We tried out Valve’s Steam Link on Raspberry Pi and…

… it worked well!

tl;dr: really, really well.

But if “it worked really well” isn’t enough of a reason for you to give Steam Link on Raspberry Pi a go, here’s the rest of today’s blog post…

Steam Link on Raspberry Pi

The internet (mainly Reddit) was all aflutter last week due to the release of the Steam Link app beta version for the Raspberry Pi.

Steam Link, for the uninitiated, is a service that allowed users of the digital distribution platform Steam to stream video games from their PC to a display of choice — without the need to weave a mile-long HDMI cable between rooms and furniture to connect computer and television.

The original Steam Link

Up until now, if Steam users wanted to stream games to other displays, they had to do so with Valve’s own Steam Link device — a small black box available for purchase on the Valve website — and the device did pretty well. But with the new Steam Link app for Raspberry Pi, any Pi owner can get up and running with Steam Link using one single line of code.

And that’s all sorts of convenient!

Trying out Steam Link for ourselves

We didn’t just want to put out a blog post to let you folks know that the app’s beta version is now live. Instead, we wanted to collar one of our own to try the new app out at home and let us know exactly what they think. And since we knew that Simon, our Asset Management Assistant Keeper of the Swag, Organiser of the Stuff, Lord Commander of the Things, had a Steam Link at home, it made sense to ask him nicely to give the app a try over the weekend.

And he did, because Simon = ❤

One line of code later…

It took Simon all of five minutes to get Steam Link up and running on his TV. He even went so far as to copy and paste the short line of code via a Chromium search for the announcement, instead of typing it in for himself.

And then Simon just had to sign into his Steam account and boom, Bob’s your uncle, Sally’s your aunt, the process was complete.

“Took less than five minutes before I was investigating strange cults from the comfort of my sofa,” explained Simon, as we all nodded, inwardly judging him a little for his game of choice. But in case you’re interested, Cultist Simulator is made by Factory Weather, and there are currently some photos of a tiny kitten on their homepage, so go check it out.

User experience

Let us know if you’ve tried the Steam Link app on Raspberry Pi, and what you think of it. Oh, and what games you’re playing on it, especially if they include Cultist Simulator.

And to make your Steam Link setup process easier, type rpf.io/steamlinkblog into your Chromium browser on your Raspberry Pi to open this blog post, and then copy and paste the following into a terminal window to run install the app:

curl -#Of http://media.steampowered.com/steamlink/rpi/steamlink_1.0.7_armhf.deb
sudo dpkg -i steamlink_1.0.7_armhf.deb

[Edit – Lottie Bevan, co-founder of Factory Weather, has written several articles for Wireframe magazine. Be sure to head over to wfmag.cc to download issues 1-3 to find out more]


Isaiah Stephens avatar

I tried to try it out but my internet connection was too slow for it to stream well, but the app looked cool and recognized my controller right away.

Anon avatar

As the data is not streamed over the internet, your internet connection shouldn’t make a difference.

It may, however, be bottlenecked by your router, especially if you are on wifi.

David Glaude avatar

This is wrong: “Up until now, if Steam users wanted to stream games to other displays, they had to do so with Valve’s own Steam Link device”.

Steam Link is available on Android, and especially working very well on the NVIDIA Shield TV, using the native joystick. However, some games required a keyboard and mouse, and this is something you may not have on a typical NVIDIA Shield TV.

I was unable to test on the Pi as I did not have joystick compatible with Valve. I should go for some old Xbox 360 wired (or wireless with the dongle), but I could not find any, apparently you can only find Xbox one wireless… and I was unsure about the compatibility.

Steve avatar

Now I can trick my kids into thinking their raspberry pis can play cs:go!

Brian avatar

Seems like the parents … er … terrorists win

jaspercayne avatar

It didn’t work out so well when I tried it on release day, but after upgrading my ratty old cat 5 to a cat 6 cable going directly between Pi and router, it passes the connection test with flying colours.

If you are having speed issues and are already using Ethernet, maybe it is time to get some new cables.

Brian avatar

Noob on cables here.
How do I tell which cat the cable is? (Asking since we’ve just moved house, and simply plugged in the cable which already were there – and are having some speed issues)

MK avatar

It should actually be printed on the cable. Have a look along it for some black text; one section of which will be (almost always) cat 5, cat 5e, or cat 6.

Sam Lantinga avatar

Now it’s even easier!
sudo apt update
sudo apt install steamlink

raspinoob avatar

nice thanks donno why curl command just freeze

Cristi avatar

It’s silly how I connect to my pi through VNC to open SteamLink and then have a streamception.

Ildar avatar

Does anyone know will it work with PS4 controller?

sk3ptx avatar

Yes, PS4 Dualshock 4 and Xbox One Controller, both connected wireless via bluetooth, are working as aspected.

choochoosteamtrain avatar

Is anyone else getting significant input lag with the xbox-one controller?
I’m going to upgrade my powersource (better microsd cable) and upgrade to a cat6 cable,but is there anything else one could recommend?

It’s plugged into a larg 4k display, but I’m running the software at 720p

(also have a very good Asus gaming router)

Somebody avatar

This is only really worthwhile if you already have a raspberry pi. No point buying one specifically for this app as the Steam Link is about £5 (exclusive delivery costs).

Andrea B avatar

The Steam Link hardware is being phased out and already unavailable in many markets. That’s why Valve is releasing software implementations.

Jon Smith avatar

Yup, I missed the clearance sale on them (I thought Steam would alert me when things on my wish list were on sale but it didn’t that time…) and now they are no more.

Larry Westfall avatar

You may be seeing input lag on the TV. If your Pi is connected to a TV make sure to set that input to game mode. My ps4 has about .25s lag when my TV is in vivid mode.

Lord_Emperor avatar

Got this installed and working today on my Pi 3B but getting severe periodic freezing / stutter. The Steam streaming graph’s red line is spiking off the charts which apparently indicates a problem with decoding performance.

My OS image is Retropie 4.4. I’ve tried launching Steamlink from the Emulationstation ports menu, from the Pixel desktop environment and from a command line.

I also overclocked my Pi to 1350 arm, 525 core/gpu/v3d which helped somewhat.

Kostis Karvouniaris avatar

Wait, wait….
Is this what I think it is?

I mean, I know for a fact that I can run any executable I want through Steam, as long as I register it as a new app/game/whatever. (At least I know I could back in my Moonlight stream testing days. Hope it’s still there)
So, that perhaps means I could fire up any x86 application on my basement PC and control it through my living room Pi!
And, if this works with keyboard+mouse instead of just controllers, is it a path to Blender? On the Pi?!! And UT2004? (I’m old, I know)
Oh boy! Lots of testing to do! If it works, I’d call that a proper Christmas present.

Adam avatar

Looks like it can be used to stream your windows desktop (and by extension most anything that you want to run).

mark6515 avatar

:-) not just a windows desktop … its streaming ubuntu linux desktop too completely, with anything you want tu run on it (games, movies, anything …)

Artorias avatar

Does anyone know if the pi runs anybetter than the steam link? I have the steam link and enjoy it from time to time. But input lag is huge. Just wondering if the pi would have less latency.

jlnprssnr avatar

No, both should perform equally. Regarding input lag, makes sure to set your TV to game mode to turn off any image enhancement processing

manuti avatar

If you want to see the steps of installation and configuration ► Steam link for Raspberry Pi

nick avatar

Stop using micro sd cards on rpi 3 you can boot direct from ssd hard drive with no sd card needed.


Model B needs the above doing once, I think the B+ has the bit set as factory default.

Big speed increase just like running windows 10 on ssd.

Dis avatar

Parsec works great on a Pi with decent wifi or wired ethernet. Stream ANY game, or even just your desktop from any computer.

Mark1615 avatar

Tried on RPI3, everything works great with raspbian on it (just a steam interface is flickering, but streamed games looks perfect). If i use this on my RetroPi (same RPI3 device) its just blank screen and TV reports “unsupported picture resolution” … on restropie it does not work with my TV..

Gabriel avatar

This one works amazingly well. No hickups at all, stable high framerate, feels like im playing right in front of the pc.

This is so cool !

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