A lot of us are going through a lonely time right now: self-isolating for our own safety and in many cases being confronted with a lot of downtime that we’d rather spend with friends. While the Internet may not quite make up for having friends with you in real life, there are many good solutions that let you share experiences together. One of these is Steam, which lets you broadcast your game sessions to your friends so they can watch you play, leave comments, even voice chat!
This article walks you through how to let your friends watch you play your games over Steam.
First, open Steam, then click Steam at the top-left corner -> Settings -> Broadcasting.
Click the Privacy setting drop-down and select either “Friends can request to watch my games” or “Friends can watch my games.” (The latter means your friends can jump in to watch any time without needing express consent.)
You can make other changes here, such as adjusting the video dimensions (lower the resolution if your experience latency or quality problems), maximum bitrate, and encoding optimization – either for quality or performance.
When you’re done making changes, click OK.
Next, start the game you want to play. Your friend will be able to see the game you’re playing in the Friends list. Get them to right-click your name in their friends list, then click “Watch Game.”
If you’ve set your privacy settings to your friends being allowed to “request” to watch your game, accept the watch request when it shows up. If you’re openly letting your friends watch, then they’ll start watching right away.
You can press Shift + Tab while playing to see the broadcast window and chat with your friends in it. You can of course voice-chat with your friends, too, by right-clicking their name in your friends list and clicking “Start Voice Chat.”