Steam is the standard way to play games on your PC, but the company offers others. In particular, the Steam Link device allows you to stream games from your computer to your TV.
As another option, Valve introduced the Steam Link app for Android in 2018. While being able to play PC games on your smartphone sounds exciting, we don’t think it’s as great as it sounds. That’s why
What is a Steam Link?
The Steam Link app performs basically the same function, minus the free one. All you need is a computer running Steam, a compatible Android phone, and an internet connection. Notably, the app is not available for iOS due to Apple’s recommendations.
But is it worth installing the Steam Link Android app of your time? No, given these four factors:
1. Small screens are not great for gaming.
Presumably you have a monitor that is at least 20 inches for your desktop. And if you’re playing on a laptop, you might have a 13-inch or 15-inch display. Thanks to the Steam Link, you’ll be able to experience the same games on a tiny 6-inch (or smaller) phone screen. It doesn’t look like fun.
The best Android games take advantage of small phone displays, but playing PC games on your phone doesn’t offer that luxury. While most games should look decent, there is a significant graphical downgrade here. It’s a bit like watching a movie on the tiny screen of an airplane seat; it’s doable, but not the ideal way to enjoy a movie.
This is not a problem with the proper Steam Link, as it connects to your 40″ TV. Of course, you can use the Steam Link app on an Android tablet for a larger display. But tablets aren’t as popular as they used to be, so it costs a few hundred dollars to play games on another device if you don’t already have a tablet.
2. You lose keyboard and mouse control
Most PC gamers swear by the keyboard and mouse. They are objectively better for first-person shooters and also make sense for many other genres. However, the Steam Link app does not support keyboard and mouse combination.
Also, even if you have a keyboard and mouse connected to your phone, there is still a lag issue. Most games require a high level of precision from the mouse, which is not possible when streaming games over the network.