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Games

How does Steam Remote Play Together work?

10 Jun 2021

Imagine you’re spending the weekend at home. You’ve planned some great, couch co-op time with your friends, but rain (or, I dunno, a global pandemic) keeps everyone at home. Bummer. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to end that way? Thanks to Steam Remote Play Together (and a good internet connection, we won’t lie) you can play with your friends no matter where they are. 

What is Steam Remote Play Together?

Steam Remote Play Together allows you to share local multiplayer games with friends over the internet. This function enables cross-platform play across Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. Steam Remote Play serves two main purposes: to enable online multiplayer for games which only support local co-op and to join a game you don’t own yourself, shared from one host computer.

Local multiplayer vs online multiplayer

Local co-op, often dubbed couch co-op, is basically a multiplayer mode that is offline. Games can be played locally, for example using a split screen function. You can check out our article for more details on what local co-op is and how it works.

Steam Remote Play Together’s functions

With Steam Remote Play Together, you can stream video, audio, and voice—only the game is displayed, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally sharing your desktop. Conveniently, voice chat and game volume options are available in one place.

One great feature is that you can play PC games on your phone, tablet, or TV, including Apple TV, iOS devices, Android devices, and Android TV. All you need to do is install the game on your host PC, download and install Steam Link from a mobile app store, connect to a PC that’s running Steam, and you’re ready to play. You can find links to Steam Link on the Steam Remote Play website and the full list of supported games in the Remote Play Games hub.

You can also stream a game from your PC on another PC, as long as you’re logged into Steam on both devices.

Steam Remote Play Together is continuously upgraded and now offers the possibility of joining a game just with a link (i.e. without a Steam account). The link can be used through the Steam desktop client or the Steam Link mobile app. You can find more details on IGN.

For frequently asked questions and known issues, visit Steam support.

How to use Steam Remote Play Together?

Remote Play Together

  • Start your game
  • Press Shift+Tab to open Steam overlay
  • Open your Friends List, right-click on a friend, and select ‘Remote Play Together’
  • Make sure your friend is logged in to Steam from a supported device, otherwise this won’t work.
  • Have your friend accept the invite in their chat window and you’re ready to play together!

Invite friends via a URL

  • Start your game
  • Press Shift+Tab to open Steam overlay
  • Open your Friends List and choose ‘Invite anyone to play’ at the top of the list. A Remote Play window will pop up with a link for another player
  • Invite more players by selecting ‘Add Another Guest’ 
  • Have your friend start their Steam client or download the Steam Link app via the link
  • Play together as soon as your friend has the client or the app installed

Remote Play Anywhere

  • Open the Steam client on the PC with the game you want to play installed and log in
  • Log in to Steam on another PC or a supported device with the Steam Link app installed
  • Launch and play the game remotely from the Steam library

Steam Remote Play Together doesn’t work for me -.-

Yes, your first experience with Steam Remote Play can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of questions that we had our first time using it; hopefully you’ll find some tips to make your Steam Remote experience better.

1) Does Steam Remote Play use only one keyboard? Can I use two keyboards?

Steam Remote Play Together recognizes the PC from which the invitations were sent as the host and, since a PC can only detect one keyboard/mouse, you can only share this one keyboard with your friends. 

However, you can use multiple controllers (Xbox One, Steam Controller, etc.) or share the keyboard by using alternative controls. For example, Tools Up! supports 4-player Split Keyboard—this enables you to play by sharing the host’s keyboard with alternative, “unblocked” controls for your character.

2) How do I share a keyboard in Steam Remote Play Together?

Enable the other player to use your keyboard in the Remote Play menu by clicking the keyboard icon next to their name. Your mouse can also be shared this way. Sometimes there is an additional step, for example in Tools Up!. Make sure that the option to share a keyboard is enabled in the game’s settings, which allows you to see all the possible controls.

3) Does Steam Remote Play Together support controllers?

Yes, you can use multiple controllers.

4) How many players can use Steam Remote Play?

Up to four players can play together according to Steam.

5) Does Steam Remote Play Together work on consoles?

No, it doesn’t. It requires a Steam client and Steam cannot be installed on consoles.

6) How can I tell if an All in! Games game supports Remote Play?

Each game’s Steam page has their features listed on the right. Look for features called “Remote Play Together”, “Remote Play on Phone”, “Remote Play on Tablet”, and “Remote Play on TV”.

From All in! Games’ titles, the following games support Steam Remote Play Together:

7) What system do I need for Steam Remote Play Together to work?

Cross-platform play is available across Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. In addition, you can play PC games on your phone, tablet, or TV, including Apple TV, iOS devices, Android devices, and Android TV. 

Here are some tips straight from Steam:

  • We recommend a minimum of a quad-core CPU for the computer running the game. The client has more modest requirements, but should have a GPU that supports hardware accelerated H264 decoding. Any recent laptop or PC should meet the client requirements.
  • Streaming from a Windows XP host is not supported.
  • Streaming from a Mac OS X host is supported on Mac OS X 10.8 and newer.
  • In order to support streaming game controllers on a Linux host computer, /dev/uinput or /dev/input/uinput needs to be readable and writable by Steam.

Network:

  • We recommend using a wired network for the best streaming experience. People have had some success with powerline networks and wireless N and AC networks with a good signal, though your experience may vary.
  • Streaming uses UDP ports 27031 and 27036 and TCP ports 27036 and 27037. Please make sure Steam can listen on these ports in your firewall software.

8) Do all players need a Steam account or just the host?

Thanks to a new function, you can now enjoy Steam Remote Play even with just one Steam account. The host, who must have a Steam account, can create and share a link to invite you to the game. However, you’ll need to install a Steam client (this is the software that you download onto your PC).

Has the Steam Remote Play Together feature ever saved you from a boring weekend? Do you use it to play with friends and family? If you have more questions, more answers, or simply want to discuss Steam Remote Play Together, join the discussion on our Discord.

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