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(Pocket-lint) – There are several ways to play PC games at home, the most obvious being playing on your own computer. But sometimes you want to get away from your computer and play somewhere else, whether it’s in bed, on the couch, in the bathroom, or in another room at home.
The good news is that there are several solutions. If you’re looking for something portable, Valve’s Steam Deck is an obvious choice, but it doesn’t have to be.
But what are the other options? We’re here to help you figure it out.
Your home network
Before you get started, you need to make sure you have a fast and stable Wi-Fi at home.
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A fast broadband connection can go a long way if you use cloud-based game streaming services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, or Google Stadia. But if you plan on streaming games locally, your experience will be much better with a strong signal around your home.
Ethernet cables will provide a solid connection, but a combination of Wi-Fi 6, a great Wi-Fi router, or a Mesh Wi-Fi network will really help.
Stream your games from Steam
If you’re a PC gamer, chances are you already have a good collection of Steam games. If so, you’re off to a great start as Steam makes it much easier to stream your games locally to all sorts of devices, including your Google Chromebook.
Steam allows you to stream your games through the Steam Link service. Steam Link is an app you can download and install on all your devices, from Apple iPhone to Android phones and tablets, Raspberry Pi, Apple TV and more.
Of course, if you have Steam Link, you can also stream games from your gaming PC to your portable console.
Thanks to the Steam Link, you can play all the games in your Steam library. The quality of your experience depends solely on your Wi-Fi connection and the power of your gaming PC.
How to use steam link
Steam Link is surprisingly easy to set up. First, you need to make sure your gaming PC is running the latest version of Steam.
Then navigate to the device you want to play on, then download and install the Steam Link app:
One thing to note here is that Steam recommends using a 5GHz connection or a wired Ethernet connection for best results.
Many Bluetooth gamepads are Steam Link compatible, which means you can still use the controller while playing on your phone, tablet, or other device, but some games are also optimized for touch.
If you’re not sure which games will work, the good news is that you can apply a filter to the Steam store that shows which games work with controllers and Remote Play.
Once the app is downloaded, launch it and you’ll find a few easy steps to connect to your gaming PC. The app will automatically scan your Wi-Fi network to find the PC running Steam. So make sure the device you are using is connected to the same network as your computer.
Once the device is found, click to connect to it, and you will see a code on the screen that you need to enter on the Steam PC in order to pair the two devices. This should happen automatically when a pop-up window appears on your PC. If not, go to Steam, click on your settings and find the “Remote Play” section. From here, you can click to connect a Steam Link device, disconnect devices, set a passcode, and more.
The security code is useful if you are setting up Steam Link on a device that is shared with the rest of the family. Basically, it’s a PIN that needs to be entered every time someone uses the Steam Link. So it’s the perfect way to stop your kids from playing games remotely that they shouldn’t be using.
Once everything is done, hit the play button on the app and it will launch Big Picture mode on your PC and also allow you to select and launch a game. All you have to do is jump in and play. It is so simple.
Stream games to another Windows PC
If you have a laptop or other Windows machine at home that isn’t as powerful as your main gaming machine, but you still want to use it, it’s possible.
Steam makes it easy for gamers to stream games to different Windows devices. All you have to do is download and install Steam on another computer. After logging in, you will be able to play any game from your library.
To do this, click on your game library and find the game you want to play, then click the down arrow where the play button is usually located (next to “Install”). From there, you’ll find the option to stream the game from your main gaming PC.
The advantage of this option is that you don’t have to install the game on a second machine, but you can still use the power of your main machine.
Written by Adrian Willings.