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Anyone can now play local multiplayer games online with friends on Steam. Valve Software launched Steam’s Remote Play Together into public beta today. So you can opt into the feature, which enables you to invite a friend to play a game with you over the internet as if they were sitting right next to you.

Remote Play Together works with two-to-four people — although Valve says it can potentially support more in “ideal conditions.” The idea is to give players the chance to play games that don’t have online multiplayer. Only the person starting the Remote Play Together session needs to own the game, as well. So this is a great way to share experiences with friends.

Valve set up Remote Play Together so it acts as if the remote player plugged their controller into your PC. Your co-op friend also will only see your game. They can’t spy on your desktop or that secret folder. And you can decide how much control they have over the mouse cursor.

How to activate Steam’s Remote Play Together

So if you are ready to do some Remote Play Together, the process to begin a session is simple.

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  1. Open a game that has local multiplayer.
  2. Open the Steam Overlay (default shortcut is shift+tab)
  3. Click on the friend you want to invite from your list.
  4. Select “Remote Play Together.”
  5. Ensure your friend accepts the invite.

The system will automatically connect everyone. You can also voice chat with them using Steam’s built-in communication features. This also works across PC, Mac, and Linux.

Valve says it is going to use this beta-test period to improve how the network performs. It wants to ensure that it can provide stable connections across a variety of hardware configurations.

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