The best PC games ever The best PC games of 2018 so far Best graphics cards 2018 Best free games Rainbow Six Siege operators guide

69

Have You Played... (with a) Steam Link?

Use a cable not wifi, I beg you

Featured post

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Despite not having previously felt as thought I needed one, I picked a Steam Link dirt-cheap in the sales, more out of curiosity than anything else. It’s pretty good – unless you try to use it over WiFi.

I can only presume you know what a Steam Link is already, but just in case: it’s a small (about 6×4″) box that plugs into your telly and can stream games from your PC to said telly – i.e. for those situations where a really long HDMI cable just isn’t viable. Some PC games require a keyboard, mouse and hunched posture. Some PC games are better suited to sitting back on a sofa and looking at a big screen.

I guess this is going to be more a piece of advice than a set of opinions. If you’re at all interested in a Steam Link, or Steam Home Streaming in general, be aware that you will almost certainly experience poor results if you try and play it over a wireless connection. What’s happening is that your PC is turning the game into a video stream on the fly, and as such it transmitting vast amounts of data constantly. You need a super-fast connection for that, and right now only a hard-wired ethernet cable can achieve that.

Use a cable and the experience is so much better – a infinitely crisper picture, less lag, almost no sudden spikes or collapse into a mess of smeary shapes. And the Steam Link provides a mostly elegant Steam Big Picture UI for it too. When it works, it feels as though in-home streaming is a solved problem. When it doesn’t work, which is usually over wifi, it feels as though we’re light-years away from getting it right.

These things are ace, but use a cable. Even if it means drilling. Trust me.

Tagged with , , , , .

If you click our links to online stores and make a purchase we may receive a few pennies. Find more information here.

Who am I?

Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

More by me

Support RPS and get an ad-free site, extra articles, and free stuff! Tell me more

Comments

Comments are now closed. Go have a lie down, Internet.

Please enable Javascript to view comments.

Latest videos