will lead you to another window which will let you download the game to your computer.
If you don’t want install on your Computer you can always cancel this step, and the game will get added to your account, but it will not be immediately downloaded and installed.
Adding games from Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle offers players a chance to get an entire set of games at a time for a really low price.
Majority of the times, games that are bought off humble bumble can be directly download to your PC. But the service also provides you with Steam versions of the same game that it sells.
Hence, giving you two ways through which you can have it on your Steam account. The first method is by using Steam codes, and the other method is linking your account.
For any reason, if you have to find codes, later on, you can always log onto the Humble Bundle website.
Select Library to have a look at all the games you’ve bought before, and you can also find their Steam codes mentioned.
If you pick the option to link your Steam account, then the humble bundle website directly sends the games directly from humble to Steam when you buy them. This allows you to skip the step of entering codes.
If you don’t know how to link your Steam account, then follow these steps. First, you’ll have to create a Humble Bundle account.
Once you’ve created an account and it’s all set up, you’ll be able to see your login email address at the top right corner of their website.
Now, click on it and then head over to the settings option. Once the settings window has opened, scroll to the bottom and look for the “menu” option that says “Steam Link.”
Click on the spot words which will be beside it and marked as “click here,” and Humble will direct you to a Steam login page.
Here, all you have to do is enter your account details, and this will link both the accounts.
There are many other methods through which you can add external games to your Steam account. But these two are the best options, and the execution procedure is simple and easy to follow.
How to keep your account safe?
By enabling the Steam two Guard Authentication
Steam lets you increase your security for your Steam account by activating the Two Guar Authentication.
When the Steam Guard activate, anyone who tries to log into your account for an unknown source will require additional authorization.
A special access code send to either your email address or your contact number. The code needs to be enter into Steam, with which your log incomplete.
This two guard feature will be necessary if you have a lot of accounts sharing your games library as this will eliminate unnecessary logins.
The Steam guard security is also available on your smartphones via the Steam App through the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator.
Verify your contact and email address with Steam
The best way to keep your account safe is to verify your contact and email address that is link with your Steam account.
Once you have to verify your email address and contact information. Your Steam Account password and access to your email account require in order to make any changes related to the Steam account. Its credentials like your password and contact an emergency email address.
This also helps you protect your Steam account from being stolen or hacked into by a phisher.
Anyone can add you to their friend’s list by simply looking at your in-game nickname, or they can add you if they know your account contact information like your e-mail address.
It is for this reason that we recommend that you always have to keep in mind that users who might have added you might actually not know them and might not have spoken to them before.
Also, be careful as users can change their nicknames and their display pictures at any time.
Steam is such a large platform it is important for one to know to keep their account safe especially if they have turned on the Family Library Sharing option.
This brings us to the end of the how to share a game on Steam. We hope this was helpful and you’ll be able to share your games with your friends and family and each other as well on how to share a game on Steam. Happy gaming!