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Steam is expanding the functionality of its Remote Play Together feature to work more like a Zoom meeting. Now when you launch a Remote Play Together game, you can get a link to share with up to three other people. And those players can use the link to join the game instantly without even needing a Steam account — although it will install Steam to run the client. But then you and your friends can enjoy online multiplayer action even if a game only supports local cooperative or competitive play.

The idea here is to simplify the process of getting people to play games together online. Now a person doesn’t need to sign into Steam and accept a friend invite or anything like that. These invites remove the barriers by creating a link that takes care of everything. When you start a game, you can get the invite from your friends list and then you can share that with anyone on any platform. Take it to Discord and the invite will open Steam or prompt an install, and then it will connect that person directly to the game.

This is useful because any barrier to entry creates pain points that prevent people from taking advantage of a feature like Remote Play Together. More specifically, it might have stopped GamesBeat reviews editor Mike Minotti and myself (Jeff Grubb) from using Remote Play Together to conquer Square Enix’s upcoming cooperative platformer Balan Wonderworld.

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But now I plan to spam Mike’s messages with a Remote Play Together link until he submits and agrees to play along with me. Thank you, Valve.

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