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Valve Launches Steam Link App for MacOS

(Photo by Patrick Ward on Unsplash)

Valve just made it much easier to play your library of Steam games on a Mac with the launch of an official Steam Link app for macOS.

Steam Link was developed as a way of allowing Steam games to be played on other devices, such as a smartphone, tablet, or TV, by streaming them from a PC via a local network connection. It started life as a hardware device, but that got discontinued and replaced with an app. Now that same streaming connection can be achieved on a Mac using the tiny app.

As MacRumors reports, the Steam Link app is free, only a 30MB download, and available via the Mac App Store. Of course, you’re also going to need a PC from which to run the Steam client, a controller, and the speed of your local network is also key. The best experience, meaning the lowest latency experience, can be achieved by hooking both your Mac and PC to your router with Ethernet cables. A wireless link just adds too much latency.

Under the hood, Steam Link relies on Valve’s Steam Remote Play technology, which performs real-time encoding of H.264 video and then sends it over a custom low-latency network protocol to the connected device. That way, it doesn’t matter how little performance the device has, the game will run fine. It’s possible to adjust settings to enhance the experience, though. For example, Valve aims to achieve 1080p resolution and 60fps, but if your PC has enough performance and your wired network is fast, 4K 60fps is possible.

If you have a Mac running macOS 10.13 or higher, head on over to the Mac App Store and grab the new Steam Link app. Depending on what Mac you own, an adapter to plug in an Ethernet cable may also be required.

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