So we are told with each copy of the upcoming game, No Man's Sky, you have your charter and start on a unique planet.

If me and my wife want to play a Steam game with an online universe off the same computer, at different times, would it be possible to:

  • Buy two copies off one steam account;
  • Buy one copy per steam account? If this is the preferred option, can they both use the same installation location?

Edit This game is not available for Steam Family Sharing

  • 1
    I'm not entirely sure what "with each copy of the game" means, and I don't know that we can confirm before release, but this may be a good use case for Steam Family Sharing.
    – Tin Wizard
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 21:35
  • making an edit to remove the game title. Your actually asking about potentially any steam game. Ultimately, just be saying "this game that is not out yet", your question becomes offtopic.
    – user106385
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    @Timelord64 I understand your edit but I will refine it a bit to deal with games with an online account
    – Mike
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


buying two copies off one steam account

This isn't possible for any Steam game, so I don't think it will be possible here.

one copy per steam account. If this is the preferred option, can they both use the same installation location?

Yes, this is correct. You can log into two different accounts on the same machine and it will use the same game files, only with saves stored in different folders.

Option two is your choice.

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    Technically, it is possible to buy two copies on one account, when you buy one of them as a gift and gift it to the second account.
    – Bexo
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 6:22
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    @Bexo: And in what way this is in anyway usefull?
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 8:31
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    @Zaibis It could be useful if you created a second account expressly for this purpose and didn't want to put your credit card number on the second account on the off chance your second account was hacked.
    – Pants
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:43
  • @Pants: true but 100% not related. It could also be usefull if I wanted to make a gift for a friend. But again. That's nothing that had been usefull regarding op.
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:44
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    @Zaibis A bit tangential perhaps, but certainly not unrelated. I read the comment combined with the answer above as a combination of the two options provided by OP, or "You can buy them both from one account, but you'll need to create a second (less risky/exposed) account to play the second version." I think that would make a decent answer and perhaps something others would not have thought of otherwise.
    – Pants
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:51

Steam Family Sharing is made for exactly this situation.

You can authorize up to 10 devices and up to 5 accounts to have (almost) full access to your Steam games without being considered the same user or using the same save files. If an authorized user (your wife, on her account) is playing on an authorized device (your computer), then she can play without you having to purchase a second copy.

Note that Steam Family Sharing cannot be used for some games which use additional CD-key or other authorization besides that included in Steam. Since No Man's Sky is not yet out, it is as-yet unknown whether it will be in this category, though personally I'd guess that it is not.

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    +1, this is the more cost effective option and would work for almost all games without having to repurchase them.
    – Sam Weaver
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 2:33
  • I am torn between these two answers... because while it looks like family sharing handles each user having their own achievements, there still may only be one user in the online universe
    – Mike
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 12:12
  • Am I right in reading that this requires all the accounts to have Steam Guard on, which requires one Android/iOS device per account?
    – pjc50
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:17
  • @SamWeaver How is this the more cost effective option when it requires two computers, compared to one computer in the accepted answer?
    – PureW
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:41
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    I don't believe it requires two computers. You can authorize a computer and you can authorize a user. If the computer you have at home is authorized and you authorized an additional user that logs in and plays, the games will be downloaded already and data will be kept separate. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is how the system works.
    – Sam Weaver
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 14:06

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