What you need to know
- Steam Link is now available on macOS.
- It means you can stream Steam games from another piece of hardware on your network to your Mac.
- The service has been available on iPhone and iPad for a couple of years.
As noted by users on Reddit, it looks like Steam Link went live on macOS on March 19. From the Mac App Store listing:
The Steam Link app allows you to play your Steam games across all your computers. Just pair an MFI or Steam controller to your Mac, connect to a computer running Steam on the same local network, and start playing your existing Steam games.
To run and make use of Steam Link you need:
- A Mac running macOS 10.13 or higher
- A computer running Steam on Windows, Mac, or Linux
- A local network connecting the two
Steam says the service is best used when both devices are connected to your router via ethernet, as this will give you the lowest amount of latency, however it can also be used wirelessly. The beauty of Steam Link is that because it relies on the hardware of the host device and your network connection, there's no hardware requirements for Mac, meaning you could play on one of Apple's "lightest" devices like the M1 MacBook Air.
Gaming beyond the most casual experience is limited on the Mac, not least in part because of Steam's more limited title of macOS compatible games, which is nowhere near as extensive as its Windows library. The introduction of Steam Link to macOS will let users game on their Mac harnessing the processing power of a device that can run Steam games in the first place, for example, a hefty gaming PC. This can be useful for example, if you'd like to smash some of your Steam backlog from the comfort of a bed or a sofa, rather than at your battle station. It can also be used with a few different devices at once, as one reddit user noted:
It's already out for Windows 10 and Linux, this is an alternative to using the full Steam client to stream from one PC to the other. With this, only the host needs full Steam. As the Link app doesn't require a login, you can pair it to several PCs using different Steam accounts, just enter the four digit pin that's shown on the host. It can even handle the new remote play together invite links, so you can invite someone who doesn't have a Steam account to join your session in compatible games.