Is it possible to use Ethernet or LAN to allow two players with Steam Family Sharing to play at the same time? I'm asking that because I saw a comment posted by @s1h4d0w to this answer by @S.Wessels:

S.Wessels: 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 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 playing.

s1h4d0w: 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.

And I would like to know if it's true, and if it is, I would appreciate knowing the steps to do so.

  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because this question is about piracy and the circumvention of DRM (Steam).
    – aytimothy
    Commented Apr 4 at 0:44
  • 1
    @aytimothy I'm not sure it does: it's asking for elaboration on a situation in which playing together is possible through Family Sharing. There is no indication of the OP being aware of this being a grey (or black) area. If it's illegal, an answer could point that out, referencing (an) official source(s).
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 7 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


No, the workaround of going into offline mode and connecting to another computer via Ethernet/LAN cable does not work. As per the Steam Family Sharing FAQ, you must be online to play a shared game, and a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time:

Do I need to be online to play a shared game?

Yes. You must be online to access and play games which are shared with you. 

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.

  • What if the owner of the game desactivate the wifi, but the other player don't ? Can they play to local multiplayer if they plug ethernet ?
    – user314165
    Commented Apr 4 at 9:33
  • @user314165 Hmm, assuming it's a co-op game, which usually requires players to be in online mode, I believe they wouldn't be able to play together. However, I have not tested this. Commented Apr 4 at 14:13

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