Steam Link is a fantastic app that lets you play games on your Android device or iPhone by streaming them from your computer. Simply hook up the Steam Link app on your phone, tablet, or TV to your computer and connect your phone/tablet/TV to your controller over Bluetooth.
In addition to the Steam controller, Steam Link supports other popular controllers, such as Microsoft Xbox 360.
Though Steam Link is good at what it does, there are better alternatives to Steam Link that you might want to consider. Some of them are Rainway, Parsec Gaming and others. However, the best Steam Link alternative is Moonlight Stream. Not only is it free, but open-source too. You can also use Moonlight on multiple devices.
Why Discover Alternatives To Steam Link?
There are a few reasons you might be looking for an alternative to Steam Link.
Perhaps you don’t like the Steam Link layout, or maybe it doesn’t support your controller. Maybe you are looking for an alternative to the Steam Link hardware (not the app), which has been discontinued.
Regardless of why you would be looking for a Steam Link alternative, this article is for you. Today, I will go over the best Steam Link alternatives for playing games on your mobile devices.
Best Steam Link Alternatives
Moonlight Stream is an open source NVIDIA Gamestream client. It allows you to play your games on any device, even if you are far away from your computer.
Moonlight Stream is an excellent alternative to Steam Link if you are looking for an open source software you can work with.
You don’t even have to be anywhere near your computer to use Moonlight to stream games from your PC.
Moonlight has support for 120 FPS streaming, and you can stream in 4k HD resolution.
You can even host your own cloud gaming server on a residential ISP by installing Moonlight’s hosting tool. This will allow you to stream over the internet as long as the Moonlight Internet Hosting Tool is installed on your PC.
As such, if you are looking to stream over the internet instead of a local network, Moonlight is an excellent alternative to Steam Link.
You can also use ZeroTier to stream from multiple PCs that are connected via the same internet connection.
You can use Moonlight with the following devices:
- Android devices
- iOS phone or tablet
- Apple TV
- Windows PC
- PS Vita
- Raspberry Pi
You can download Moonlight from its website for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Steam Link devices. You can get it for Chromebooks by downloading it on the Chrome webstore.
To stream to your Android device, download Moonlight from the Google Play Store, the Amazon Appstore, or F Droid. It is also available on the Apple App Store for your iOS devices.
Since Moonlight is open source, unlike Steam Link, you can download the source code on Github and use it under the GPLv3 license. Moonlight is free, and there are no ads or subscriptions.
There is a Moonlight community on Discord, which you can join to chat with other Moonlight users.
Rainway is another great Steam Link alternative that will allow you to play your PC games on any device, including your phone or tablet.
One of the great things about Rainway is that you can play games on the web. For example, on your Windows PC, you can go to play.rainway.com on your Chrome browser and start streaming and playing games from another PC.
This makes it a great alternative to Steam Link.
You can also download the Android and iOS apps and use those to play games on your mobile devices.
Rainway is an excellent alternative to Steam Link because you can play any PC game using Rainway. Rainway will pull games from Steam, Origin, Epic, and more.
Also, Rainway is entirely free to use. You will never have to pay anything to use Rainway.
Your host computer will need to be on the entire time you are using Rainway on another PC or mobile device. You can still use an app to turn on your host computer remotely when you want to play a game so as not to waste the battery or electricity.
Rainway’s support center is extensive and contains answers to common questions about getting started using Rainway. You can also join the Rainway Discord community.
Parsec Gaming lets you stream from a host computer to play games on other devices and do work as well. Its 60 FPS interactive streaming provides clear cut graphics and an excellent experience.
You can stream your games from any device, wherever you are. You can also play multiplayer games anywhere in the world.
Since Parsec, at its core, is a screen sharing service, you can use it to share screens from your host computer not only with yourself but with friends, family, and even strangers who are playing the same game as you.
Parsec has a service called The Arcade, a multiplayer matchmaking service that will connect you with other players worldwide who are also interested in playing the multiplayer game you are playing.
Parsec is also a great remote desktop tool for work and productivity purposes. You can do things like edit videos and create animations remotely using Parsec – for example, if you are traveling, you can use Parsec to access your computer remotely.
This makes Parsec a great alternative to Steam Link for those who need to play games and work remotely.
Parsec also allows you to watch videos or listen to music together with others on different devices.
If you do not own any games, you can find games shared by the community to play and stream.
Although Parsec is free for gamers and individuals looking to use it for work purposes, there is also something called Parsec For Teams, which is designed for teams looking to share screens and collaborate on projects.
Parsec For Teams, which costs $30/month per person, comes with additional features like multi screen streaming, enhanced color quality, admin panel, reporting, and custom app configurations.
If you are an individual, you can also upgrade to Parsec Warp, which costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. It comes with excellent features like:
- Stream on multiple different devices at once
- Enhanced colors
- Screen switching
- Support for tablets that come with pens
If you don’t run a professional team but would like to organize virtual events (such as watch parties or game parties) and invite several friends, Parsec Warp might be a good investment. Otherwise, stick with the free version.
If you would like to connect with other Parsec users, join the Parsec Discord group.
Keep in mind that Parsec’s support for Android devices is still in experimental mode. It will also only work on select Android devices (you need to have at least Android 5.0, though most people these days do have that), and you may experience some bugs.
If you own a PlayStation and use that to play games instead of your PC, PS Remote Play is the perfect app alternative to Steam Link. It allows you to stream from your Playstation to your mobile device over the internet, wherever you are.
Your Playstation screen will show up on your mobile phone. There will also be an on screen controller that looks like your Playstation controller, which you can use to play games; you won’t have to take a separate controller with you wherever you go.
You can use your mobile phone’s keypad to enter text to your Playstation, and you can even join voice chats using your phone’s microphone.
However, you will need to be connected to a WiFi network to use the app. You also need to have a Playstation 4 or 5 and an Android 7 or higher, though the app works best with the Google Pixel 3 and 4 series.
NVIDIA GeForce NOW is a mobile app that allows you to stream your favorite GeForce PC games on your Android devices.
Android TV support is in beta mode, so your experience on an Android TV might be buggy. You should also use a Bluetooth gamepad when streaming games to your Android phone.
To use the app, simply login to your library and start streaming games from where you left off. Streaming happens from the cloud, so you won’t need your PC to be running simultaneously.
NVIDIA GeForce NOW is a great Steam Link alternative for those looking to play their GeForce PC games from the cloud, wherever they are and from whichever device they are using.
Vortex is a cloud gaming service that allows you to stream PC games on any device, not only on computers but also on mobile Android and iOS devices.
Vortex is an excellent alternative to Steam Link because it is a real cloud on demand game streaming service.
This means that you don’t have to download any games on any device, and you don’t need to have a host computer running to stream games; just log into the service and start streaming any game available in the Vortex library from the cloud. Vortex works as your virtual PC host.
If you own a game, you can play it with your license, provided that it is available in the Vortex library. In fact, for some games, you will be required to have a license to play them, even if they are available in the library.
Vortex is not free. Instead, there are three plans to choose from:
- Basic: Basic costs $9.99/month. It includes a library of 73 games and gives you 50 play hours each month.
- Pro: Pro costs $19.99/month. It comes with the full library of 167 games and 80 play hours per month. It also adds HD quality.
- Ultra: Ultra costs $29.99/month. It comes with the full library and 140 play hours a month.
Since Vortex works as your virtual PC host, you can always play on your PC and then switch to your phone at any time.
Dixper is a remote desktop sharing service that is still in beta mode. It allows you to access your gaming computer from other devices, anywhere in the world, and share your gaming computer screen with friends all over the globe.
After installing the Dixper server on your host computer, you will get a link that you can use to share your screen with your friends or access your host computer’s gaming screen from another device.
Dixper has support for Amazon/Google/Azure virtual machines.
Since Dixper is still in beta mode, support for Android and iOS phones and tablets is still in the works. For now, you can only use it on other computers, but you can join the Discord chat to stay on top of updates.
When sharing your screen with friends, you have full control over the permissions that you give to them. You can also play with friends while chatting with them on Discord.
Dixper is a great alternative to Steam Link if you would like to share your screen with others. You can even monetize your gaming streams.
To use NVIDIA Gamestream, you will need to have a NVIDIA Shield TV or Shield tablet. However, if you own one of the two, NVIDIA Gamestream is the perfect alternative to Steam Link.
You can also buy a NVIDIA Shield TV or a NVIDIA Shield tablet if you used to have the Steam Link device (which was discontinued). With Gamestream, you can stream games from your PC to your Shield device with 60 frames per second and 4K HD display.
Shield devices also support the Steam app, so you can enter Steam Big Picture mode on your Shield TV or tablet.
To use Gamestream, you will need to fulfill the specific PC or notebook requirements. If you are going to stream from a PC, it must be a GeForce RTX or GeForce GTX 650 or higher.
If you are streaming from a notebook, it must be a GeForce RTX or GTX 700M or higher. Some GTX 600M GPU models are supported too.
Gamestream comes with support for over 300 games. However, if you want to play a game that is not Gamestream ready, you can add it to your library manually and then stream it to your Shield TV or tablet.
9. Shadow Tech
Shadow Tech is another cloud game streaming service that allows you to stream your favorite PC games from the virtual cloud to your PC or mobile phone/tablet.
Since Shadow Tech acts as your virtual PC, you will not need a host PC to stream games to your mobile device, unlike with Steam Link. You can also stream games from the cloud to any PC you are using, wherever you are.
Shadow Tech has support for 4K at 60 FPS or 144 FPS in Full HD streaming.
You can use Shadow Tech with the controllers, gamepads, and keyboards you already own. If you already own PC games, you can install them and use them.
When you sign up for a Shadow Tech subscription, they will set up your cloud PC in the closest datacenter. You can then stream games to your Windows PC, Mac, TV, iOS device, or Android phone.
Since they set up a dedicated computer for you, it will take a little time for everything to get set up after you purchase a subscription. Subscriptions start at $11.99/month.
Nware is yet another cloud game streaming service. You can play the games you own and love from any device without investing in expensive PCs or game consoles.
Nware syncs with Steam, so if you have a Steam account, it is an excellent alternative to Steam Link that will allow you to stream from the cloud. Simply sync your Steam account to access all of your Steam games from any device, from the cloud.
Over 20,000 games are supported.
Right now, Nware costs only $4.99/month (this is a temporary price, so check this page for updates). This is because it is still in Beta mode.
When you register, you will also get a free three day trial.
KinoConsole is a Steam Link alternative that allows you to stream video games from your personal computer to your Android, iOS, or Windows phone.
On Android, you can also stream over the internet by signing in on both ends with your Google Account. Although this feature is only available for Android phones, support is in the works for iOS devices.
If you want to stream over the internet instead of a local network, KinoConsole is an excellent alternative to Steam Link. Remember that this only works on Android devices.
You can run games on your phone in high definition (up to 60 frames per second). KinoConsole comes with support for external gamepads and controllers and Xbox controller emulation.
Although popular games come with preconfigured game controls, you can also customize each game’s configurations according to your personal preferences.
KinoConsole is a great alternative for Steam users because it integrates seamlessly with Steam and allows you to add games from your Steam account to your KinoConsole game library within seconds.
To get started, download the KinoConsole Windows server on your personal computer. You will need a Windows Vista or a later version of Windows to use it.
Then, make sure your mobile phone is connected to the same WiFi network as your PC.
Otherwise, it will not work – the exception is if you have an Android device. In that case, you can stream over the internet without being connected to the same Wifi network, but you have to sign in to your Google account to do this.
KinoConsole has a Facebook page you can follow to stay on top of all KinoConsole updates.
Wrapping It Up: What Is The Best Steam Link Alternative?
The best Steam Link alternative that is the closest to what the Steam Link app offers is Moonlight Stream.
Moonlight Stream is entirely free and open source, and you can use it on a wide range of host and client devices.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.