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How To Use Steam On A Tablet (Play PC Games!)

Learn how you can use Steam on a tablet to play PC games on Android and iPadOS – and how to use Steam on Windows tablets.

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Yes! You can play Steam games on your tablet!

However, there’s a catch: you won’t be able to play it directly on your tablet. Instead, you will be streaming the game to your tablet.

Windows Tablets Can Install The Full Version of Steam

The exception here is Windows tablets, where you can install the original Steam app as if you were on your gaming laptop.

Be warned, since your Windows tablet is likely to be less powerful than your gaming computer, you are not likely to have the same frame rates or graphics quality. You might still want to consider streaming the game instead!

We have a guide on how to use Steam Remote Play on your Windows tablet down below.

Steam, Steam Link and Steam Chat Apps on Android and iOS

Steam actually has multiple apps in both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.


The app named “Steam” is actually just a management tool with no gaming abilities. You can buy games, view your games library, trade items using this app or use Steam Guard.

This app’s most important feature is Steam Guard, a two-factor authentication tool that allows you to log into Steam by scanning a QR code.

Steam Chat

This app is like the chat window on your Steam app. You can see your friends list and chat with your friends.

Steam Link

This is what you will use to play games that you own via a stream. Literally, you will be streaming the image that is on your gaming computer onto your tablet!

Steam Link also helps you find your gaming computer with the Steam installation and can also add a virtual gamepad onto your tablet’s screen.

Get it on your Android here.

Get it for iOS here.

Setting Up Steam Link

After you have downloaded Steam Link, open the app and you will see this screen. On the iOS, you will be asked if you want to permit Steam Link to search your network for the PC with the Steam installation and also permit it to use Bluetooth.

Make sure your gaming PC is on the same network as your tablet, then click “Get Started” to proceed.

Searching For Gaming PC

Steam will start a search for your gaming PC with the Steam installation. Once found, you can select the PC and then you will be asked to enter a code on your gaming PC’s Steam.

Then, Steam will do a speed test.

If you are getting poor speed test results, you should find a way to improve that because Steam Link works by streaming video to your tablet, so your enjoyment of the games relies on the quality of the connection. Here’s what you can do:

  • Connect your gaming PC to the network via ethernet if possible
  • Ensure both the tablet and gaming PC are close to the wireless router
  • Ensure there’s nobody else using the network
  • If you have a good signal, use the 5Ghz network instead of 2.4GHz on your router for higher throughput

With a good signal, you can stream up to 4K video on the screen.

Read: The Best Offline-Games For Android

Connecting a Controller

By default, you will play with a virtual gamepad called the Touch Controller. Steam Link overlays a controller’s buttons onto the screen.

The Touch Controller has a direction pad and a few buttons. You can also press and hold your screen to get two touchpad-like controls for more precise controls.

However, you may want to connect a gamepad, keyboard or mouse. In that case, you will need to connect it to your tablet before doing the setup in Steam.

In the case of a controller, once you have paired it on iOS or Android, go to Settings (represented by a gear cog) > Controller > Pair Controller.

Start Playing!

Press the “Start Playing” button and you will be brought to your Steam library in Big Picture mode.

Steam Remote Play for Windows Tablet Users

For Windows tablet users, you should try installing the game locally and see how it performs. If your tablet is not up to scratch, you can consider streaming instead.

Streaming on a Windows tablet is easy. First, install Steam on your Windows tablet, then go to your games library.

You will notice some games in your library highlighted in white. Those are games that are available to play. If you know that these games aren’t installed locally on your tablet, then they’re likely available on another computer and can be streamed.

Read: The Best Gaming Tablets You Can Buy Today

When you click into the game, you should see a green button with the words “Stream” instead of “PLAY”. If it says “play”, then you have it installed locally.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Wie ihr Steam für PC-Spiele auf dem Tablet verwendet: Kurze Anleitung | Tablet Blog

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