If you’re a PC gamer, you’ve probably used Steam. Valve’s game launcher is a popular software program because it streamlines many common gaming tasks and makes them that much easier. And you can often find great deals on video games through Steam that you can’t get anywhere else.
Steam is more than just a storefront and game library manager, though. It’s also loaded with handy features like Big Picture Mode and Remote Play that give you tons of options for enjoying your games however you like.
Steam Remote Play is a cloud game streaming service that allows you to use your own home computer as your cloud server. With Remote Play, you can use your more powerful home rig to handle the actual rendering of graphics and audio while another device receives a live signal of its output over the internet.
The result is that you basically get to bring your home PC with you anywhere you can get an internet connection. If you’re going on a trip and can’t bring your full-sized PC with you, just leave your computer on while you’re gone and then connect to it via Remote Play when you get to an area with internet access.
You can even use Remote Play to access Big Picture Mode for your entire Steam Library. Big Picture Mode basically turns your PC into a home console, as it allows you to send an image formulated for TV panels instead of one meant for computer monitors.
With a TV, an internet connection, and a laptop that can run steam, you could theoretically make any screen into a home console as powerful as your computer. Even a lightweight Chromebook with negligible RAM and no meaningful graphical output could allow a 4K signal to pass through via the internet.
As long as your home PC has a strong connection to the internet, Remote Play works like a charm. If you want the best results, be sure to plug your computer into your router with an ethernet cable to cut down on latency. Likewise, if you can hardwire the receiving device, you’ll get an even better response time.
While Remote Play might not be ideal for twitch-based competitive multiplayer games like Valorant or Apex Legends, it’s great for slower-paced turn-based titles and single-player fare. So, if you want to play Elden Ring or Monster Hunter: Rise in glorious 4K on your $200 Chromebook, check out Remote Play.