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How to play Steam games on Android without your PC

Steam is a household name — err, at least when it comes to gaming. Since its initial release in 2003, Valve’s popular distribution platform has become one of the go-to sources for anyone looking to download and install games on their PC, allowing gamers to play the biggest games without having to pick up physical copies in-store. And now, thanks to the recent beta launch of Steam Link, players can stream their entire library of Steam games directly to compatible Android devices.

The process is pretty straightforward, and once set up, it allows you to play games on your Android device using a Steam Controller, an Xbox Controller, or a number of other compatible peripherals that are designed to make gameplay less cumbersome.

To begin streaming, connect your PC and Android device to the same Wi-Fi network, which is one of the base requirements for the feature. Then, launch Steam on your computer and log in using your account name and password, as you would normally.

Next, head to the Google Play Store on your Android device and download the Steam Link app. Launch the app once installed, choose whether you want to pair a Steam Controller or a different controller, and run through the pairing process. The app will guide you through the pairing process if you’re using an official Steam Controller, otherwise, you’ll need to consult the user manual for your controller for specific pairing instructions. Keep in mind, however, that, most of the time, all you’ll need to do is turn on Bluetooth on both devices to enter pairing mode.

Once you’ve properly connected your controller, select your PC from the list of available choices on the following screen, which will bring up some pertinent information regarding your network. Tap Start Playing on the left once you’re satisfied with your connection, and navigate to your Steam Library using the toolbar at the top of the resulting page. Then, simply select the game you’d like to stream on your Android device and tap Play at the top! You’ll then be able to delve in using your controller — no PC required.

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

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