How To Play Local Multiplayer Games Over The Internet With Steam

Image: Valve

We live in a golden age of gaming, one where we can easily access tons of games from every era, genre, console and niche you could possibly think of. But while playing co-op or local competitive games is relatively easy when you’re sitting on the couch with a console, local multiplayer can be more difficult for PC gamers, whose platform of choice is primarily tailored for solo and online multiplayer experiences.

Luckily, Valve has begun beta testing an all-new Steam feature, Remote Play Together, that lets users play locally-based multiplayer games online with others. As per the official announcement on Steam’s community page, Remote Play Together allows between two and four players (sometimes more, in select cases) to:

  • Play local multiplayer games with Steam Friends online.

  • Stream video, audio, input and voice between players.

  • Use your own controllers, or share control of the keyboard & mouse.

  • Play together across PC, Mac and Linux.

Remote Play Together only requires the host player to own the game on Steam, so your friends can play along with you even if they don’t have a copy in their Steam library. A surprisingly long list of games already supports the feature and Valve says plenty more are on the way. Some games may not work perfectly at first — this is still an unfinished feature, after all — but bugs and compatibility issues will hopefully be addressed in routine updates while Remote Play Together is in beta phase.

How to play Steam games using Remote Play Together

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, Steam settings menu
  1. In order to use Remote Play Together, users need to first opt-in to the Steam beta. You can do this in the Steam desktop app in Steam > Settings > Account > Beta Participation > Change, then select “Steam Beta Update” from the drop-down box, then click “OK” to close the window. You will need to update steam after doing this to apply the beta patch.

  2. Next, launch a game that has local multiplayer and supports Remote Play Together.

  3. Press Shift+Tab to bring up the Steam Overlay while in-game.

  4. Highlight the friend you wish to invite from your Steam Friends list, then click “Remote Play Together.”

  5. Your friend will be added to your lobby and will appear in-game after accepting the invitation. You’ll need to repeat this process for each friend you want to play with.


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