Broadcast video your games over the internet with Steam’s new Beta update

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It’s now possible to watch your Steam friends playing their games and have them watch you play yours, thanks to a new Broadcasting feature added to Steam’s beta programme.

It’s very similar to the in-home streaming feature Steam rolled out earlier this year that broadcasts game video across your home network, except this time it’s done with friends across the internet.

Fortunately there are a handful of tweakable options that let you set the resolution of the broadcast, who can watch your games and the maximum bit rate (the size of the data generated by the video stream). That lets you maintain control over your internet connection and bandwidth use, as well as your privacy.

Steam Broadcast Settings

We tested it out here in the office, and while it worked we had to set the broadcast resolution and bitrate to their lowest levels. Even then the stream wasn’t very smooth, but then it was the middle of a work day and we weren’t the only ones using the line, so your results on a less-congested connection will probably be better.

To take advantage of this new feature, both you and your viewer need to be opted into Steam’s beta programme. This can be done by accessing the Steam Beta Update section of the Account heading, clicking Change and choosing Steam Beta Update from the drop-down menu.

The client will close and re-launch itself, and once that’s done you’ll have the option to invite friends to watch a video stream once you’ve started a game.

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Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.