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Today, Valve have released an exciting update to the Steam Beta Client which adds in Remote Play Together, allowing you to play local co-op, local multiplayer and shared/split screen games over the net with your friends.

From what Valve said, it will allow up to four players "or even more in ideal conditions", meaning if you all have reasonable internet connections you might be able to play with quite a few people.

Something that has of course been done elsewhere, although the advantage here is no extra payments or software needed as it runs right from the Steam client. It's very simply done too. Just like you would invite friends to join your online game, you invite them to Remote Play Together from the Steam Friends list and if they accept…away you go. Only the host needs to own the game too, making it easy to get going.

Feature Highlight:

  • Play local multiplayer games with Steam Friends online
  • Stream video, audio, input, and voice between players
  • Use your own controllers, or share control of the keyboard & mouse
  • Play together across Windows, Mac, and Linux

You can see the full announcement on Steam here.

To access it, you need to be in the Steam Client Beta. To do so is simple: click Steam up the top left, go to Settings and then hit the Change button which will bring up the box on the right below:

After that, Steam will need to restart and you will have access.

Giving it a test run earlier with contributor Samsai we fired up CRYPTARK, Wizard of Legend and Enter the Gungeon and sadly none of them seemed to work at all. They all have the Remote Play Together tag on Steam to show they should work but neither of us could connect to each other as the host. I put up a bug report here. Update: Should now work.

This is what a Beta test is for of course to iron out all the issues, hopefully it will start working sometime soon as it sounds like a good feature. It could even be Steam servers being overloaded or not entirely fully up for such a brand new feature. Will let you know when we get it working.

Perhaps if Valve keep doing interesting features like this, more developers might consider the 30% cut Valve take as worth it? Valve seem to be taking Steam in quite an interesting direction with Steam Play, Remote Play, Remote Play Together and lots of other smaller features.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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lectrode 21 October 2019 at 8:11 pm UTC
I'm very curious to see if this will work for non-steam games. It would be very useful for things like Emulators to cut out a portion of the pre-play setup with remote players.
thelimeydragon 21 October 2019 at 8:11 pm UTC
Wouldn't work for me either with a Windows user I was testing with.
Tori 21 October 2019 at 8:17 pm UTC
Considering that game transmitting is still listed as unsupported on Linux, I wonder if this will work at all, since I assume it would use the same technology to send your (the host) video feed to the other players.
thelimeydragon 21 October 2019 at 8:25 pm UTC
Pretty sure it's just using the same system for "Steam Link". Just that it's streaming it to other people's computers.
hateball 21 October 2019 at 8:32 pm UTC
I've invited a person on Windows to multiple games and they could join just fine and performance was good.
I could however not join a single one of their games. When they joined my games they had no audio at all.
For some of the games, their gamepad would replace mine as gamepad #1 so I'd have to play using keyboard.

There's a ways to go before this is mature I guess


Last edited by hateball on 21 October 2019 at 8:33 pm UTC
HadBabits 21 October 2019 at 8:44 pm UTC
Aww, misread the title and thought this was a tool to get couch co-op for online-only multiplayer games ;-; Still, I'm sure this will be good for a lot of folks; especially for those games where devs can't or won't spend the resources to support online networking.

Personally, the thought of playing voice chat with people gives me the same anxiety I get from phone calls; the lack of visual feedback really throws me. If I'm sharing a couch with someone I can always confirm they're just 'in the game' so any conversational lulls don't feel like awkward silences :B


Last edited by HadBabits on 21 October 2019 at 8:44 pm UTC
Linas 21 October 2019 at 9:03 pm UTC
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QuotePerhaps if Valve keep doing interesting features like this, more developers might consider the 30% cut Valve take as worth it?
Nobody actually thinks that. Just running the infrastructure yourself can cost as much, not to mention development and maintenance of the software. It's all about grabbing the free cash that's being flung around lately. I doubt it will last.
Liam Dawe 21 October 2019 at 9:08 pm UTC
Linas
QuotePerhaps if Valve keep doing interesting features like this, more developers might consider the 30% cut Valve take as worth it?
Nobody actually thinks that. Just running the infrastructure yourself can cost as much, not to mention development and maintenance of the software. It's all about grabbing the free cash that's being flung around lately. I doubt it will last.
Not entirely sure what you're saying? No consumers think it or no game developers think it's worth it? Or are you saying the opposite, that no developer truly thinks Valve's 30% isn't worth it?
eldaking 21 October 2019 at 9:23 pm UTC
HadBabitsAww, misread the title and thought this was a tool to get couch co-op for online-only multiplayer games ;-; Still, I'm sure this will be good for a lot of folks; especially for those games where devs can't or won't spend the resources to support online networking.

Personally, the thought of playing voice chat with people gives me the same anxiety I get from phone calls; the lack of visual feedback really throws me. If I'm sharing a couch with someone I can always confirm they're just 'in the game' so any conversational lulls don't feel like awkward silences :B

Yeah, I only ever play couch co-op games. Playing without being able to really see and communicate properly is stressful. Plus, multiplayer without the direct interaction is just not worth it for me, unless it is very hands-off like say Underlords (humans are just smarter bots that sometimes disconnect).

I'd love to see a feature to make online-only games into split-screen. Smartly slice a section of the screen to allow for two games in the same (presumably large) monitor/tv, give option between diagonal/vertical/horizontal splits and allow for easy changing with a key (in case a crucial part of the screen is hidden). Allow for using different inputs for each different instance of the game, give an option between running two instances of the game locally (no internet needed!) or streaming from a second computer (for heavy games). Add some per-game defaults and done (as if it was easy...). Even better if it worked without requiring multiple copies of the game (would also make it easier, no mixing two accounts in the system), but that would be optional and probably include concerns about lost sales.
Strykai 22 October 2019 at 1:31 am UTC
hateballI've invited a person on Windows to multiple games and they could join just fine and performance was good.
I could however not join a single one of their games. When they joined my games they had no audio at all.
For some of the games, their gamepad would replace mine as gamepad #1 so I'd have to play using keyboard.

There's a ways to go before this is mature I guess
I just did a quick test and I can confirm that I can host as a Linux player! I hosted to a Windows client and we were able to use two separate controllers after some simple tomfoolery. Like the previous example, audio was not working. Unfortunately we were pressed for time so I couldn't test further. Once this has matured, it will be a terrific feature! (I'm just thrilled that I can finally host local multiplayer games remotely using Linux!)


Last edited by Strykai on 22 October 2019 at 1:41 am UTC
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