Essentially, it’s a local network streaming service that allows you to stream games from a gaming PC to another computer hooked up to a screen. There used to be dedicated hardware for this, but it has been available for Raspberry Pi (and other hardware) for a while now.
With the release of Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspbian Buster, it’s taken some time to get a new version of the Steam Link app which works as well as it should. Over the last month or so, more stable versions have been released, so we thought it was time to give it a test.
Installing Steam Link is easy – it’s available from the Raspbian software repository so can be installed from the Terminal with a simple sudo apt install steamlink. We highly recommend a wired connection for this – and thanks to the Gigabit Ethernet on Raspberry Pi 4, it’s going to make a huge difference.
So much so that our gameplay experience was only hampered by the computer to which we connected. A WiFi-connected laptop stuttered a little, and had some frame tearing; however, similar performance is experienced on an actual Steam Link. From a dedicated gaming PC hooked up over Ethernet, it was a different story.
While the experience is not seamless and one to one, it was extremely good – definitely good enough if you have the odd PC game you’d rather play on your TV without lugging a massive tower around.
Not perfect, but near enough that if you have a spare Raspberry Pi 4 and want to play some PC games on your TV, there’s no reason not to give it a try!