How to play PC games on iPhone or iPad with the Steam Link app: Apple Arcade episode 9

Is it as good as it sounds? Join us as we find out for ourselves!

Barely a month ago the idea of playing a game like The Witcher III on your iPhone would have been unthinkable (and indeed, it’s so resource-demanding that it’s yet to be ported to the Mac). But that will change quite soon, at least in a roundabout way.

Valve’s Steam Link app is coming soon to iOS within the next handful of days, and it dropped for Android users on Thursday. (Word on the street is that the iOS version is still tied up in Apple’s approval process.) The idea behind this wonderful app is that you can stream games directly from your PC or Mac directly to your iPhone or iPad, essentially turning them into portable gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch. And it works directly through the app, so you don’t even need the $50 Steam Link device Valve sells for streaming from a PC to a TV.

For this Tuesday’s (May 22) show at 11 a.m. Pacific, we’ll be testing out the device with an iPhone and iPad along with the Steam Controller and the popular Stratus XL controller for iOS.

Naturally, there are a few catches. You’ll need a Bluetooth gamepad like those above to get the most out of it, as you might expect, but apparently the Steam Link app works with a wide range of them. Your iPhone or iPad will also need to be on the same Wi-Fi connection as the PC or Mac that’s streaming the game, so don’t expect that you’ll be able to go play The Witcher III on your iPhone X while waiting for a movie to begin at the theater.

But other than that, it sounds pretty nifty. Much like the Steam Link device, it lets your PC or Mac do the heavy lifting of graphics performance while you play the actual game on, say, your living room recliner. Join us on Tuesday as we see how well it works in practice!

If you have any specific games that you’d like for me to try out, just shoot me a tweet at @leifjohnson and I’ll see what I can do!

Watch us live

Apple Arcade broadcasts live on the internet on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on the Macworld Twitter via Periscope or on YouTube.

  
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