It should be easy, but unlocking the feature to add a friend on Steam requires one of two things. The first one is spending money on Steam; the second one is having another person add you as a friend.
New Steam users have “limited” accounts. Users who haven’t spent any money on the platform also have “limited” accounts. By that, I mean some features are missing, such as the ability to add a friend on Steam.
This doesn’t affect the Family Library Sharing feature on Steam. You share your library of games with new and limited users via this feature. As such, we’re covering how to add a friend to Steam Family Sharing as well.
What Do I Need to Add a Friend on Steam?You can only add friends on Steam after spending $5 on the Steam store (at least). Otherwise, Steam limits the feature. Alternatively, you can also add friends if someone else first adds you to their Friends list. Steam offers a unique system to do just that.
How to Add a Friend on Steam?
There’re three ways to add a friend on Steam:
- By Quick Invite Link
- By code
- By username
However, the platform offers a single option to add “limited” users, the Quick Invite link.
Add a Friend on Steam by Quick Invite Link:
New users, users without friends, or users who haven’t spent money on Steam have limited accounts. Use the custom link method to add them as friends.
- Go to the “Friends” menu
Go to your username at the middle top, and click on “Friends.”
- Click on “Add a Friend”
On the “Friends” menu, click on “Add a Friend.“
- Copy your custom link:
Copy your custom user link, and send it to the person you want to add by email, WhatsApp (web), or similar.
- Let the other person know
The other person has to open the link from their PC and click on “Add as Friend.”
This process unlocks the feature to add friends on Steam. Therefore, it bypasses the need to add funds to unlock the feature.
Add a Friend on Steam by Username:
The more classical option requires you to know the person’s username.
- Search for your friend
Go back to the Friends menu. Then, scroll down the page until you see the search bar. Here, type your friend’s username and press enter.
- Select your friend
Finally, click on “Add as Friend” when you find the user you’re searching for.
Add a Friend on Steam by Code:
Lastly, there’s the code option if you can’t find the username.
- Copy your code, or make your friend copy his code
First, go back to your Friends menu. Then, copy the code and send it to the other person. Alternatively, your friend could copy his code and send it to you.
- Enter your friend’s code, or make your friend enter your code
Similarly, enter your friend’s code on the “Enter” bar. Alternatively, your friend could copy his code and send it to you. Click “Send Invite” to finish the process.
Why Can’t I Add Friends on Steam?
If you don’t fulfill one of these two requisites, the “Add a Friend” feature won’t be available on your account. For example, if you’ve only played free games, you won’t be able to add a friend.
Similarly, if you’re trying to find the username of a “limited” account, you won’t find it. The only way is by using the Quick Invite link.
How to Add Friends on Steam Without Buying a Game?
If you haven’t spent at least $5 on Steam, your account is “limited.” Limited users can’t add friends on their own.
In other words, if you’re a new user, your Steam account does not meet the requirements to add friends. However, users with non-limited accounts can send you a friend request.
The only way is through the Quick Invite Link. By adding someone else as a friend through this method, you’ll unlock the community feature as well.
After you accept someone else’s Quick Invite link as a limited user, your account ceases to be limited.
- Tell a Steam friend to send you a Quick Invite link
Tell a Steam friend to visit his Friends menu, copy his Quick Invite link, and send it to you via email.
- Log in to Steam on your web browser
Visit the Steam Store site and log in.
- Click the link on your email inbox
Check your email’s inbox for the Quick Invite link, and click on it.
- Add the friend
The link allows you to add that person as a friend. Press the “Add as friend” option.
- Enjoy your community feature
After you complete the process, Steam will unlock the feature to add other friends. For example, the photo above showcases a new account with the Add a Friend functionality.
How to Add a Friend to Steam Family Sharing?
There’re two ways you can share Steam games with your friends. The first one is to buy a game as a gift. The second one is by the Steam Family Library sharing feature.
These users don’t need to be on your Friends list. Instead, users need to log onto the app, on the same PC, to enable the feature.
The Steam Family Library Sharing allows users to play one another’s games, share Steam achievements, and save games on the Steam Cloud.
In other words, you can play the games from a close friend or family member (or vice-versa), as long as they authorize you as part of the Steam Family Library Sharing.
However, only one user can play a game simultaneously, and Steam will always prioritize the original owner.
Moreover, not all games are available through Family sharing. For example, MMOs are often not ready for sharing within these groups. Lastly, other users can’t access the shared library offline.
Here’s the official FAQ for all related questions. For all else, here’re the instructions on how to enable:
- Go to your Steam’s settings
Open the Steam app and click on Steam at the left upper corner. Then, click on Settings.
- Authorize Sharing
Go to the Family tab, and check the “Authorize Library sharing” box.
- Authorize the accounts
Below the check box, you’ll see a list of all of the accounts that have log-in into your computer. You can check the box of the accounts you want to include into your Family Sharing group.
Sharing games as part of the Family Library Sharing means logging various Steam accounts into the same app, on your PC, and authorizing them.
So, if you don’t live with the person you’re willing to share your games with, you’d need his account credentials. Rather than his username, you’d want his account name and password so you can log in with your computer.
- Manage the feature
Click on Manage Computers in the same panel.
Here, you´ll see the list of computers using your credentials and other accounts using your library. You can revoke the permissions at any time.
Where Do I Find My Friend Requests?
Your friend requests are in the inbox at the upper right of the Steam app. It has a green envelope icon.
Can I Gift a Game to a New User?
To gift a game to someone, you’d have to add them as a friend first. You can do that using the Quick Invite link.
Can New Users Receive a Game as a Gift?
New users can receive games as a gift. They can also receive it via steam gift-card.
What’s the Difference Between Steam Username and Steam User Account Name?
The username is what others see and find you. Often, the user name is the email you used to open the account without the “@.”
Then, the account name is your private credential, something you use to log in alongside your password. It is a secret.