Setting up Steam Link on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad

Martin Wilson

Jul 09, 2022

Steam Link, Valve's long-awaited iOS and Apple TV app, is now available in the App Store. We've only been able to utilize this feature for the past year on Android since Apple initially rejected it because its design allowed you to buy games from Steam without paying Apple's percentage.

But that's all in the past now. It's a terrific way to play your Mac or PC games on an iPhone or Apple TV with the relative flexibility and comfort of an iPhone or Apple TV—at least if you have a solid connection.

The Steam Link: How Does It Work?

The way Steam Link works is that it encrypts and sends a video feed from your PC to your mobile device. While your TV or mobile device merely needs to generate a visual and audio signal, your gaming machine does the heavy lifting. You don't even have to pay to utilize Steam Link if you don't have access to the games you wish to play through the Steam platform.

Connecting a Controller under Apple's tvOS

Apple's tvOS and iOS systems only support a limited number of controllers, unlike Android, which supports a wide range of devices. Nintendo's Switch Pro controller is not included in this list of popular console controllers and MFi gamepads. The DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers may be used directly in Steam Link if your Apple TV runs tvOS 13 or above. You'll need tvOS 14.5 to use the DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers. On a previous version of TvOS, the only controllers that function are the Steam Controller and MFi controllers, both of which are certified by Apple.

How To Setup and Run Steam Link

As soon as your controller is connected, head to the Apple TV App Store and download the Steam Link app. Check if the host computer and Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. You may be asked to connect a controller via the app. You may skip this step because we've already done it. Next, the software will begin scanning your network for computers. It will be a few seconds before your computer appears on the screen.

Do a Rescan to see if it fixes the problem. To manually connect if the auto-detection fails, click on Other Computer. Please pick your host PC from the drop-down menu if you need to proceed. Entering a four-digit PIN on your computer will then appear on the screen. For security reasons, this will prohibit anyone from accessing your computer.

On your PC, a pop-up window should appear at the same time. To complete the pairing, you must enter the PIN code. The software will next perform a series of tests to evaluate your network's overall quality and speed. Steam Link will choose the game stream's resolution and frame rate based on these two parameters. However, if you wish, you may modify this later on.

Boosting Your Steam Link Experience

Your home network is likely the most significant bottleneck when using any game streaming service. Steam Link uses a lot of network traffic since it gets a compressed visual stream from your game. Using an Ethernet connection to connect your PC and router directly may provide the most excellent Steam Link performance. You can even use a connected connection to connect the Apple TV.

Wi-Fi is possible if your router is located distant from your PC and your Apple TV. Consult the manufacturer's website if you're unsure if your router has this capability. A Powerline adaptor, which uses your home's power lines to transmit data, is another viable alternative.

This method works well even across great distances. This implies that Powerline may be used to expand your home network's coverage to places without Ethernet or Wi-Fi. It's a good option if you can't put network cables throughout your home or are renting.

Locked to Home Networks

To use Steam Link, your host PC must have at least a four-core processor, according to Valve. The firm specifies no further hardware requirements. Your PC, however, should be able to stream at an appropriate quality and frame rate, regardless of whether or not you're using an external device. In addition to a wired or wireless connection, your host PC needs to be connected to the Internet.

Home networks don't have an abundance of ethernet wires, so this is your best bet. The same is valid for client PCs, as well. Finally, in June of this year, Valve added new features to Steam's streaming component. You can stream your PC library from anywhere as long as the host is connected to the Internet and the host and client are paired. The network connection is much more critical if you wish to stream games via a cellular connection.

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