In this Raspberry Pi Steam Link tutorial, we will be showing you how to set up the Steam Link game streaming software on the Raspbian operating system.
For those who do not know what Steam Link is, it is a piece of software that allows your Raspberry Pi to easily stream games from your computer to another screen, such as your TV without requiring you to hook up an expensive, and bulky gaming PC to your TV.
Best of all, unlike the Nvidia game steaming software, this method will work with AMD GPU’s. If you’re interested in the Nvidia method then you can check out our Nvidia game streaming tutorial that makes use of the Moonlight software package.
An alternative to the Steam Link is a software package called Parsec. It is capable of streaming games with friends across the internet or to another TV in your house. It’s great if you want to play a local co-op game with a friend but you’re not in the same house.
Before you get started, we do recommend that you utilize an Ethernet network connection for both the computer you want to connect to and the Raspberry Pi. You may run into considerable lag issues as WiFi typically does not have enough bandwidth to do it smoothly.
You will need the following equipment for this Raspberry Pi Steam Link tutorial. Please note that you will want to use an Ethernet network connection to get the best experience.
Micro SD Card if you’re using a Raspberry Pi 2, 3 or B+
Ethernet Cord (Recommended)
Raspberry Pi Case
USB Game Controller
Installing the Raspberry Pi Steam Link software
1. Before we go ahead and install the Steam Link software to the Raspberry Pi, we must first ensure that we have the latest package list and that everything is up to date.
To update both the package list and your Raspberry Pi you can run the following two commands within the terminal on the Raspberry Pi.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
2. Now that we have updated our Raspberry Pi we can now proceed on to installing the Steam Link software. Luckily for us, this process is easy as Valve has uploaded the Steam Link software to the Raspbian package repositories.
To install the Steam Link software to our Raspberry Pi, we can just run the following command within the terminal on it.
sudo apt-get install steamlink
3. If you are running a version of Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi that does not include the GUI such as “Raspbian Stretch Lite“, then you will need to install an additional package for the Steam Link software to work correctly.
If you are running one of the “full” versions of Raspbian such as “Raspbian Stretch with Desktop” then you can then skip straight to step 4 of this tutorial.
This additional package is called Zenity. The Steam Link software uses this to handle dialogs that it displays to the user on the Raspberry Pi.
To install this package to your Raspberry Pi, you can just run the following command within the terminal.
sudo apt-get install zenity
4. This next step should be done on your Raspberry Pi by either physical access or utilizing a remote desktop tool such as VNC as you will require access to various GUI elements to proceed with the setup process.
Now is also a good time to plug in the controller you intend on utilizing, four our guide we will be plugging in our wired Xbox 360 controller.
Next, let’s begin the process of setting up Steam Link by running the software on our Raspberry Pi.
Within the terminal on your Raspberry Pi run the following command to start up the Steam Link software.
Next, we will run you through the process of setting up Steam Link and having it to connect to your computer.
Setting up the Raspberry Pi Steam Link software
1. On your first run of the Steam Link software on the Raspberry Pi, you will be greeted by the following message saying that it is “Downloading update“.
Just wait for the update to finish and the software will automatically launch.
Please note that on Raspbian Lite you may be prompted to install additional packages. Follow the prompts displayed within the terminal to proceed as the Steam Link software will automatically begin the process of downloading them.
2. After the update process has completed, you will be greeted by a screen asking you to select the computer that you want your Raspberry Pi Steam Link to connect to.
If your computer does not appear, make sure that you have “In-Home Streaming” enabled on Steam and have Steam running on your target computer.
Press “Rescan” once you have enabled “In-Home Streaming” and have Steam opened.
3. Once you have selected your computer, the Steam Link software will try to make the connection.
If it makes a successful connection, you will be asked to enter a PIN generated by the Steam Link software on your Raspberry Pi into a prompt on your installation of Steam running on your computer.
Enter the PIN as shown on your display to continue the connection to your Steam library.
4. Once the Steam Link software on your Raspberry Pi has made a successful connection to your Raspberry Pi, you will be shown the following screen.
If you see three green ticks, then you are ready to start streaming your Steam library to your Raspberry Pi. Click the “Start Playing” button to begin playing your games.
If you see a message on this screen such as “Weak Connection” make sure that you are using an Ethernet connection and not a wireless one, as the Raspberry Pi’s WiFi is not nearly fast enough for Steam Link to operate nicely.
I hope this tutorial has shown you how easy it is to get the Steam Link software up and running on your Raspberry Pi, and how easy it is to connect your Steam Library to your other devices.
If you have any feedback on this Raspberry Pi Steam link tutorial, then feel free to post a reply on our forums.