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Steam’s new Remote Play Together Feature Moves Local Co-op Online

Some games just need to be played together, wherever your friends are.

Local co-op multiplayer titles like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes or Nemesis Realms are great fun when you’ve got a few mates over for the evening but are completely redundant otherwise. Yes, there are plenty of other videogames you could play instead but sometimes only a particular one will suffice, made even more difficult when it’s local only. Today, Steam has come up with a solution and it’s called Remote Play Together.

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Available in beta, Remote Play Together means you can now invite Steam Friends to join your local co-op, local multiplayer, and shared/split-screen gaming sessions online. Supporting up to four players – a press release notes “or even more in ideal conditions” without explaining what these conditions might be – a secondary feature which will surely delight players is that the host is the only one who needs to own and have the title installed. Everyone else can connect through Steam Remote Play streaming technology.

Additionally, Remote Play Together allows you to play across PC, Mac and Linux systems; stream video, audio, voice and input between friends – as such players controllers will act as if they’re plugged into the hosts’ computer – or share control of the keyboard and mouse. As the host, only the videogame is displayed (never the desktop), plus the keyboard and mouse feature can have its access limited.

To test this beta feature you’ll need to join Steam Beta, then launch any of your local multiplayer titles. Then from your Friends list in the Steam Overlay, select Remote Play Together. There are thousands of supported titles with VRFocus finding 243 which are VR compatible.

Valve also notes that: “During the Beta we’ll be improving network stability and compatibility across a variety of hardware,” full VR compatibility may not be available right away.

Remote Play Together certainly sounds like a useful addition for videogames which only support local multiplayer but surely one of their main hooks was the atmosphere they created when people play together in the same room. That can’t easily be replicated online.

This continues Valve’s recent experiments with Steam which began in earnest earlier this year with the rollout of Steam Labs. As the beta is updated, VRFocus will let you know.

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