(Pocket-lint) – There are various ways to play PC games in your home, the most obvious being from your own gaming PC. Sometimes, however, you just want to step away from your gaming rig and play elsewhere, whether in bed, on the sofa, in the bathroom or in any other room in your home.
The good news is that there are a few solutions. If you’re looking for something portable, Valve’s Steam Deck is an obvious choice, but it’s not necessarily a requirement.
What are the other options? We are here to help you solve this problem.
Your home network
Before you start, you need to make sure you have a fast and stable home Wi-Fi network.
A fast broadband connection can make a big difference if you’re using cloud-based game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, or Google Stadia. But if you plan to stream games locally, your experience will be much better with a strong signal around your home.
Ethernet cables will give you 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 already off to a good start because Steam makes it remarkably easy to stream your games locally to all sorts of devices, including your Google Chromebook.
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Steam lets you stream games through a service called Steam link. Steam Link is an app you can download and install on everything from your Apple iPhone to Android phones and tablets, Raspberry Pi, Apple TV and more.
Obviously, if you have Steam Deck, you can also stream games from your gaming PC to your portable console.
By using Steam Link, all games in your Steam library can be played. The quality of your experience depends solely on your Wi-Fi connection and the power of your gaming PC.
How to use the Steam link
Steam Link is remarkably easy to set up. First, you need to make sure that you have the latest version of Steam installed on your gaming PC.
Then go to the device you want to play on, and download and install the Steam Link app:
It should be noted here that Steam recommends using a 5GHz or wired Ethernet connection for best results.
Many Bluetooth game controllers are Steam Link compatible, which means you can still use a controller while playing on your phone, tablet or other device, but some games are also optimized for touch controls.
Once the app is downloaded, launch it and you will find a few simple 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 that the device you are using is connected to the same network as your PC.
Once found, click to connect to it and a pin will appear on the screen which will need to be entered on your Steam PC in order to pair the two devices. This should happen automatically with a pop-up appearing on your PC. If not, head over to Steam, click on your settings, and look for the “Remote Play” section. From here, you can click to pair a Steam Link device, unpair devices, set a passcode, and more.
The security code part here is useful if you are setting up Steam Link on a device shared with the rest of the family. It’s basically a PIN that needs to be entered every time someone uses Steam Link, so it’s a perfect way to stop your kids playing games remotely that they shouldn’t be able to. .
Once all of this is done, tap play on the app and it will launch the Big Picture mode on your PC and let you choose and launch the game as well. Then you can just hop on and play. It really is that simple.
Stream Games to Another Windows Machine
If you have a laptop or other Windows machine around the house that isn’t as powerful as your main gaming rig, but you still want to use it, you can do that too.
Steam makes it easy for gamers to stream games to different Windows devices. All you have to do is download and install Steam on your other machine as well. When you do this, once you are logged in, you will then be able to play any game in your library from there.
To do this, click on your game library and find the game you want to play, then click on the down arrow where you would normally see the play button (next to “Install”). From there, you’ll find the option to stream the game from your primary gaming machine.
The good thing about this is that you don’t need to install the game on the second machine, but you can still fully utilize the power of your primary rig.
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Written by Adrian Willings.