If you love playing PC games but don’t like being secluded in an office while playing them, why not play them on a big screen from your couch? Why not have your friends or family join in? The Steam Link and Steam Controller let you do just this for some games. The Steam Link and Controller have truly changed the way I play PC games. This is not for everyone and still has some downfalls. You still need to have a sweet gaming rig for the Steam Link to stream from, and you need a pretty decent router as well as a good hardline connection running to that Steam Link. It does have WiFi, but I have found that it is very unreliable. If you have all the above then this would be a fantastic buy for you. When it comes to content, I have found that most games on Steam will stream great. The hard part is finding games that have full Steam Controller support. Most games were designed with a keyboard and mouse in mind, and while some can be played with the Steam Controller, it can lead to very difficult control issues. With that said, there are games that work fantastic with the Steam Controller even though they were not designed for it. The Witcher 2 is a great example of a game that is listed as having no controller support but works fantastic with the Steam Controller. There are also some fantastic games that do have full controller support as well, Trine 3, AirScape, and The Witcher 3 just to name a few. Some of these like Trine 3 can be played in multiplayer mode as well if you have multiple Steam Controllers.Let’s move on to the Steam Link itself. It is easy to set up and get going. Just plug it into an outlet, connect to your LAN and plug in your Steam Controller. Once you turn it on it will auto detect your PC with Steam and allow you to connect to it. It’s that simple. One recommendation I do have, is to turn your PC monitor off while playing. Since the Steam Link streams from your PC, it will run the game like normal on your PC and there is no need to stress out your PC monitor more than needed while you are playing it on a T.V.. There are some frustrating bugs in the Steam Link. The audio is a big one and can be very flaky at times. For example when first playing, I was not able to get it to stream the audio until I plugged a set of headphones into the front audio jack of my PC, however, that only happened once and now I no longer need headphones plugged in. Moving on to video, I have found that some games that allow mode choice or game settings changes before the real game starts, can cause problems getting them to stream. I have also found some games that just won’t stream at all for no clear reason. Overall I really like the Steam Link, but I would like to see a few more bug fixes from Valve, but even as it sits now, I would still recommend it to anyone even casual gamers like myself. You can also check it out during one of their Steam Sales and possibly get it discounted. I picked mine up from Amazon on sale for $19.99 during the Steam winter sale.
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