Valve’s been finessing its nifty Remote Play Together feature over on Steam, and its latest beta has switched things up so that any friend you want to play your game won’t need their own own Steam account to get stuck in, dramatically easing the point of entry.
Remote Play Together, if you’re unfamiliar, makes it possible for distant friends to play a game’s local multiplayer mode over the internet as if they were all scrunched up together on a couch in the same room, with only one player needing to own a copy of the game.
To get it to work, the owner begins by launching their chosen game, then invites their chums to play using Steam’s Friends List. Upon accepting those requests, invited parties – regardless of whether they’re on their own Steam-equipped PC or using Valve’s Remote Play app on phone or tablet – can hop into a local multiplayer session via the wonders of streaming.
The only wrinkle to this otherwise straightforward process came from the fact all players previously needed to have their own Steam accounts in order to join in.
Now, however, Valve has streamlined the process so that invited friends can simply follow a provided link and join a game almost immediately – ideal for those times you might want to introduce Overcooked and the like to your gran, fidgety niece, or anyone else who doesn’t have, want, or need a Steam log-in.
This requires the owner to first launch their game then copy the generated invite link from their Friends List in the Steam Overlay. This can be shared via email, text, or any other preferred method, and the link will prompt the receiver to download the Steam Link app onto their device if they don’t have it installed already, at which point they can start playing immediately. The link will also begin a session on an installed copy of Steam if that’s where your friends are located.
There’s one important limitation right now, however; the link generated for Valve’s new Invite Anyone feature will currently only work for one invited player without a Steam account – all other players will need to join a session using the traditional Friends List method.
Steam users can put an early version of Invite Anyone through its paces right now via the latest Steam Client Beta. You’ll find instructions on Valve’s new blog update.