Steam’s new Remote Play Together feature, which lets you play local multiplayer games over the internet, has launched in beta. The existence of the feature was first reported earlier this month, and it allows up to four online players (“or even more in ideal conditions” according to Valve) to participate in a local multiplayer game as though they were sitting in the same room.
To get the feature you’ll need to participate in the Steam Client Beta. After you’re signed up, you’ll find a “Remote Play Together” option in your Steam friends list in compatible local multiplayer games. Once connected, the game will act as though each player’s controller is plugged directly into your computer, and Valve says it’s also possible to share control of the keyboard and mouse.
Interestingly, Remote Play Together only requires the host to actually own the game that’s being streamed, which could make it a cheap way for a group of friends to try out a new game, even if it already supports online multiplayer. The technology is also cross-platform, so you can stream a game running on a Windows 10 machine to friends who are using Mac or Linux. Valve also says it’s “investigating” supporting the feature on iOS and Android, but that it has nothing to announce about these platforms today.
“Much like a traditional split-screen experience, the host’s computer is running the game, but with Remote Play Together friends can join using their own controllers, voice, audio, and display — regardless of whether they also own the game on Steam.
Any controllers connected to the second player’s computer will act as if they’re plugged directly into the first computer. The player hosting the game can also choose to allow or block inputs to their shared keyboard and mouse.”
Up to four players will be able to game together with Remote Play Together. Valve says it “renders 60 frames per second at a resolution of 1080p,” too, if your internet is good enough.
The main downside of Remote Play Together is that network latency could give the host a slight advantage in competitive games, although Valve says that should only be a “small” factor when everyone has a good connection. Valve says that “thousands” of titles should support Remote Play Together starting today, and that developers are free to opt in or out of the feature at any time. In order to start using the feature, you can sign up to the Steam Client Beta using the instructions on this page.
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 according to Valve, there’s certainly plenty more on the way, too.
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.
Next, launch a game that has local multiplayer and supports Remote Play Together.
Press Shift+Tab to bring up the Steam Overlay while in-game.
Highlight the friend you wish to invite from your Steam Friends list, then click “Remote Play Together.”
Your friends will then 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.