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The Steam Link Android app is now out, works quite well so far

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Valve have officially put out a beta version of their new Steam Link Android app, which allows you to stream games from your Linux PC to your favourite device. As expected (and as Valve previously confirmed to us), it fully supports a Linux PC as the host device.

As a reminder, you will need to update your Steam Controller's firmware in the Steam Beta Client. As we wrote about before, the Steam Controller was recently updated to support Bluetooth Low Energy mode in preparation for this. The Steam Link app is also compatible with a number of other Bluetooth pads as well.

What's interesting, is that it doesn't sound like they're parting ways with the older Steam Link device:

The dedicated Steam Link hardware units support a wide variety of input devices and are specifically designed for low latency streaming to your TV. We are continuing to support the product and believe it is a valuable part of the Steam Link ecosystem.

See the full information here. Also, here's a direct link to install the Steam Link app from the Android Play Store. 


As you can tell, I'm well prepared with an empty battery…

The process you can expect, will go something like the below:




Annoyingly, once paired up, the Steam Link app took the wrong monitor. Steam opened itself in Steam Big Picture mode on my secondary monitor, so I ended up seeing me writing this article and my Android tablet starting blasting out my music—bit of a sudden shock for sure. Although, it was slightly amusing being able to see and interact with my desktop, while on my tablet. Could make for other interesting uses…

Getting around it was quite simple, dragging Steam Big Picture mode to my other monitor with GNOME's overlay seemed to work.

Sorry for the terrible picture here, I have poor lighting in my office and no good camera.

That's Feral Interactive's Linux port of GRID Autosport.

In terms of performance, it was surprisingly good. Even though I don't have my network setup too well right now, there was only a really small amount of lag, which would likely improve quite a bit once I sort 5GHz WiFi out which I will be able to do once Sin has finished livestreaming later (I don't dare touch the router settings right now).

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14 comments
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dRaiser 17 May 2018 at 8:07 pm UTC
Indeed Steam Link App seems to work very well.

Multimonitor woes with stream streaming are nothing new unfortunately - I've resorted for script which disable my 2 of 3 monitors when I want to stream [to my other PCs or Steam Link hardware as well]. Don't like it, but what will you do.

As for Android streaming itself, I've checked it on my Nvidia Shield K1 Tablet with FHD resolution - I thought it'd be perfect for games like Stellaris or Shadowrun, but darn UI is too small! Will probably try with streaming 720p instead of FHD.
buckysrevenge 17 May 2018 at 8:58 pm UTC
I tried it and it basically works, no trouble setting things up. I got a little lag when trying out a game, I'd probably stick to non-time sensitive games if I used this regularly.
Leopard 17 May 2018 at 9:00 pm UTC
dRaiserIndeed Steam Link App seems to work very well.

Multimonitor woes with stream streaming are nothing new unfortunately - I've resorted for script which disable my 2 of 3 monitors when I want to stream [to my other PCs or Steam Link hardware as well]. Don't like it, but what will you do.

As for Android streaming itself, I've checked it on my Nvidia Shield K1 Tablet with FHD resolution - I thought it'd be perfect for games like Stellaris or Shadowrun, but darn UI is too small! Will probably try with streaming 720p instead of FHD.

I think this won't be suitable for strategy or FPS titles.

But that will be good for racing games like Dirt Rally or games like Darkest Dungeon , Shadow of Mordor , Tomb Raider etc.
sub 17 May 2018 at 9:05 pm UTC
How does encoding the picture with very low latency work?
Does it require some hardware encoding support to work well?

Edit: Never mind it's listed in the Steam configuration.
Didn't use streaming so far.

For whatever reason the Android app cannot find my Linux Steam client...


Last edited by sub at 17 May 2018 at 11:27 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.
aukondk 17 May 2018 at 9:19 pm UTC
I had a little play. Only controller I have is a 360 compatible wireless with a dongle so I tried it on my tablet over OTG. Big picture works fine with the controller but a couple of games I tried didn't work. I guess because I usually connect the controller to the game direct rather than through Steam.

I fired up FTL as I always wanted it on my tablet. Pinch to zoom works for the fiddly buttons but I had to double tap to select sometimes and couldn't work out how to right click.
Leopard 17 May 2018 at 9:33 pm UTC
aukondkI had a little play. Only controller I have is a 360 compatible wireless with a dongle so I tried it on my tablet over OTG. Big picture works fine with the controller but a couple of games I tried didn't work. I guess because I usually connect the controller to the game direct rather than through Steam.

I fired up FTL as I always wanted it on my tablet. Pinch to zoom works for the fiddly buttons but I had to double tap to select sometimes and couldn't work out how to right click.

Did you try holding your finger pressed for make right click work?
Just a guess
Creak 17 May 2018 at 11:23 pm UTC
QuoteSorry for the terrible picture here, I have poor lighting in my office and no good camera.
Considering the bloom on the picture, I'd say that you also didn't clean the lens on your phone before taking the pic
rustybroomhandle 17 May 2018 at 11:41 pm UTC
aukondkI had a little play. Only controller I have is a 360 compatible wireless with a dongle so I tried it on my tablet over OTG. Big picture works fine with the controller but a couple of games I tried didn't work. I guess because I usually connect the controller to the game direct rather than through Steam.

I fired up FTL as I always wanted it on my tablet. Pinch to zoom works for the fiddly buttons but I had to double tap to select sometimes and couldn't work out how to right click.

Should be two finger tap. Three finger tap for onscreen keyboard.
aFoxNamedMorris 18 May 2018 at 4:07 am UTC
Steam Beta client just updated with support for Steam Link App input support!
lordgault 18 May 2018 at 8:26 am UTC
Does anyone know which ports Steam Link uses? ufw does not allow connection.
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