Steam Family Sharing Now Available

Valve's sharing program has opened fully to all Steam users.

Valve announced yesterday that the Steam Family Sharing program has been released for all Steam users. The program allows those who share computers to also share game libraries with each other. By requesting access to a game from your family member's library, you can then install it yourself while enjoying your own save files and achievements for it.

This feature does have its limitations. Not all Steam titles are available for sharing, and while you can authorize up to five accounts to use your game library, it can only be accessed by one authorized user at a time. If the owner of the game launches a game that an authorized user is playing then the authorized user will have a few minutes to decide to either purchase or quit the game. If your shared library is used for cheating or fraud, your own priviledges may be revoked, so be wary of who you are granting access to.

As someone who has had access to the Family Sharing feature since early in its beta, I definitely applaud the program. I have bought many Steam games over the years and my kids used to argue over who got to use my computer to play Scribblenauts Unmasked or Angry Birds Space, and so on. Now they can each have a computer, access my library simultaneously, and only play games I've authorized them to use. That's a win in this gaming household!

Check out the entire FAQ and visit the Family Sharing group over on the Steam site!

Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor


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