Steam has launched the beta for their newest, and somewhat ambitious, feature, Steam Remote Play Together, which allows players to enjoy local multiplayer and co-op modes in games with their online friends remotely. According to a new Steam blog post, the beta supports up to four players, but may support “even more in ideal conditions,” which weren’t specified. As previously reported, only the host must have the game installed on their computer to support a group of players via Remote Play Together.
The blog post includes simple instructions for launching the beta and inviting friends to join games. Once everyone’s hooked up, the game is streamed from the host to the remote players’ devices, and their controller inputs are sent back to the host stream as if the controllers were directly plugged into to the host device. Valve reassures that hosts don’t have to worry about their private information from their computers being streamed, as they say “only the game is displayed to your Friends, never your desktop or other Top Secret stuff.” Additionally, the host can share control of their keyboard and mouse with other players remotely, but Valve emphasizes that the host has full control over how much from their computer is shared.
Remote Play Together is supported across PC, Mac, and Linux, according to Valve. As the beta progresses, Valve will use feedback from players to “[improve] network stability and compatibility across a variety of hardware.” According to The Verge, Valve is “investigating” bringing the feature to iOS and Android, but didn’t have anything to announce regarding those platforms when debuting Remote Play Together today.
One of the main concerns with this new feature is network latency, as the host could have a slight advantage during competitive games, since other players may experience lag from the stream. Valve believes that will only be a “small” factor if everyone in a group has a good connection.
As of right now, there are already “thousands of supported titles” available for the beta, and developers are free to opt in or out of this feature at any time they feel is necessary. Anyone interested in trying out the beta can sign up here.