One Steam Deck user relies on game streaming instead of playing PC games natively on the device, and they show how fast it works.
One Steam Deck a user has set up a special game streaming system that allows them to project gameplay from their desktop computer onto the laptop itself. While playing PC games natively on the go has always been the main draw of Valve’s PC/console hybrid, there seems to be some merit in local home streaming as well, which comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Valve’s Steam Deck can play an extremely wide variety of PC games natively, but users must make a trade-off between performance and battery life to get the most out of the device. Balancing the two extremes isn’t always easy, and it’s also worth pointing out that certain game developers either don’t support SteamOS or have decided against onboarding the operating system with their anti-cheat software. Game streaming can clearly sidestep these issues, albeit at the cost of latency.
According to Reddit user jeremiah1119, however, latency isn’t as much of a concern for Steam Deck users who have Moonlight. Moonlight is a game streaming application that allows users to cast their native desktop environment from the computer to a different device, such as a mobile phone or the Deck itself. While jeremiah1119 admits that the latency isn’t stellar for competitive multiplayer games, his video shows that it’s perfectly acceptable for single-player games that might otherwise require a Windows installation on the Steam Deck, such as Destiny 2.
It’s worth pointing out that this specific use case is exactly what the Razer Edge is marketed for, as it’s a dedicated Android-based cloud gaming device that can’t run PC games natively in any capacity. As jeremiah1119’s video shows, local game streaming through apps like Moonlight can do wonders for single-player titles, although it goes without saying that the specific amount of latency will depend entirely on the user’s local wireless network, which may be too slow to stream . games in some cases.
Since game streaming does not depend on a local Linux translation of the game, using Moonlight could be a good way to play Bioshock on the Deck after its problematic updates. Of course, Valve’s own native Steam Streaming feature could probably yield similar results, and Deck owners interested in taking advantage of this feature should try both solutions to see which works better on their local network.
It looks like Steam Deck is now available without reservations in most markets, meaning that interested gamers can get their hands on one of Valve’s handhelds in relatively short order. Whether for home game streaming or playing PC games on the go natively, the device will easily handle both jobs admirably well, giving the user unprecedented flexibility for gaming.
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