My brother owns Skyrim on steam. We use Steam Family Share, but we were wondering how both of us could play it at the same time?


5 Answers 5


Two people are actually able to play at the same time, I've done this myself before and as far as I can tell steam has done nothing to block this.

If anyone can prove it's not legal/within their terms then please comment below.

If you both share a game on steam, then both of you download the game. If one of you goes into offline mode, you can play at the same time. This obviously blocks online features such as saving to the cloud and online gameplay but considering skyrim is single player ( without mods ) it shouldn't be a problem. This will also not work with games that are DRM which require you to be online to start play.

  • 7
    This is how me and the girlfriend do it. It blocks online features but we were still able to play Borderlands 2 co-op by connecting my PC and her laptop with an ethernet cable.
    – s1h4d0w
    Jan 13, 2017 at 13:52
  • As of recent, this hasn't been working for us.
    – KOVIKO
    Jan 30, 2022 at 20:20
  • @KOVIKO looks like the FAQ updated: "You must be online to access and play games which are shared with you."
    – Corsaka
    Jul 28, 2022 at 13:01
  • @Corsaka That's always been the case. The difference, now, is that the person sharing the library with you is still tracked as playing the game even when they are offline. We haven't tested actually disabling the Internet connection, though.
    – KOVIKO
    Jul 29, 2022 at 18:09

Two people can't play at the same moment on Steam Family Sharing.

Family Sharing FAQ clearly states this:

Can two users share a library and both play at the same time?

No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.

  • 32
    It's a shame you can't play two different games at the same time, though.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 10, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    @MBraedley This is intentional. They want to make sure only one person at a time can be using games from a specific account.
    – Powerlord
    Jan 10, 2016 at 19:06
  • 6
    It's mostly so it can't be abused and multiple people can just buy a game once and then play it at the same time. If you want to play at the same time go into offline mode, that's how me and the girlfriend do it.
    – s1h4d0w
    Jan 13, 2017 at 13:52
  • 4
    @Powerlord It should work on a game-by-game basis though, as was the case with CDs. If I lend a book to a friend, I should still be able to read other books off my book stack.
    – Pertinax
    Aug 19, 2017 at 21:34
  • 2
    @TheThunderChimp Should it? sure. But does it? Nope.
    – ave
    Aug 19, 2017 at 21:38

This is completely possible depending on the game (usually games that do not connect to the internet). After setting up family sharing, the person who owns the game must start the game. After the game is running, go to steam and go into offline mode. Now the second person can use family sharing. I've done this numerous times with Civ V and i believe should work with Skyrim.


From the steam website FAQ:

Q: Can two users share a library and both play at the same time?

A: No, a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time.

  • 1
    You are way too fast
    – ave
    Jan 10, 2016 at 17:56

You can't.

Family sharing acts as though you were passing the account login back and forth. Only one person can access any given account at one time. So as soon your brother starts a game, you or anyone else is locked out. It will not let you play as though you had two copies of the game.

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