Why Steam Family Sharing is Awesome

Hiya Players! In light of the last post being mostly negative, I wanted to talk about something awesome this time: Steam Family Sharing.
Steam Family Sharing is simple: Give authorization for somebody to play the games that you own when you’re not playing them. One might think “Yeah, So? I just let them log into my account.” That’s kind of cheating when it comes to achievements and to a smaller extent security risk. What Steam Family Sharing does is let somebody else login to their own Steam account, request access to your library, and play them to get their own achievements without the need to login to your account.
Here’s my example of why it is awesome:
Sara and I each have our own computers and steam accounts. In addition, we have a PC hooked up to our TV in the living room. I usually play on my PC, but more often than not Sara plays her games on the living room PC. She can log in to her account on the living room PC, I give her authorization to use my games, and she now has access to two full libraries of games. This means that she has her own save file (either locally or saved to her steam cloud, depending on the game), reducing the need to buy the game twice.

Steam Family Sharing

Steam Family Sharing Cons:

  • You can’t play the same game in two locations at the same time; so online multiplayer with each other doesn’t work. You would need two copies of the game for this.
  • Steam tends to bug-out sometimes if you share one game, and play another.
  • Authorizing it for the first time was a bit of a pain walking between rooms.

    Steam Family Sharing Pros:

  • Only need to buy one copy of single-player games, share when you’re done.
  • On a shared machine, you can easily share multiple people’s libraries saving you from logging in and out every time.
  • Can work as a ‘free trial’ if your friend shares the game with you for a bit so you can try it out before deciding to buy it.

    Third-Party Support:

    Unfortunately, Steam Family Sharing doesn’t work so well with third party systems like UPlay. It works, don’t get me wrong, but not quite. The UPlay login needs to be that of the original person who bought it, not the sharing party. This means for games like Rayman Legends, only the person who first bought it can get the achievements and without the owner logging in on the sharing computer, it can’t be played. It’s minor when within the same household, but can become a pain over longer distances where you don’t want to give out your login info.
    Overall though we’re having a blast with this feature and I’m so glad they implemented this. It’s a good step in the right direction to get people playing together in a single location again. With games like Worms Clan Wars or Rayman Legends that both support local Co-op (yeah, let’s call Rayman Legends “co-op”) it means you can easily turn your computer into what consoles once were: Fun for everybody.

    What are your thoughts on Steam Family Sharing? Useful, or just another niche feature? Let us know in the comments below or on our G+ Community!

    admin Author