Plenty of games offer local multiplayer options, but some of them lack the ability to play online with friends. A new feature coming from Steam is looking to amend that for PC gamers.

Steam is introducing a new feature called 'Remote Play Together' that will let players enjoy local co-op and multiplayer games online. The program is entering its beta phase on October 21st.

The new program was revealed to a select number of Steam users, including the developer of Hidden in Plain Sight, Adam Spragg. He shared the email he received online, which provides a bit more detail about what the service will entail. Surprisingly, Steam's feature will allegedly work with every local co-op, split-screen, and multiplayer title available on Steam, with no extra work required on the player's part.

Players will be able to invite friends to join them, presumably from Steam's friends list. The feature is designed for two or more players, though there's no clarification if there's a cap on how many can join a game. Gamers will likely be pleased to know that this service won't require friends who join to own the game. The game will be mirrored from the main player's screen, so owning multiple copies isn't necessary, which should save players a considerable amount of cash.

While some consoles have had similar offerings, this is a big deal for PC gamers. It eliminates the need to use a third-party program to produce the same effect. Game developers will likely be happy about it, too, as gamers may be more inclined to purchase local co-op games now that they will be able to play them with anyone, anywhere.

This latest innovation from Steam is likely one of Valve's latest efforts to retain - and perhaps, regain - users in the battle over PC gaming. Between Origin, Epic Games, and Steam alone, gamers have more options than ever for downloading and playing PC games. Until a day when the other PC gaming platforms offer a similar service, though, Steam may have just gained a bit of a boost over the competition.

Source: Reddit