Nothing like the connections you make when playing video games on the couch next to your friends. However, Steam’s Remote Play Together feature allows you to play local multiplayer games online, even if the game does not support multiplayer.
What is Remote Play Together?
Many games offer online multiplayer, but not all. Some games are designed for two or more people sitting together in front of the same screen.
For Steam games without online multiplayer, there is Remote Play Together. Steam runs the game on your computer and streams it live to your friends. Everyone sees what you see on your screen and the entries they make on their computer are sent to yours. Thought Google Stadia, but running entirely on your PC.
The only person who must own or install the game is the person who runs it. This makes this feature useful even if a game offers online multiplayer because, with Remote Play Together, only the host needs to purchase the game. Any of your Steam friends can participate, whether they own the game or no.
How to use remote play together
To get started, just launch your game via Steam. Once it’s up and running, press Shift + Tab to open the Steam overlay, then click “Show All Friends.”
If you have disabled the Steam overlay, you will need to re-enable it. To do this, right click on the game in your library, select “Properties”, then check the box next to “Activate Steam overlay during game”.
In your friends list, right-click the name of a friend you want to invite. Under the game title, select “Remote Play Together” to invite that person to your session. On Windows and Linux PCs (but not on Macs), sending this invitation automatically starts a voice conversation with this person. All of the following invitations add additional members to a group voice conversation.
You can invite as many players as your game can – the maximum we’ve ever managed was seven. Valve, however, you can invite “up to four players or more with fast connections”.
Players you invite to your game will not be able to invite anyone else to play. However, they can invite people to watch everyone play. If you press Shift + Tab, Alt + Tab or Cmd + Tab to exit the game, everyone except the host will see the “Please Stand By” screen.
How to manage the game remotely together
Once you’re up and running, anyone who receives an invitation to your session can enter commands from their mouse, keyboard, or joystick. You can restrict this access by player and device. To do this, press Shift + Tab to open the Steam Overlay menu and “Remote Play”.
In this window, the host can click the mouse, keyboard or joystick icon under any player to cut the inputs from these devices. You can also use the volume slider next to each person to increase or decrease their volume in voice chat.
You can kick guest players out of the session with the “Kick Player” button.
Guests can press Shift + Tab to display their own menus. Here they can control the volume of the game and all other players of the voice chat, including the host.
They can press the “Exit stream” button at any time to exit the session.
Keep in mind that remote reading together will only work with your computers and Internet connections. Even if these are not of the best quality, you can still play most games with your friends with minimal delay.