Gaming can be an intensely social activity, despite stereotypes, but most of the interactions among gamers happen online these days. There are video games that are meant to be played together with a small band of friends, often over a local network. COVID-19 restrictions have made it harder to get together for local multiplayer games and some friends might not even live in the same country or continent. Valve made the Steam Remote Play Together feature exactly for that purpose and soon it won’t even require a Steam account to use, at least for some of the players.
Steam Remote Play Together builds on, of course, Steam Remote Play that lets you play Steam games installed on one computer on any other computer running Steam. This allows gamers to have something like a central gaming rig at home with all the hardware you can cram in it and play games on another computer or device that wouldn’t even be capable of running Windows games.
Remote Play Together extends that to allow multiplayer gameplay over the Internet instead of a local network. Given how it works, you’d presume that it requires all players to have Steam accounts to use this feature. While that’s generally true, Valve is relaxing its requirement but for one very specific case only.
The new Invite Anyone beta feature of Steam’s Remote Play Together lets you invite one player to the game via a link that you generate in the Steam Overlay for the game. Only one player can be invited this way, however, and all other additional players have to be invited through your Friends List. Whichever method is used to join, they will be able to enjoy the full benefits of Remote Play Together, including sharing controllers with others in the group.
While it doesn’t require a Steam account, the invite link will direct gamers to at least install the Steam Link app. This means that only platforms that have this app support the Invite Anyone feature, namely Windows, iOS, Android, and the Raspberry Pi.