It only took a year, but Valve’s Steam Link app has finally arrived on the App Store for both iOS devices and Apple TV. Apple originally rejected it in part because its design let you buy games through Steam without letting Apple gets its cut, and so only our friends on Android devices have been able to enjoy the feature for the past months. But now all that’s behind us.
Now that Steam Link is here, it’s a great way to enjoy playing your Mac or PC games with the relative freedom and comfort of an iPhone or Apple TV at least if you have a strong connection. We’ll start by telling you what you’ll need before you hop into a game, and then we’ll walk you through the steps of setting it up. We'll also help with some troubleshooting. This has been a long time coming, so let’s not waste any more time.
Valve says you’ll get the most out of the Steam Link app if your host computer is connected to an ethernet cable and a 5GHz Wi-Fi router although we find that a 6GHz router is preferable. Your Apple TV or iOS device also needs to be on that same 5GHz network. You’ll also have better results if you keep your iOS or Apple TV device close to the router.
Again, you'll need a strong connection if you expect Steam Link to work even remotely like it's supposed to. And even at its best, Steam Link gaming isn’t all that hot for games that require fast, twitchy reaction times, such as first-person shooters. Unless you have a something similar, it’s currently best suited to slower-paced games that won’t be badly affected by the inevitable delays.
The focus here is on the iOS version, but the steps are roughly the same for the Apple TV. You just have to search for the Steam Link app on the tvOS App Store yourself.
Turn on your Mac or PC and open Steam, and make sure both the iOS device (or Apple TV) and the host computer are on the same network.
Download the Steam Link app to your iPhone and open it. Here’s the link for iOS, but on those, you’ll have to navigate to it through the Apple TV App Store.
Once the app is open, press the big blue Get Started button. The Steam Link app will then search for computers on the same network.
A menu to Pair Controller will pop up. If you have a Steam Controller, go ahead and connect it, and Steam Link will immediately go to the next step. If you’ve already connected a gamepad, Steam Link will skip this step. You can use touch controls on iOS, but they’re unwieldy and you will need a controller on Apple TV. If you want to live dangerously on the iPhone, though, press Use touch control and Steam Link will advance to the next step.
Press the name of the computer that you want to use as a host from the list.
You’ll then see a PIN number pop up in the Steam Link app on your iOS device or Apple TV.
On your host computer, you should also see a popup from Steam titled Authorize Device. Enter the PIN number from your iOS device in this prompt. Press OK
The Steam Link app on your iOS device will then test your connection and tell you the kinds of streaming speeds you can expect. Press OK when it finishes.
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