Steam's nifty feature that lets you play local co-op games online with your friends is getting even niftier. In Steam's beta client, Remote Play Together can now be used to invite anyone to play games with you, even if they don't have a Steam account - all they'll need to do is install an app.
Launched back in 2019, Remote Play Together is a feature that allows users to play local co-op games online with others who don't own the game. I've used it myself a few times to play stuff like Moving Out and it works pretty well, as long as the person hosting has good enough internet (it works by essentially streaming the game to your pals).
To use the feature with a friend or family member without Steam, you'll need to use Steam's beta branch (which you can get on by toggling the "beta participation" section in your account settings). Once you're in, open up a game that supports Remote Play Together and grab an invite link from your friends list on the Steam overlay. Send that link to whoever you want to play with (on Window, iOS, Android or Raspberry Pi) and they'll be prompted to download the Steam Link app.
From the sounds of Valve's explainer, after they have it downloaded, opening the app should quickly connect them to you and your game. If they have regular Steam installed, that would be used to join the game instead.
It sounds pretty neat, especially if you want to play something with a friend or family member who's not so tech-savvy (hi dad). The only downside is that you can only have one player join without an account via the link, so any others that you want in that session will need to be invited through Steam.
Elsewhere in the world of Steam, Valve are trying to encourage developers to care more about controllers. Lots of people play Steam games with controllers (hello), and one of the things Valve are suggesting is more use of the PlayStation button icons, so players using those controllers don't have to try and understand Xbox inputs all the time.