Steam “Remote Play Together” – usage details (sound, controllers, games)

Remote play gaming with friends on Steam
How do I remote play with friends on Steam?

Steam has for some time now offered the possibility of inviting a friend to a Local COOP session via the Internet (called “Remote Play Together”). This is done by using your own computer both as host for your own game (started via Steam) and at the same time for the calculations for the invited friend to join the game. (Here is the link to the website and support of Remote Play Together.)

Steam co op remote play together.
Steam co op remote play together.

The info pages of Steam/Valve or the reports of various websites about “Remote Play Together” only address RPT superficially and sometimes not at all, I would like to explain in more detail in the following.  (I have collected my information from various places/websites/forums and tried them out myself. When I talk about “controller” in the following, I mean “gamepad” (in my case the XBOX 360 controller). In the following I have abbreviated “Remote Play Together” as ‘RPT‘.

Which games support Remote Play Together / Where can I look it up?

The ‘RPT’ function is only usable if the respective developer has integrated it into his game. There are three ways
(as a player) to find out which games support RPT:

  1. Based on the Steam info page, various games are mentioned which support the ‘RPT’ function.
  2. The Steam Store page of each game will tell you if that game supports the ‘RPT’ feature.
  3. (Only useful for already purchased games; Also my preferred method: ) You create a dynamic tag in your library and select “Remote Play Together” as filter.

The sound problem with the client (i.e. the invited player)

First of all you have to consider that, in contrast to the misleading statements on the info page of the Steam-Launcher (about ‘RPT’), the game sound can only be transmitted in stereo format via the stream. (See the support page) This means that if the host (i.e. the person inviting to the game) has selected the 5.1 format in the sound output settings, the client (i.e. the invited player) will only receive stereo sound.

Secondly, the following sound settings must be taken into account so that the client can generally also receive game sound:

  • Under Sound Settings in the Operating System > Sound Output > Extended: 16 Bit at 48000 Hz (1 KHz are also possible for some games. Some titles will probably work with 24Bit.
  • Since some games have problems with the output of 6-channel sound (from the host, in connection with ‘RPT’), the 2-channel/stereo sound should be set on the host – in the operating system or in the audio tool.

Remote Play Together: Controller Usage and Support

Playing via/with the use of ‘RPT’ runson only one computer (namely the one of the game starter/inviting player), the following things have to be considered:

  • On the computer there is only the assignment for one keyboard+mouse and possibly (depending on the game) for several controllers.
  • From the point of view of Steam/’RPT’, the following results can be seen: If the host plays with M+T, the client can only play with controller. If at the same time the host has released its M+T (which is what the ‘RPT’ dialog box allows you to set from the start of the stream), the client will be able to interact with the game via its M+T, but it will interfere with the host’s control.
  • To play as a host with the controller, you must set Steam to Big Picture Mode before you start the game and invite your friend/co-player to ‘RPT’. In this case, ‘RPT’ will assign the M+T control to the other player by default. However, there are also exceptions in games where the recognition of multiple controllers has been implemented and the controller can then be recognized/interpreted as a controller in the normal way.

The following scenarios arise:

Scenario Host/creator then uses… Client/co-player then uses…
(1.) Game start/invite from Steam (normal) M+T control Controller control
(additionally the M+T control of the host can be shared)
(2.) Game start/invite from Steam (Big Picture Mode) Controller control Variant a); The M+T control of the host is shared:
M+T control Variant b); M+T control of the host are NOT shared:
Interaction via controller, but interpreted as M+T control (*)*In games, with detection of multiple controllers at Local COOP, the controller can be detected as a controller by the game. (From the point of view of ‘RPT’, the client is nevertheless only assigned M+T control).


RPT’ for single player games and problematic games

Since ‘RPT’ uses the local COOP mode of a game, the question arises, how to play together in single player games (or in pure multiplayer mode). –>I have no answer to this question yet. For example, Jedi Knight Academy or Star Wars Republic Commando support ‘RPT’. But only offer a pure singleplayer and pure multiplayer mode.

Other games, like Redout, don’t make it easy in other respects: For an incomprehensible reason, the connection to the client/player is somewhat unstable during Redout. And although the M+T control of the host was released, the client/player could not access it.

Unsolicited Voice Chat

When starting ‘RPT’, there is usually an unsolicited start of the voice chat. This can be stopped (and sometimes it stops by itself), but unfortunately it cannot be prevented by the steam settings.

In addition, voice chat often does not end in Big Picture Mode. I suspect that the voice chat (in combination with ‘RPT’) from the Big Picture Mode is bugged.

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