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Although mobile games are not bad, PC games must be recognized to move to another league. We could say that games for mobile phones and tablets are more aimed at casual gamers. In contrast, gamers opt for more niche environments, more specialized (with more power and technology behind them). Have you ever dreamed of the day when we can stick some good flaws with our favorite Steam games directly on the mobile or in the TV Box in the living room? Today this is already possible thanks to Steam Link.
Steam Link was born in November 2015 as a hardware device intended to bring valve platform games to any TV screen wirelessly. However, the device was not very successful and was discontinued in 2018 to follow up on the version of Steam Link in app format for mobile devices.
How to Play PC Games on Android with Steam Link
Gaming is no longer limited to PCs or consoles. The digital landscape has changed and Steam, the largest PC gaming platform in the world, is not only dated in its approach but no longer reflects how the same people play games today.
The dynamics of Steam Link are pretty straightforward. On the one hand, we have a computer responsible for running the games and putting the processing power on the table. On the other hand, the Android device has to do is synchronize with the PC and receive all that information via wifi. In this way, the mobile or tablet in question has to make sure that it has a gamepad configured and a good Internet connection to support the transmission and that everything goes smoothly (in theory).
To start playing our Steam games on mobile, we must first meet these requirements.
- Have Steam installed on your computer (download HERE).
- Install the Steam Link app on your Android device (download on Google Play HERE).
- Have a Bluetooth gamepad compatible with Android.
- Have a good Internet connection.
As part of the initial preparations, we have to make sure we have Steam open on the PC and a wireless controller connected to the mobile or tablet from where we will play. Likewise, both the Android terminal and the desktop computer must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
How to Play PC Games on Android with Steam Link: Step-by-step configuration
To play Steam games on your Android phone, the first step is to install some required applications on your PC. We’ll outline some of them below.
- The first step would be to open up the Steam client on your computer. Then, click “Steam Settings.”
- Users on the Steam platform should first go to Settings. Within Settings, users can find Remote Play by clicking on it.
- Ensure that the Remote Play box is checked. Then click OK to confirm.
- Connect your controller: While most games require a keyboard and mouse, there are some Android titles that can be played without a controller. The good news is that almost all gamepads are compatible with Android devices and the Steam Link App for Android so you’ll have no issues playing your favorite games.
Now that we have all the cards on the table, we open the Steam Link app on Android and follow the following steps to synchronize both devices.
- On the first screen, click on the “Start” button so that the system searches for other networked devices that have Steam installed.
- If everything has gone well (remember that both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network) we will see how our PC appears on the screen. Click on it.
- We write down the PIN that appears on the screen of our Android. Automatically, we will see how in the Steam desktop application on our computer a message appears where we enter the PIN that we have just annotated. We enter the PIN so that the synchronization is carried out.
- At this point, Steam Link will perform a connection test on Android to confirm that there is enough bandwidth to stream the games.
- If everything has gone well, both devices will be synchronized and the Android screen will show the Steam interface in real time. Thus, using the gamepad that we have just paired, we can go to our Steam library and load any of the games we have at our disposal.
The concept of Steam Link on paper is just great. But when it comes to playing, everything that glitters is not gold. After testing several games, we have realized that some are not compatible with a gamepad, so we will also need a keyboard and a mouse to enjoy specific titles because if not, the game does not load.
But this is not the biggest problem. The big obstacle of this tool is lag. A delay in controls and frame breaks make some titles simply unplayable. It is necessary to have a compelling connection to support such data traffic. And if we plan to play triple-A games, we better have the TV Box connected by cable to the network or be glued to the router because if not, there will not be much we can do.
For the rest, if we opt for indie games and titles in which mechanics prevail more than graphics, we may find ourselves with much more enjoyable experiences. Being able to try specific PC titles on the TV screen in the living room is a joy, and the process of synchronizing the app is simple to the point of not being able to. No doubt Valve has developed an exciting platform, but we may still be a couple of years away from being able to take advantage of 100% of the benefits of this type of service. In any case, an essential app that anyone who has an Android TV should try at least once (and see if it is worth it).