Game streaming with the Raspberry Pi is nothing new, I’ve covered the topic in the past. Recently Valve, the creators of Steam, have released their Steam Link software for the Raspberry Pi opening the ability to stream games to the Pi for more people.

What is Steam Link?

So, before we continue, you may be asking “What exactly is Steam Link?”. Steam Link is a solution that allows you to make use of your Steam games and library from any room in the house by streaming over the network.

Steam Link used to be a physical hardware product, but now it is now available as software.

The concept of Steam Link is that you use your main gaming PC as the host for your games, meaning that your gaming computer does all the heavy lifting, whilst the software on the Raspberry Pi brings that experience to any room in your house.

What do I need?

Steam Link has its advantages and disadvantages compared to something like Moonlight, but the main advantage is that it allows users of non-NVIDIA graphics cards to stream their games.

Steam Link is only compatible with the Raspberry Pi Model 3B and above and you’ll also want to make sure that you meet the Steam Link hardware requirements for your computer.

For casual gaming, I’ve had a good experience on Wi-Fi since the Wi-Fi coverage around my house is pretty good. But if you want to make sure that you have a flawless experience, you’ll want to make sure that both your gaming PC and Raspberry Pi are connected to your network via ethernet.

Preparing the Steam Client

Before we install Steam Link to the Raspberry Pi, it’s best to make sure that the Steam Client on your computer is enabled for in-home streaming.

Open Steam’s settings and go to the “In-Home Streaming” tab, then you just need to make sure that the “Enable streaming” checkbox is ticked.

Installing Steam Link

Installing Stream Link is straightforward. The first step is to run the following command:

sudo apt update

This will make sure that the Raspberry Pi’s package lists are up to date, so it can download the Steam Link package.

Then you can download and install Steam Link by using the following command:

sudo apt install steamlink

Once Steam Link has downloaded, you can find it under the Games menu of the Raspberry Pi desktop interface, or you can launch it using the following command from the command line:

steamlink

Playing Games

When you open Steam Link, you’ll need to connect the Steam Link client to your computer.

Steam Big-Picture Interface
Steam Big-Picture Interface

When you begin game streaming, it brings up the Steam Big-Picture interface. This allows you to play your games and navigate through your library.

You can add shortcuts for non-Steam third party games, like on the normal desktop client and you can also enter a full desktop environment if you want to.

To exit Steam Link, go back to the big-picture interface and select “Exit Big-Picture”.

That’s all there really is to Steam Link, add your games and have fun with your Raspberry Pi.


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