Valve has added a feature to its Steam platform that allows multiple accounts to share a single person’s game library. It’s ideal if you have children or siblings, or if you want to try out a friend’s game before purchasing your own. This is how you share games on Steam.
- Enable Steam Guard Account Security before sharing games on Steam.
Before you can start authorizing accounts to use your Steam library, you must first enable Steam Guard Account Security. This adds an extra layer of security to your Steam account and is useful to have enabled even if you don’t give out your account information to others.
To enable it, go to the Steam Settings | Account menu and select “Manage Steam Guard Account Security.”
- How to Share Games on Steam: Sign in with the computer you want to authorize.
Then, sign in to your account using the PC or Mac to which you want to grant access to your library. After logging in, navigate to the Steam settings menu | Family.
There’s a checkbox that says “Authorize Library Sharing on this computer” there. After that, you’ll have the option to authorize accounts that have previously been logged into the same computer.
- How to Share Games on Steam: Return to your friend’s or family member’s Steam account.
Log out of your account and back into your friend’s or loved one’s after they have been authorized. They should then be able to download and play games from your library.
A few things to keep in mind: You can grant access to your Steam games library to up to ten computers, divided among up to five accounts. There are also some games that, for whatever reason, cannot be shared. These typically include games that require a subscription to play.
Valve has also enabled Family Sharing, which limits access to a game to one person at a time. That means you can’t all play multiplayer co-op in, say, Borderlands 2. If you do this, Steam will prompt you to purchase a copy of the game.