(Pocket-lint) - Steam is a real marvel - pretty much the single biggest destination for PC games you can find. Many gamers, after years and years on the platform, have huge libraries full of games they've finished or never got around to trying.
Thankfully, it's quite straightforward to set up a system to let you share games with your family, so that you don't have to buy multiple expensive copies if you're under one roof. Here's how to set it up using Steam Family Library Sharing.
How to share games on Steam with Family Library Sharing
First you have to set up Steam Guard security. If that's not already in place, open up Steam and hit the Steam menu then Settings.
Hit the Account tab and turn Steam Guard on, following any necessary steps.
Next, head to the PC of whatever family member or friend you want to share with. Login to your account on the PC, then hit the Steam menu, then Settings, and go to Family.
Tick the box that says "Authorise Library sharing on this computer". After this, log out.
Let your friend or family member now log in, and they should find that they have access to all the games that you own, provided they're shareable.
What restrictions are there on sharing games through Steam?
This isn't an endless option - you can only do it with up to 10 other devices. It's also locked to the device, not the account, so your friend will need a new authentication if they change devices.
The biggest restriction, though, is that they'll only be able to use your library, regardless of what game, when you're not using it. If you're in a game of any sort, they won't be able to access any of the games you've shared with them.
Last but not least, some games can't be shared through Steam - often because they actually launch through their own external launcher, like some Ubisoft titles. If that matters for you, be sure to double check whether they'll be shareable before you buy them.
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