Steam will soon let offline multiplayer games be played with friends online

(Image credit: Valve)

Valve wants to help us all play more video games together, and to that end, it's introducing a new feature in Steam called Remote Play Together. The feature will effectively turn every local co-op game and multiplayer game on Steam into an online game.

The Remote Play Together feature was announced by Valve staffer Alden Kroll on Twitter. Here's how he explains the feature:

In essence, Remote Play Together will make one player the online host, with the game running locally on their PC. Whatever game they are playing will then stream to other players online. Input from those players send back to the host, and register in-game as if the players were right there playing along.

The new feature isn't here quite yet, though. According to our sister site PC Gamer, it will come in beta form later this month. An announcement explains, "All local multiplayer, local co-op and split-screen games will be automatically included in the Remote Play Together beta, which we plan to launch the week of October 21."

Another step for game streaming

This may not seem like the biggest news, since a lot of the best multiplayer PC games  already have online multiplayer, but it's a positive step for game streaming and a nice touch by Valve. The feature could be especially beneficial if Steam allows gamers to play the same game online when only one player owns the game, as would be the case in local multiplayer.

Remote Play Together is also another way of showing the potential for game streaming. Not only will players get to connect over a long distance, but presumably only one of the players needs to have a gaming computer. It takes only modest hardware to support game streaming, as we learned in the beta of Google Stadia when we played Assassin's Creed Odyssey on a years-old, Intel Celeron-powered Chromebook.

With this update, it looks like it's only a matter of time before game streaming slides into just about every corner of gaming.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.