My brother and I just bought MW3 and installed it with Steam and all of that, but on 2 different computers. We had to use the same steam account (mine) so that the game would load and work and not give an error saying that the CD key is already in use. I.e so that I didn't have to create another separate and new account for my brother.

But now this comes with its own problems; when I play online, my rank and achievements obviously come through on the steam account on the other PC when my bro logs in. This sucks, as we would like to rank up individually but using the same account and same game.

Is there any way to get around this so that we can each have our own separate profile for MW3?

  • Ok, so no I am seriously confused ??? Steam wont allow me to open up MW3. My brother isnt connected or logged into steam and the game isnt running any where else... Steam comes up with an error saying "This game is currently unavailable. Please try again at another time"???? and ideas :/
    – Brian
    Jan 26, 2012 at 5:56
  • This is a different question, and it's been answered before: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/37164/…
    – agent86
    Jan 27, 2012 at 0:10

3 Answers 3


You can use Steam Family Sharing to use two accounts (and, therefore, two profiles) on one computer. You need to have family sharing (currently in closed beta) enabled for the account that owns MW3. Enable sharing for the computer you want to use, install MW3 and then your brother can login and play with his own profile on that computer.

Family Sharing, however, only allows one user to be playing at any given time, no matter the game. Your brother will be kicked out of his game within 5 minutes if you launch any game in your Steam library.

  • You should probably mention some of the caveats associated with sharing in your answer.
    – MBraedley
    Nov 28, 2013 at 20:09
  • @MBraedley I assume the thing I just edited in was what you meant.
    – 3ventic
    Nov 28, 2013 at 20:15
  • Yep, that was the big one.
    – MBraedley
    Nov 28, 2013 at 20:20

Unfortunately, your in-game profile is tied to your Steam account - there is no way to create a separate profile without purchasing another copy of the game. Most multiplayer games (especially on Steam) are this way - a unique identifier is assigned to your account for multiplayer purposes (often called a STEAMID or Guid, depending on the game).

This is done for a number of reasons. For instance, this allows Valve and game server operators to uniquely identify their clients, therefore this system is the basis for many ban and admin rights systems. Being able to create new multiplayer profiles or identities would create loopholes for people to abuse this system.

As Steam accounts are intended to be used by a single person, (the subscriber agreement states "You may not reveal, share or otherwise allow others to use your password or Account") there's no system in place for allowing for multiple multiplayer profiles under a single account. This is against the terms of the subscriber agreement, so there's no support for it.

If you and your brother both want to play the same copy of Modern Warfare 3, you're going to have to live with the fact that you're going to share a profile.

You should also be aware that part of the agreement also states:

You agree that you will be personally responsible for the use of your Account and for all of the communication and activity on Steam that results from use of your Account.

Therefore, if the other person playing on your account misbehaves/cheats, and this results in your account being suspended or banned from online play, you cannot say "I didn't do this, it was someone else on my account, please unban me." You are responsible for their actions as well as your own.

  • Damn, ok thank you for your help on this. Do you think it would be possible to purchase just the cd key instead of a whole brand new game???
    – Brian
    Jan 26, 2012 at 4:16
  • No, the two things are essentially one and the same in Modern Warfare 3.
    – agent86
    Jan 26, 2012 at 4:19
  • 2
    @Brian, In most cases when you buy software, you pay for the right to use it (ie, the licence or cd key). When you buy a box, there might be a little bit extra in there for cardboard, paper and a CD, but 95% of the cost is the cd key. This is the reason games cost almost as much on Steam as they do in regular stores. Jan 26, 2012 at 4:44
  • And thank you @agent86 for clearing that up, it makes perfect sense now why they do that. I know my brother wouldnt sabotage my account in any way, so that fine from that side. Thanks for all your help on the matter :)
    – Brian
    Jan 26, 2012 at 5:10
  • 2
    I cannot recommend trying to get a "cheap" cd-key via any of these means. Many of these are scams, and there's little to no buyer protection. On top of this, region locking can be a concern. You are highly likely to get burned if you don't purchase from an official source.
    – agent86
    Jan 26, 2012 at 16:04

You could create a back up file and than your brother could sign in and play in offline mode. However, with that he can only play alone.

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