Steam’s Launch of Remote Play Is a Big Deal, and It’s Free

Steam Remote Play Together featured image

Steam Launches Remote Play

The newest feature to hit Steam, Remote Play, is a major game-changer (pun intended). Without going into too much technical detail, Steam Remote Play allows you to play local-only multiplayer games online with your friends, refresh a huge part of your games catalog, and not have to actually get in a car and visit your friend in person as you retrofit your couch multiplayer titles for the cloud.

Of course, Remote Play can also be enjoyed solo – it’s an evolution of Steam Link, which used to involve purchasing a dedicated box, then became an app, and now just lets you sling your Steam to wherever, while including a multiplayer component that can be activated as easily as clicking on your friend’s names and inviting them to join your session.

Unlike Google’s entirely cloud-driven Stadia, Steam Remote Play still depends on actual ownership, but only the host player needs to own the game; up to four friends – or possibly more, for those with sufficiently fast connections – can jump in, all of them sharing video, audio and voice communications. Even more groundbreaking, Steam Remote Play is cross-platform, meaning that you can jump into a friend’s game from your smartphone or tablet.

The World Is Your Couch

We have been scouting the best solo and solo-supporting board games for a while now – you know, the paper-and-cardboard-and-dice types in the meatverse – because, well, it is fun to play alone. Sure it is. For a while. But is it because of the fun of solitude? Or is it also in part because of what a pain it can be to coordinate a dedicated game night with friends, too?

As the result of suddenly mass-adding an awesome online co-op or competitive features to games that previously were local-only, many of our old titles that were collecting dust have come back to life.

Moreover, the Epic Games Store suddenly feels outdated. Hopefully, that platform will follow suit shortly with a similar feature.

Until now, Tabletop Simulator was one of the only ways to enjoy a vast variety of games with remote partners or when traveling.

Of course, Tabletop Simulator can take you a long way, but not everyone is conversant with the fiddly controls for manipulating passive tabletop game representations (and sometimes you get stuck with a player like our own InfinityWaltz, who takes more joy in knocking virtual pieces off the virtual table like a cat in a YouTube video than in learning the rules of any given game).

tabletop simulator screenshot battle chess
Tabletop Simulator – game screenshot courtesy Steam

Every Minute Can Be Game Night

With Steam’s new feature, those fun times to share together – where the game is often less important than the time shared with a buddy – have expanded significantly.

There is also a significant list of titles optimized for Remote Play on your tablet or mobile device. Wow. What an awesome free upgrade.

This list includes titles like Sea Salt or the massive breakout hit Killer Queen Black, not to mention long-time favorites like Enter the Gungeon and Cuphead.

Lastly, this also brings along with it all voice, music and video streaming features, all while being mindful of your privacy by obfuscating stuff you don’t want publicly viewable.

Home run!