Being able to stream Xbox One games to any Windows 10 PC is a neat thing, especially if your console isn't always accessible (hello, family watching TV!). You can use this fine feature to play Xbox games somewhere else in the home. Here are some of the things you need and some tips to get the best experience.
How to stream your Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC
If you've never done it before, or you need a little refresher, check out the video above. It walks you through the process step by step. If you'd prefer a written guide, hit the link below.
It goes without saying but without a controller, you won't get very far. Xbox One doesn't support keyboard and mouse input (yet), so you'll need to connect a controller to your PC to play games. If there's no controller connected to your PC when you start streaming it will remind you.
Whichever controller you're using, the simple way to use it is to hook it up to your PC with a micro-USB cable. If you have the newer style controller that launched with the Xbox One S you can play wirelessly with Bluetooth. But if you want the best, most reliable connection you should use a cable. Bluetooth can be flaky at the best of times and you don't want a dodgy connection at that critical moment.
If you have an original Xbox One controller or an Elite controller, you'll need the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows 10, which costs an additional $20.
When it comes to networking, wired is best. That's a fact, and a wired network will give you the best experience streaming your games to your PC. The speed of your internet connection is irrelevant for game streaming, and it's all about the strength of your local network.
Inside the Xbox app on Windows 10, you'll be able to adjust the quality of the stream to suit the strength of your network. If you want to get maximum quality, you really want to be thinking about a wired connection.
It doesn't have to be complicated. If you're using a managed network switch like the Netgear Nighthawk S8000, you have the ability to control which devices get priority bandwidth, meaning you can make your Xbox-to-PC connection as strong as possible. Honestly, just running a cable from the back of your router will be noticeably better than relying on Wi-Fi.
If you're not using a properly wired connection because it's just not practical, there are ways to maximize your network capabilities to get the best streaming experience. Powerline adapters are one alternative that can provide a more consistent network connection using the copper wiring in your home. They just plug into any wall outlet, and then you pop an Ethernet cable into the bottom and you've got an impromptu wired network.
You won't get the bandwidth you do from using direct Ethernet from a router or a switch, but in many cases, it will certainly outperform your Wi-Fi. These are particularly good if the PC you're streaming to is on the very outer reaches of your wireless network.
If you'd rather strengthen your wireless connection, there are other options. If you're only interested in a better game streaming experience, try and get hold of a decent repeater. They will give you a better wireless connection further away from your router, and they're available at all price points.
If you're also looking to get the best network for the sake of having the best network you can, a mesh Wi-Fi system might suit you better. Netgear, Linksys and many others make great mesh systems that could make a big difference to your overall home network.
Those are some of our suggestions to help you get a better Xbox One game streaming experience. If you have a hot tip we didn't talk about, or a specific product recommendation, jump into the comments and let us know!
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