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(Pocket-lint) - The Google Stadia cloud gaming service now offers family sharing. Here's everything you need to know about the feature, including how it works.

What is Stadia family sharing?

Family sharing will allow any group of Stadia users to share games with other accounts linked together through Google’s Play Family Library system, which also lets Android users share mobile apps and services across multiple accounts in a single household. However, with Stadia family sharing, you're able to share one digital license for a game, versus apps, with multiple accounts. Basically, you buy one copy and let others separately play it and have their own save data.

Are there any limitations

Google said two accounts can’t play the same shared game at the same time - unless both accounts have separately purchased the game or claimed it as part of a Stadia Pro subscription. Also, if you share a game you claimed for free with Stadia Pro, and then your subscription lapses or is canceled, that game won’t be available to share from that point. All that said, you don't need to be an active Stadia Pro subscriber to share games or play shared games. 

Google said supervised members of a family group can't play a shared game if its content rating is above what the family group manager has approved for them. This really isn't a limitation to family sharing, but more of a parental control.

Which games can you share?

Any title you purchase through the Stadia store can be shared, including free games claimed with Stadia Pro.

How to use Stadia family sharing

First, set up a Google Play Family Library and then create a Stadia account for your family members that don't already have one and turn on family sharing.

Create a family group

Create a Google family group with the same email address you used to set up your Stadia account. You'll also need to add a family payment method to the group.

  1. Sign in to your account on stadia.com.
  2. Select your avatar > Stadia settings.
  3. Select Family > Get started.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a family group and add a family payment method.

Turn on family sharing

  1. Sign in to your account on stadia.com.
  2. Select your avatar >Stadia settings.
  3. Select Family > Set up.
  4. Choose how you want to share your games.
    • To share all of your games, select Automatically share everything.
    • To share only specific games, select Don't share automatically.
  5. Select Save.

Play a shared game

When someone in your family group shares a game with you, it will appear in your library. The label "Shared by family" will be visible under the game's title.

  1. To play the game, just select the game and then Play.

When will Stadia family sharing be available?

Stadia family sharing is rolling out to all users from 5 November 2020.

Want to know more?

Check out Google's support hub for more detailed instructions.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.