Steam Family Sharing program starts for first 1,000 beta testers

Ian Birnbaum at

A couple of weeks ago, Valve announced a new Steam program that would let players share their libraries with designated friends and family, a small step toward games-lending practices that had been forgotten in the fog of PC gaming history. Now it’s here: the Steam Family Sharing beta program has officially started, granting library sharing for its first 1,000 participants.

The Steam Family Sharing program lets users share their entire game libraries with up to 10 other accounts. Authorized users will be able to install and play any game on your account, but only one user can access an account at a time. If you’d like to get back to your game, the borrowing user will get an option to buy their current game or retire until you’re done. Check out the FAQ or our announcement coverage for full details.

If you’re in the first 1,000, you should already have an email waiting for you. If not, keep hanging out in the Steam Family Sharing group and hope for better luck in the next round. Should all go well, the family sharing program will be released to all Steam users eventually.

Valve has had a very busy calendar this summer: July: quash Half-Life 3 rumors started by a joke in a magazine; August: put finishing touches on plans for world domination; September: absolutely own every games news outlet on Earth.