person holding white samsung android smartphone

Playing Steam games on your phone is now possible without the need for a PC. This can be done using the Steam Link app, which enables you to stream games from the Steam library directly to your iOS or Android device. The app uses cloud services to run the games on remote servers, allowing your phone to display the games in real time. For a more comfortable experience, players can connect a compatible game controller to their phone, which can be far more responsive than using touchscreen controls.

To get started, you need to download the Steam Link app and connect your phone to a stable high-speed Wi-Fi network. Once the app is installed, you can sign in with your Steam account and pair a controller for better gameplay. Steam’s Remote Play feature also comes into play, allowing games to be streamed to various devices, not just phones, giving gamers the flexibility to play their games almost anywhere.

Remote Play and Cloud Gaming Solutions

Playing your favorite Steam games on your phone without needing a PC is possible! Here are the most popular methods:

1. Steam Link

Steam Link is Valve’s official solution for streaming your Steam games from your PC to your phone.

Here’s how it works:

  • Install the Steam Link app on your phone (Android or iOS).
  • Ensure both your phone and PC are on the same, strong network.
  • Launch Steam on your PC.
  • Open the Steam Link app and pair it with your PC.


  • Free to use
  • Simple setup


  • Requires a powerful PC to run your games
  • Good network connection is essential for smooth play

2. Cloud Gaming Services

Cloud gaming services let you play demanding games without needing a powerful PC at all. The game actually runs on the service’s servers, and the gameplay is streamed to your phone.

Popular services include:

NVIDIA GeForce NowFree tier available, paid tiers for better performanceAccess to your existing Steam library
Xbox Cloud GamingIncluded with Xbox Game Pass UltimateLarge selection of Xbox console games
Google StadiaClosing down in January 2023


  • Don’t need a powerful PC
  • Play high-quality games on your phone


  • Usually require a subscription fee
  • Need a fast and reliable internet connection

3. Third-Party Remote Play Apps

Several third-party solutions offer features similar to Steam Link. Some popular options include:

  • Moonlight (for NVIDIA GPUs): Open-source, focuses on performance
  • Parsec: Low-latency, designed for co-op play

Remember, the success of these methods depends on having a strong internet connection to minimize lag and ensure a seamless gaming experience.

Key Takeaways

  • The Steam Link app allows for streaming Steam games to phones.
  • A high-speed Wi-Fi connection and a compatible controller are recommended.
  • Remote Play expands game streaming to other devices.

Setting Up Your Devices

To play Steam games on your phone, you need an app and a connection to your computer. This setup allows for game streaming from your computer to your mobile device.

Installing the Steam Link App

For Android users, the first step is to install the Steam Link app from the Google Play Store. If you have an iOS device, download the app from the App Store. Steam Link is free and is the official app for this service.

Connecting to Your Computer

Make sure your computer and phone are on the same network. High-speed internet is crucial for a smooth experience. Open the Steam Link app and it should detect your computer. A PIN will appear on your phone screen. Enter this PIN on your computer to establish a secure connection.

Configuring the Streaming Settings

After linking your devices, adjust the streaming settings to optimize performance. You’ll find settings for resolution and bandwidth on the Steam Link app. Navigate to ‘Settings’ in the app to access ‘Advanced Host Options’. Here, you can tailor the stream quality to match your network’s capabilities.

Gameplay Experience

Playing Steam games on a phone means considering control options, network settings, and game choice. These elements shape the streaming experience.

Controller and Touchscreen Options

You can control games on your phone using the touchscreen or by connecting a game controller via Bluetooth for more precise control. For games that require more complex controls, like first-person shooters or role-playing games, it’s better to use a Bluetooth controller. Smartphones can work with a variety of game controllers, and it’s easy to pair them. Just go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone, press the pairing button on your controller, and select it from the list on your device.

Optimizing Your Network for Streaming

A stable internet connection is vital. For smooth gameplay, a 5GHz wireless router is best. Players should connect their smartphone to their local network and check their internet speed; a speedy connection reduces lag. Keep the router free from wireless interference and close to the gaming area. Steam’s Big Picture Mode can help optimize the streaming quality, prioritizing game data on the network.

Exploring Game Types and Play Modes

Different games offer varied experiences. Single-player titles work well across all connections, whereas multiplayer games need fast, stable internet for real-time action. Cross-platform play extends the gaming session to friends on consoles or PCs. Remote Play Together allows local co-op games to be played with friends online. Players should explore their Steam library to see which games support these features and select the title that best suits their setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we provide clear answers to common questions about playing Steam games on mobile devices without a PC.

What are the requirements to play Steam games on a mobile device without using a PC?

A steady internet connection and a cloud gaming service that supports Steam games are the main requirements. The mobile device must also meet the app’s system needs.

Is it possible to use Steam games on an Android device without having a desktop computer?

Yes, Steam games can be played on Android devices using cloud gaming services. These services run the games on remote servers and stream the gameplay to the device.

Can I play my Steam games on an iOS device without needing to utilize a PC?

Similar to Android, iOS devices can run Steam games through cloud services without a PC. Users stream games directly to their iOS device via these platforms.

What apps allow for streaming Steam games to a phone or tablet without a PC connection?

Various apps provide this service, such as Steam Link and other third-party cloud gaming platforms. They enable users to connect to their Steam library remotely.

How can I access my Steam library on a mobile device when I am away from home?

Through cloud gaming services and the Steam Link app, users can stream their Steam library to their mobile device over an internet connection.

Are there any methods to play Steam games on a TV through a mobile device without a PC?

Yes, some smart TVs and digital media players support streaming apps that can mirror mobile devices playing Steam games, allowing gameplay on a larger screen.

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