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Valve Introduces Steam Families, Featuring Revamped Parental Controls
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Valve Introduces Steam Families, Featuring Revamped Parental Controls

by Low Boon ShenMarch 20, 2024
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Valve Introduces Steam Families, Featuring Revamped Parental Controls

Valve Introduces Steam Families, Featuring Revamped Parental Controls

Valve is rolling out a new Steam Beta Client that includes the revamped parental controls feature, now renamed Steam Families. This feature will supersede both Family Sharing and Family View, and the biggest change is the removal of the limitation where the game library can only be accessed by one person at any given time.

With the limitation removed, every member of the Steam Family (up to 6) can access the entire library at any time, although only two people can access a game at the same time. For example, if your brother is currently playing Half-Life, you can’t play it until he leaves the game – but in the meantime, you can play any other game as you wish. However, if the family owns more than one copy of the same game, this will allow multiple people to play the same game, depending on how many copies are purchased.

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It’s also worth noting that while the library is shared across all family members – any game progressions, achievements, and workshop files will be unique to each member of the family. Before anyone decides to use this feature as a way to share games among friends, be aware that there are inherent limitations – all members must be within the same country, and anyone leaving will be required to go through a 12-month ‘cooldown’ period to join or re-join a new ‘family’. Valve says these requirements may change over time “to keep usage in line with this intent.”

Valve has also noted that not every game will be supported for family sharing. Existing titles that support Steam Family Sharing will be carried over, though developers have the option to opt out later. Aside from that, games that require third-party keys, accounts, or subscriptions to function will not be accessible via Steam Families.

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To get access to this feature (which is currently on Beta), head over to Settings > Interface > Client Beta Participation, then select “Steam Family Beta”. Then, head to the store page and click on your account, go to Account Details > Family Management > Create A Family to get started.

Pokdepinion: Quite a neat feature, actually. 

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Low Boon Shen
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