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Reminder: Steam lets you easily play local multiplayer games online

Four players supported with the click of a box

Image representing a group of four people playing together by Steam Remote Play Image: Valve Corp.
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Steam is reminding developers and players that Remote Play Together, which launched in November, is a very fast and easy way to group up and play with friends, couch-co-op style — a nice feature as millions try to keep their distance and prevent COVID-19 from spreading further.

Steamworks’ Twitter account noted for developers yesterday evening that Remote Play Together is enabled automatically for games with local multiplayer, local co-op, or shared/split screen features (though if the feature isn’t appropriate for their game, developers can disable it, too). The account also suggests developers enable Remote Play Together on single-player games, so the players can replicate the experience of passing “the controls back and forth as if they’re on the same couch.”

Remote Play Together launched Nov. 20 after spending about a month in a beta test. It’s ideal for games like Wilmot’s Warehouse, Cuphead, or Enter the Gungeon. Four-player support is offered for most games but “even more in ideal conditions” may play together. Only the host needs to own the game, too.

Players initiate the feature with Remote Play Together in the host’s friends’ list. The game then should behave on the host’s device as if all the invited players had a controller plugged into it. The only players see only the game, not the host’s desktop or any overlays. It’s also available for iOS and Android devices using the Steam Link app.

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