Steam has introduced ‘Family Sharing’ – allowing users to share their entire games library with family and friends.
Launching in limited beta for 1,000 Steam users in the near future, Family Sharing will eventually roll out to all users, letting them authorise their library for use by up to ten other people.
The feature will let the accounts verified by the library’s owner access the games, while earning their own achievements and storing game progress, including to the Steam cloud, separately.
Only entire libraries, not individual games, will be possible to share, although some games that require third-party activation, subscriptions or accounts won’t be eligible to share. Region-restricted games will also remain restricted.
Steam says that users won’t be able to access the same library at the same time, and if the original owner of the content plays a game, whoever is accessing their library will be given “a few minutes” to either purchase the game or quit.
The beta will launch in mid-September, with select members of the Family Sharing Steam group receiving email invites for the program. For more details, see Steam’s Family Sharing announcement and FAQ page.