Valve’s Steam game client has a Remote Play feature that lets you stream games from a home PC over the internet to play just about anywhere.
Now Valve has added a new Remote Play Together service that builds upon that game streaming technology to let you play local multiplayer games over an internet connection.
Valve says a group of up to four (or maybe more) people can play the same game together over the internet as if they were in the same room.
What’s actually happening here is that the game is running on a single user’s PC, while multiple users are connecting to that PC over the internet.
The good news is this means only the person hosting the game needs to actually have a license for the game you’re playing. The bad news is that all players will need pretty speedy internet connections, and even then the person hosting the game might have a slight edge over other players since that person won’t have to worry about internet lag.
So you’re probably not going to want to use this service for truly competitive gaming. But it does let you play games together that might not have an online multiplayer mode. It could be a fun way to try out new games your friend has purchased without actually traveling to their house or to play local multiplayer titles with friends who don’t live close enough to visit in the first place.
Steam Remote Play lets each user play with their own controllers or mouse and keyboard while streaming audio, video, and voice so that all players can participate.
Under ideal conditions, Valve says you might even be able to play with more than four people at once.
More than 4,000 titles in the Steam Store already support Steam Remote Play Together. But for now the feature is still in beta — in order to use the service you’ll need to install the Steam Client Beta, run a supported game, open the Steam Overlay, choose the Remote Play Together option, and invite your friends to play.