Steam Introduces Steam Families

Valve has introduced Steam Families, a new service replacing Steam Family Sharing and Steam Family View

Steam’s New Families Feature


The new system allows up to six members to be added to a group, each receiving a child or adult label. Once added, each member can access the Family Library section in the left-hand column in their Steam client, which includes all the games in everyone’s libraries that support family sharing.

When you join a Steam Family, several features are added to your account.

When playing a game from the Family Library, users can create their own saved games, earn Steam achievements, and access workshop files, among other features.


Family Sharing is a feature available on Steam that allows users to access and play games from other family members’ libraries, even if they are currently playing another game. If a game has multiple copies available in a family library, more than one family member can play the game simultaneously. However, it is essential to note that this feature may not be available for all games, as some developers may choose to opt out of Family Sharing for technical or other reasons. You can find a game list supporting Family Sharing by visiting the Steam Store.

Group members can access any supported game in each other’s libraries; however, the games remain individual copies. For example, if someone wants to play a game in their sibling’s library, they will have to wait until they finish playing it.

Steam Families offers new controls for parents, making it a one-stop-shop for all family-sharing settings.

Steam Families offers parental controls that enable parents to limit their children’s gaming activity on Steam. Parents can restrict access to specific games and monitor their children’s gaming activity.

This feature is accessible from any device with Steam access, including mobile devices. Steam Family members can have one of two roles: adult or child. Adults have the authority to manage invites and apply account restrictions, while children are subject to parental controls and cannot manage the family account.

Parental control features let adults:

  • Allow access to appropriate games
  • Restrict access to the Steam Store, Community or Friends Chat
  • Set playtime limits (hourly/daily) 
  • View playtime reports 
  • Approve or deny requests from child accounts for additional playtime or feature access (temporary or permanent) 
  • Recover a child’s account if they lost their password

Steam Families has introduced a new payment option that allows child accounts to request an in-family adult to pay for their shopping cart. The adult can approve and pay for the purchase from their mobile device or email. Once approved, all the games in the shopping cart will be added to the child’s account.

You can test out new Steam Families features by opting into the Steam Family beta and inviting family members to join.

To do so, head to the Settings menu in Steam, select Interface, and then head to Client Beta Participation in the dropdown menu. From there, opt in via the Steam Family Beta from the list and restart Steam.