One Steam Deck user is relying on game streaming instead of playing PC games natively on the device, and they’re showing off how fast it works.
One Steam Deck user has set up a special game streaming system that allows them to project gameplay from their desktop PC onto the handheld itself. While playing PC games natively on the go has always been the main draw of Valve’s PC/console hybrid, there appears 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 do need to decide between performance and battery life to make 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 decided against onboarding the operating system with their anti-cheat software. Game streaming can neatly side-step these problems, albeit at the cost of latency.
According to Reddit user jeremiah1119, however, latency isn’t that big 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 PC over to a different device, like a mobile phone or the Deck itself. While jeremiah1119 does admit that the latency is not 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 precisely what Razer Edge is being marketed for, as it’s a dedicated Android-based cloud gaming device that cannot run PC games natively in any capacity. As jeremiah1119’s video shows, local game streaming via apps such as Moonlight can work wonders for single-player titles, though 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 rely 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 likely provide similar results, and Deck owners interested in leveraging this feature should give both solutions a try to see which works better on their local network.
It appears that Steam Deck is now available without reservations in most markets, which means that interested gamers can get their hands on one of Valve’s handheld PCs in relatively short order. Whether for home game streaming or to play PC games on the go natively, the device will easily handle both jobs admirably well, affording the user unprecedented flexibility for gaming.