Just like users can be authorized access, their access can also be revoked and new users can be provided access. Steam game owners are cautioned to authorize access to only reliable players who do not get them into situations like these in the first place and leave the library when the owner requests them to. Once a player has been revoked access, they can be reauthorized too but the 90-day cooldown period is essential to be observed as per rules by the Steam community online.
Steam Shared Library is a facility by which all Steam members can share their accounts after they have created a family library. All members can keep their accounts separate while being able to play games from each other’s accounts. The games played in this way are stored on a Cloud service and gamers’ progress and achievements are saved under their account title only.
There are times when users get locked out of Steam Shared Library, may have their access revoked and get banned to play VAC powered games. Everything, from setting up a Shared Library and rules to be followed to reasons why such situations arise and tips on how to deal with it, has been discussed below.
Creating & Managing a Steam Shared Library
To begin with, the following are the steps one needs to follow in order to create and manage a Steam Family Shared Library:
- A user must log in to their Steam Account using the device they wish to use for sharing games.
- Enable Steam Guard Security. For enabling it, go to Steam Client then visit, Steam>Settings>Account.
- After enabling it, go to the Steam settings panel.
- Select the ‘Family Library Sharing’ or ‘Family’ tab.
- Then select from the users who have already signed in to Steam using this device and add them to the Family Shared Library Eligible accounts list.
- After adding everyone you wanted too, click on the ‘Authorize Library Sharing on this computer’ option.
- In the end, using a checkmark select the users you wish to share your library with.
- Alternatively, users can request to access Family Shared Library or play the games downloaded by other Steam users.
- For requesting access, users need to turn on the Steam Guard Security option.
- Then visit their library. Here they will be able to see the games being played by other users who use the same device.
- Select the game you want to play and click ‘Play’ in order to send a library access request.
- Your request will be sent to the respective user via the link in their email account.
- If they choose to allow you to have access to their library, you will be notified. If not, your access to their library will be simply revoked.
- When a person grants you access to their Steam Library, you gain access to all of their games.
The Rules of Steam Shared Library
- As part of Steam Shared Library rules, only one user at a time can access a library and play games using it.
- If an owner logs in at the same time as you and wishes to play their games, which you are already in the middle of playing, Steam will send you a quit or purchase yourself request.
- You will have 5 minutes to respond to this request.
- If you do not respond, your access to the game library will be revoked.
- There is a limit to the number of accounts which can be provided access to a single Steam Shared Library at one point in time. The total number of accounts allowed on a Steam Library at one time is 5.
- The total number of devices these account users can share Steam Library over a 90 period time is 10.
- Region/Country restricted games cannot be shared with users living in restricted regions.
- New Steam users can be authorized access to shared Library but for that, one or more users need to b removed from the library.
- After removing them, a 90-day cooldown period is observed in which no new member can be granted access.
- After the cool-down period, new members can be authorized access.
While, on one hand, Steam provides players using the same device an opportunity to share their games online, users who are located remotely and use separate devices are exempted from this option. This is because remote sharing creatES technical glitches that the Steam support team is yet unable to resolve. Additionally, for the same technical support reason, not all Steam games can be shared with users online.
A word of caution though- if any members of a library are caught cheating or committing fraud using a shared browser, then all members of that library are banned from using VAC-protected games online. In addition to this, the owner is no longer granted Family Sharing Library privilege. This means that in the future, the owner will not be able to grant create a shared library or grant access to any accounts.
Steam Shared Library Locked
Steam Shared Library is automatically locked when two players are using it at the same time, whether they have been authorized to use it or not. This happens to protect the library from unauthorized use and it has been mentioned before that, as per Steam community rules, only one authorized user can play games in the library at a single time. Sometimes a library also gets locked when two authorized users are online at the same time whether or not they are playing games.
In order to unlock the library, players are requested to quit their game or purchase a copy of their own for that game. The other player is supposed to respond to Steam’s request in 5 minutes.
However, if they choose to continue playing these games, Steam advises the owner to close down the app completely. Then reopen it, revoke their access and carry on with your game. Alternatively, you can ask your friend to go offline and log out of their account from the current device. Then log in from some other device that does not have Steam Family Sharing enabled on it. If the other person has stopped using the game and the error is still displayed, players are advised to reboot Steam Client.