Remote Play: How to Stream Games from Your PC to the Steam Deck

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The steam bridge is a great device for gaming pc games away from your current PC. It’s not the most portable handheld around (due to its size), but it connects seamlessly to your Steam profile and lets you download games locally.

However, sometimes you’ll want to stream games directly from your PC, eliminating much of the power of the Deck from the equation. Luckily, it’s an easy thing to set up. All you need is a stable internet connection and you can start streaming.


Why stream games to your Steam Deck?

(Credit: Carli Velocci)

With the launch of the Steam Deck, gamers now have a portable gaming solution for PC games. Still, Steam’s Remote Play feature allows you to stream games from your computer to your Deck in the same way as steam link lets you play games on your phone. But why would you need to stream games to a console when you can just play locally?

If you have a powerful PC, you can use Remote Play to take advantage of your rig’s processing power. A game streamed to the Steam Deck will leverage your PC’s specs instead of the more limited handheld hardware. So, depending on the game, you might get a more robust experience. This can be especially useful for the more demanding AAA games in your library.

Games must be compatible with the Steam Deck before they can be played. The valve has checked many games to make sure they are working properly. However, Remote Play can also help with your experience with smaller indies that haven’t been optimized for the Deck, as the game will technically run on your PC.

Streaming can also bypass local storage, saving you disk space. No matter how big your Steam Deck is (the highest-end model comes with 512GB), it can fill up quickly. You can always expand storage with a microSD card, but using Remote Play is an easy alternative.

Remote Play even lets you use the Steam Deck as a controller. Sit in front of your PC while Remote Play is running and mute the sound coming from the Steam Deck. This will give you a somewhat bulky but excellent controller.


What games work with Remote Play?

If you purchased a game on Steam and it’s available in your library, you can run it through Remote Play. However, the proper functioning of your Steam games will depend on how well they are optimized for functionality.

You can easily check this by looking on the game’s store page and seeing if it has remote play capabilities listed on the right side (though you can’t see it on the Steam Deck). Steam also has a page for Remote Play Compatible Games(Opens in a new window). If a game is Deck Verified, it will probably work fine via Remote Play.

For all games downloaded from other storefronts, remote play may be feasible. However, these games require a lot more configuration.


How to Stream Games on Steam Deck

advanced host options

(Credit: Carli Velocci)

Once you’ve picked a game to play, it’s easy to get everything set up and running. For the best experience, you can also make a small adjustment. Open the Steam client on your PC and select Settings > Remote Play > Advanced Host Options. Check Change desktop resolution to match streaming client to help your PC consume less power by automatically adapting the maximum resolution of the Steam Deck. Then hit OKAY.

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We are now ready to broadcast. Make sure that Steam is running on your PC and the game you want to stream is installed on your computer. Your PC and your Deck must also be connected to the same wireless network. Open your Steam library on your Deck and navigate to the game you want to stream.

select pc for streaming

(Credit: Carli Velocci)

Tap the arrow next to the big Install button and a pop-up window will appear. Select the name of your PC (in my case it’s MagnaCarter-PC) and press A. The button will now say Flow. Tap it and Remote Play will start working its magic.

You’ll know everything is working if an instance of the game launches on both your PC and Steam Deck. Your PC mirrors everything you do on your Steam Deck.

flow game

(Credit: Carli Velocci)

If you’re having trouble getting it to work, check your internet connection. Both devices must use the same. Otherwise, the old thing of turning it off and on again helps in a pinch.

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