Recently Steam launched a service called Remote Play Together, which lets you play local multiplayer games with your friends online (your friend does not have to own the game, the game is streamed to your friend). I’ve been enjoying it, with both native games and non-native (Proton) games. However, you can only play selected titles from Steam… Except if you are on GNU/Linux!
You can trick Steam to execute any software with a simple trick, so you can play non-Steam cooperative games. Even with emulators! You can finally play Mario Party with friends from anywhere!
Let me explain it. Steam lets you define launch parameters for games. With this option, you can replace the actual game with any software you want. The only restriction is that you need to apply this to games included in Remote Play Together. For example, Battle Block Theather, or Factorio.
For doing so, right-click the game on Steam and select “properties” and now click on “set launch options” and paste the following:
/path/to/your/game with whatever you want to launch. For example, with lutris;
The next time we click “Play” on Steam, Lutris will show up instead of the game. And that’s it! Really. You can now invite your friends to Remote Play with you, and play together. They will see your Lutris Interface and any game you open with it. I’ve tried it with native and wine games (I tested Rayman Origins from Uplay with success!) and also emulators, but…
One Last Thing
For Steam Remote Play Together to work properly, Steam needs to be aware that you are running a game. Otherwise it will keep Streaming the Lutris interface (or nothing at all) and not sharing your friends’ controllers
In my tests, I tried playing cooperative Wii games with a friend using this system. However, everytime I opened Dolphin emulator with Lutris, it wasn’t streamed back to my friend. The solution? Configuring the Runner Options and selecting “No GUI”. After that, Steam recognizes the game, the streaming works, and the controllers are detected. Probably other games/emulators will need quirks like this, be aware of it!
That’s all, I hope I explained myself well enough. Happy gaming!