Can I play games on a workstation laptop?

Stream high-end games to weak PCs

Friedrich Stiemer

Steam In-Home-Streaming enables you to stream games over your home network to low-powered PCs - and that is also quite simple!

EnlargeSteam streams your games to any computer in your home network.

You need this program:Steam Client, free, for Windows XP, Vista, 7

Sometimes it's just more comfortable to sit on the soft couch, pick up a gamepad and play on the large flat-screen TV - a benefit for game console owners. If you don't want a console, you might want to build a second, often smaller gaming PC to play around in the living room. But this option is associated with high costs. And pulling an HDMI cable several meters long through your own four walls is also only an emergency solution.

But with the free in-home streaming function of the Steam game platform, all users can now stream games in their home network to other computers. The special thing about it is that the receiving PC does not have to be an upgraded gaming machine - even a mini PC, ultrabook or office computer is sufficient. And in the times of game consoles porting to the PC, some titles can be played better with a controller anyway.

Easy to set up and use: No expert knowledge, port activation or other complex steps are required to set up in-home streaming. It is only important that both computers are in the same network, whereby it does not even matter whether, for example, the gaming PC is connected to the network via cable and the receiving PC via WLAN. However, we recommend connecting both devices with a network cable, because this way you can largely avoid frame rate drops and high latencies in advance.

The second requirement is that you have installed Steam on both computers and logged in with your account. Now switch to your Steam game library on the client (i.e. the receiving PC): There the actual “Play” logo has now given way to “Stream” - of course, there is no need to install the game on the client. With one click you start the stream and you can happily start paddling off. Of course, the games can also be installed on the receiving PC, for this you just have to click on the small arrow next to it and select the appropriate entry.

In principle, you don't need any more. Steam recommends that the client PC should at least have hardware accelerated H264 decoding. Current ultrabooks or PCs already support this technology. You can also use “Steam> Settings> In-Home Streaming” to regulate the performance in levels such as “Fast” and “Balanced”.

By the way: games that you did not buy on Steam can also be streamed. To do this, select the option "Add game" at the bottom left in Steam and then "Add non-Steam game" from the selection window. Then select the appropriate game from the list below.