Now this is the kind of thing that makes me a fan of Valve as a company, as they continue to build up interesting features that are genuinely cool. Introducing a Beta for Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone.
Remote Play Together is the system on Steam that allows you to host a game on your local PC and invite others to join you, and they don't even need to own the game. It's a way to turn local co-op / multiplayer games into an online supported title and play with others. Super useful, as there's some awesome titles out that that don't natively support online play. Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone is an extension of this, allowing you to host a game, copy a link from your friends list and send it to anyone you know to play with you and they don't need a Steam account.
Quite a huge deal this, enabling even more people to play games with you easily.
The invites work through the Steam Link app, which has one big caveat at the moment: Valve doesn't currently support a normal Linux desktop with it. Steam Link with Invite Anyone links is supported by Valve across Windows, iOS, Android, or a Raspberry Pi. We have emailed Valve to see if the Steam Link app will be brought over to Linux proper, will update if / when they reply on that. Update 25/02/21 17:15 - Valve has confirmed to us that Steam Link app is coming to Linux proper. Valve press told us over email "it is in the works" but they "don’t have a target release date to share just yet".
Side-note: if you have the normal Steam Client installed, it will just run through that like Remote Play Together does normally. Additionally and some good news - hosting from Linux appears to work fine and does so just like the normal Remote Play Together system for Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone.
Just load a game, make sure you're set to online and then copy the link and send it to someone:
Once they have your link, it only takes a few seconds for everything to load in. It works surprisingly well too, although that will depend on how the game handles input and your networking. Some games aren't very good with it, some are perfection and feel awesome.
If their device doesn't have the Steam Link installed, they will end up seeing something like this inviting them to go and download it:
Testing over here was done by copying the link from our main Linux desktop, and then joining via the link on a cheap Android phone and — yep, it works alright:
To try the system you need to have your Steam Client opted into the Steam Beta. Full details in this post.