First launched in October 2019, Valve’s ‘Remote Play Together’ feature lets you play local multiplayer games online through Steam. The company has now updated the feature to work even with users who don’t have a Steam account. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how you can use Steam’s Remote Play Together to play games with your friends without being physically present in the same room.
Use Steam Remote Play Together
With Remote Play Together, your friend doesn’t even have to own or install the game to play with you. All they need is a decent internet connection for the feature to work as intended. If you’re the host, make sure that your system has at least a quad-core CPU. While your friend’s system doesn’t need bleeding-edge specifications, it should have a GPU that supports hardware-accelerated H264 decoding.
Play Local Multiplayer Games with Steam Users
1. Open Steam and download any game that supports Steam Remote Play Together. If you have already downloaded a compatible game, launch it. If you have a massive Steam library, you can use the Remote Play Together filter to view compatible games that you already own. You can find a list of supported Remote Play Together games here.
2. When the game launches, you should open Steam’s in-game overlay using the keyboard shortcut ‘Shift+Tab’. You’ll now see your Steam friend list. Right click on a friend’s name and choose ‘Remote Play Together’ to invite them. According to Valve, you can invite up to 4 people or more if you have a fast internet connection.
3. You can now start playing as soon as your friend accepts the invite. From the Remote Play interface, you can toggle the game’s volume and allow/deny keyboard and mouse controls to the second player.
Play Local Multiplayer Games with Anyone
In a recent update, Valve made it possible for anyone without a Steam account to join Remote Play Together. However, this functionality is limited to Steam beta users at the moment. In addition, you can invite just a single friend without a Steam account. Others will have to join in using their Steam account.
1. Install Steam client and switch to the beta channel. To do that, open Steam and click on Steam -> Settings.
2. In the Account submenu, you’ll see a ‘Beta participation’ section. Click on ‘Change’ to participate in Steam’s beta program.
3. When the pop-up appears, choose ‘Steam Beta update’ and click on OK.
4. Steam will now urge you to restart the client. Click on ‘Restart Steam’ to proceed further.
5. You’ll now see an option to copy the invite link when you launch a compatible game from Steam. Click on the Copy Link button to copy the link to your clipboard. You can then share the link with your friend. Your friend can join from Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS device.
6. When your friend opens the link, they’ll get a ‘Join Game’ button to quickly join in. Do keep in mind that you need Steam Link app (Windows | Linux | iOS | Android | Raspberry Pi) for this method. Your friend can also use the Steam client app to join the session.
Play Local Multiplayer Games Online
So, that’s how you can use Steam’s remote play together to play your favorite local multiplayer games with your friends online. Although limited to a single player, the ability to invite players without a Steam account should reduce the friction in getting started. If you’re looking for new local multiplayer games, do not forget to check out our article on the best split-screen games.
Also, Chromebook owners should check out our article on installing and playing Steam games on Chromebooks. Finally, you should also take a look at our list of best Steam alternatives to see whether it’s time to leave this beloved platform or not.