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Steam Family Sharing Announced; Will Allow Game Lending

Valve announces Steam Family Sharing will launch next week in limited beta form, allowing players to lend games to family and friends. Here's a bit from the FAQ: "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 userís Steam request to share your previously installed games via email." Here's the announcement:

September 11, 2013 - Steam Family Sharing, a new service feature that allows close friends and family members to share their libraries of Steam games, is coming to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC, Mac, and Linux games and software. The feature will become available next week, in limited beta on Steam.

Steam Family Sharing is designed for close friends and family members to play one another's Steam games while each earning their own Steam achievements and storing their own saves and application data to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.

"Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared," explained Anna Sweet of Valve. "Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests."

Once a device is authorized, the lender's library of Steam games becomes available for others on the machine to access, download, and play. Though simultaneous usage of an account's library is not allowed, the lender may always access and play his games at any time. If he decides to start playing when a friend is borrowing one of his games, the friend will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.

For more information about Steam Family Sharing and the beta program, please visit

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60. Re: Steam Family Sharing Announced; Will Allow Game Lending Sep 12, 2013, 04:05 Iurand
NKD wrote on Sep 11, 2013, 14:26:
Yeah it's basically only useful for people who are already sharing one PC but just want an extra name to keep their friends lists separate.

It could be very useful for people with one account per game. They can share all them with one and never again relog and also playing one game will turn off only one of those accounts, rest should be perfectly available.

Silicon Avatar wrote on Sep 11, 2013, 14:29:
From what I understand of it this is exactly what I want. I can "lend" games to my wife on her PC's Steam account (or whatever) while I play something else on my Steam account.

She can play Skyrim on her PC, I can play Fallout on mine. We buy one copy instead of two (because why would I buy two copies for one household - that always bugged me).

Then it is exactly not what you want.

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.

avianflu wrote on Sep 11, 2013, 15:59:
It definitely creates awkwardness when your guest currently is playing a game from your library and then you login, effectively booting him off during that game?? So it is a pass for me. Unless I am misunderstanding how it works.

It wouldn't work with Empire Total War, because single engagements could take hours, but in Rome2 with ultra fast battles... Oh wait, no, turn times. Never mind then.

Cyant wrote on Sep 11, 2013, 16:24:
FINALLY I WILL KILL THE BOSS!!! YES YES!!!! *You have been kicked from the game because the owner of the library launched Super Meat Boy" NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Better get efficient with boss killing.

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.

The Half Elf wrote on Sep 11, 2013, 18:50:
Ok where is Prez? I want to be his bestest friend ever

Ok. What's the deal with his library?

Ladron3dfx wrote on Sep 12, 2013, 01:47:
It's not your game library, it's theirs. You don't buy games on Steam, you buy subscriptions. You buy access.

I have a better solution.

Buy your games on, any game, play it, burn it, lend it to a friend or gift it.

Yeah, except it could be kinda hard with steam games.

This comment was edited on Sep 12, 2013, 04:27.
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