Ever since the release of Windows 10, with its Xbox game streaming feature, I have tried to use the feature when I am not at home. My friends all like to play in the same house, and now that we are all grown up, it’s not as feasible to pack up the Xbox and a TV, and lug it over to someone else’s house. I have tried everything that I could think of, as well as anything I could find online.
What I Did Before — Hack It Together With Bootcamp + VPN
My solution for the past 2 years has been using the VPN feature built into my router, and a boot camp partition on my MacBook Pro. There were issues, occasional lag spikes due to the game stream not being optimized for use over the internet. It was dirty, but it got the job done.
The second part of my story comes with the release of the steam controller. From the first concept to release, I knew I wanted this controller, and I wanted to use it on Xbox so badly. I am not accurate at all with the joystick for aiming, so being able to use a touch pad has made playing shooters with a controller that much easier, for me at least. It doesn’t compare to the ol’ mouse and keyboard, but it was much better than the joysticks. I installed many different pieces of software on my Windows 10 gaming PC to try to get the Windows 10 Xbox app to recognize the controller, and while there was one that worked, it was not a good solution. The controller inputs were full of lag, and not useable on anything but single player games, even when in the house.
The Year Is Now 2017, And I Want To Play PUBG — My Search For WAN Game Streaming
Fast forward to 2017. I had just upgraded my gaming PC so that I could play Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even played it at one of my friend’s houses remotely, using the steam in home streaming and the VPN I had set up through my router for my Xbox. This route still had occasional lag spikes, especially in a game that is still in early alpha testing. So I started to research the game streaming apps again. I had looked into Kino console before, back when I had my Android phone, and remembered that it was decent, even on 4g cell coverage. Now, I don’t remember how I stumbled onto Parsec, but it was probably when I was just searching for a competitor to Kino console.
After installing and configuring my gaming PC with Parsec, and testing it in the house with my MacBook, I put it to the test: playing PUBG at a friend’s house. With them playing it through parsec on another virtual machine I set up for them, we were both playing PUBG on moderate / high settings, on laptops that had no business playing PUBG. One was a dell laptop from 2011, with an i3 processor, the other was a MacBook Pro running MacOS.
Would Parsec Be Able To Solve My Age Old Problem Of Xbox Game Streaming Outside My Home?
This got me thinking: Could Parsec be my answer to remote play for the Xbox? When I installed Parsec on my gaming PC, it asked if I wanted to install the controller option, which I did. So I was hoping that would emulate the right type of controller for Windows Store apps (needs to look / act like an Xbox 360 / Xbox One controller). So I tested it with an Xbox 360 controller plugged into my MacBook running Windows 10 (I didn’t want to have to install a 3rd party driver for the Xbox controller to work on macOS at this time), and it worked! So I tested it all remotely, and it was everything I was hoping to get out of remote streaming my Xbox.
Just for kicks, I decided to try to use my steam controller in MacOS through Parsec with the Xbox game streaming app. To my surprise, it worked as well! After everything I had tried for the past 2 years, to get remote game streaming and my steam controller to work with an Xbox, here it was. Finally.
Here are the steps I used to get everything working:
- Create an account for Parsec.
- Install Parsec on a Windows 10 PC (Preferably a stationary desktop / laptop that will always be at home). When asked at the end of the install if you would like to use controller support, click yes and confirm the driver installation.
- Install Parsec on a Windows / Mac / Android (experimental) / Linux / Raspberry Pi machine for use as the client.
- Install Steam on the client computer, and configure the desktop profile for the steam controller as a gamepad with camera controls.
- Connect from your client using Parsec to your Windows 10 PC, and open the Xbox app.
- At this point, if you have not played your Xbox from your Windows 10 PC yet, turn on your Xbox, and connect to it from the Xbox app on the Windows 10 host PC.
- Start streaming your Xbox from the Windows 10 PC app on your host PC.
- Profit! You can change settings in Steam for the steam controller, as far as what your paddle buttons do and things like the Gyroscope, but remember to leave the main controller profile as gamepad with camera controls for the Desktop Profile.
Believe me, after everything that I have tried to get all of the above working, it was a huge relief and joy to have Parsec do it in such an easy to use, and smooth solution. Thanks to the Parsec team for everything they have done to give us such an awesome piece of software!
Spencer McGuire is a tech / gaming nerd. By day he works as a Systems Administrator, by night he likes to play video games and mess with the latest technology he can get his hands on. His gaming system of choice is the Xbox One, as that is where all of his friends play their games too, but also has a Nintendo Switch and a Windows 10 gaming PC. You may reach him via twitter, @ang3l12.