Valve has recently launched Steam Families on the Steam Beta Client, offering a range of new and updated family sharing options. These features are designed to replace the existing Family Sharing and Family View features on Steam. With Steam Families, users will now have access to a centralized location where they can manage their family’s games and have greater control over what and when other family members can play.

Expanded Family Membership

Under the new rules of Steam Families, a Steam Family can consist of the primary account holder and up to five additional family members. This expanded membership allows for more flexibility in game sharing and access. When joining a Steam Family, members will have the ability to play all games that support Family Sharing in their respective libraries. Additionally, they will be able to play these games even if the primary account holder is already online and playing a game.

Valve has emphasized that each member of a Steam Family will have their own saved games, achievements, and workshop file access. This ensures a personalized gaming experience for all family members involved. While not all games support Family Sharing, Valve provides a list of supported games for users to browse. Moreover, steam will automatically display supported games owned by the primary account holder and their family members in a new ‘Steam Family’ subsection of the Steam library.

In addition to enhancing game sharing capabilities, Steam Families also introduces new parental controls. Adults can now set limits on what games their children can play and when they can play them. With the ability to monitor playtime from both the desktop and mobile app, parents can approve or deny access to specific games, community features, friends chat, and requests for additional play time.

One of the notable updates with Steam Families is the inclusion of child requests for game purchases. Child accounts can now request in-family adults to pay for games in their shopping cart, streamlining the process of buying games for kids. This eliminates the need for gift purchases or sharing credit card details, making it more convenient for families to manage game purchases on Steam.

Getting Started with Steam Families Beta

For users interested in trying out the Steam Families beta, Valve has provided a simple guide to get started. By opening up Steam, clicking on ‘Steam’ in the top left menu, going to Settings, then Interface, and selecting Client Beta Participation from the dropdown menu, users can opt into the Steam Family Beta. Once selected, users can enjoy the enhanced family sharing features offered by Steam Families.

Overall, Valve’s introduction of Steam Families represents a significant advancement in family sharing options on the platform. With improved game management, personalized user experiences, enhanced parental controls, and streamlined game purchases, Steam Families aims to cater to the needs of families looking to share their gaming experiences. By leveraging these new features, users can enjoy a more seamless and enjoyable gaming experience within their family unit.

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