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Steam Link is an app: You can play PC games in bed

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
This is worth its own thread, because the last couple times I've mentioned it, someone has been mind-blown.

You can play nearly any game via your phone or tablet. Games that work especially well are those that forgive lag, have straightforward mouse or controller controls (you can simulate either with touch controls, or you can pair a Bluetooth controller and play that way), and have fairly clean graphics (depends on your connection speed: FFXII worked decently but got pretty blurry when I moved the camera around).

Literally any game in your Steam library can be played via Steam Link, though, and it will open new worlds to you.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I used this to play Dicey Dungeons in bed, but then I forgot about it. It's pretty great! I definitely had a few bugs, which in some cases necessitated getting out of bed to fix, but that was a year ago and hopefully things have improved a bit since then.
 

Destil

DestilG
(he/him)
Staff member
Yeah, I already play too much Magic Arena and some of that is playing in bed.

it can be a little janky but my tablet can also chrome remote desktop into my PC to fix things, so that’s good.
 

Gaer

chat.exe a cessé de fonctionner
Staff member
Moderator
I need to get a wifi booster for that to work! Unless the devices don't have to be on the same network and I can use my phone's internet. The wifi is all the way on the other side of the flat, and I have a rather shitty signal in my bedroom where my comfortable bed is.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
You actually can use it over the phone as long as both devices have internet access, though you can also expect latency to go up if you do.

This means you can access your full Steam library on the go, although you'd find many games unplayable in practice.
 

Gaer

chat.exe a cessé de fonctionner
Staff member
Moderator
More latency than a shitty wifi signal on the same network would generate? Computer is hooked up via Ethernet so I may as well give it a shot. My phone's internet is LTE and is pretty fast.

I may as well give it a shot though!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
It's worth a try, and it's probably entirely bearable for turn-based games. Heavy latency is still a bother when you need to drag & drop frequently (e.g. Dicey Dungeons), since lag can interrupt that, but there are plenty of games that play fine anyway.
 

Gaer

chat.exe a cessé de fonctionner
Staff member
Moderator
Maybe I should solicit opinions about actual good wifi booster hardware in the computer thread...
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
I've used the Netgear EX3700 Wifi Range Extender for four years now quite happily. It can be used an Extender [repeats and boosts an existing wifi signal] and as an Access Point [plug your router into it with an RJ45 network cable to extend your network range.]

Netgear EX3700 manufacturer page
Amazon page for the EX3700

Keep in mind this is used in a pre-mesh network setup, so there might be newer and better options.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
You actually can use it over the phone as long as both devices have internet access, though you can also expect latency to go up if you do.

This means you can access your full Steam library on the go, although you'd find many games unplayable in practice.

How does this work? I tried to get it going on my tablet, but my PC doesn't have wi-fi capabilities, so the Steam Link app couldn't seem to find my PC running Steam. It seemed like I should've been able to get these things talking to each other since it's all through the same router, even if one's LAN and the other's wi-fi.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
I'm trying to think of a Steam game I would be okay with playing on my phone, and all I can think of is Florence, which I already have on my phone.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
There are some RPGs I could totally get away with playing on my phone, but that's about all I can think of.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
How does this work? I tried to get it going on my tablet, but my PC doesn't have wi-fi capabilities, so the Steam Link app couldn't seem to find my PC running Steam. It seemed like I should've been able to get these things talking to each other since it's all through the same router, even if one's LAN and the other's wi-fi.
You do need to be able to connect the two, and LAN and WAN don't have any native way to do that.

Here's a partial list of games I've played on Steam Link:
  • Into the Breach: I used direct mouse controls, which resulted in occasional misclicks. Touchpad would've fixed that but at the cost of being a less comfortable control scheme.
  • FFXII Zodiac Age: The graphics are often too intense for the stream to keep up with, which results in severe artifacting from time to time. Actual gameplay works just fine, though a physical controller is preferable to the touch controller. I was amazed that the game was playable by touch, though.
  • Civ 6: I haven't played much of this, but it seemed fine. Good fit for the platform, too.
  • Dicey Dungeons: As mentioned, the drag & drop makes the game hard to play when the connection is really bad, but that's fairly rare. It usually works just fine.
  • Monster Train: Works like a charm. You can't see tooltips easily with direct mouse, so it's best if you're already familiar with the game.
  • Zero Time Dilemma: Perfect, no complaints. This could be mistaken for a native app.
With a better connection, I'd feel confident playing a wider array of games, but I've been satisfied with everything I've tried so far.
 
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