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Aug 17, 2022 2 min read

How to stream games from your Gaming PC to your Steam Deck using Moonlight

How to stream games from your Gaming PC to your Steam Deck using Moonlight

In a blog post over on my personal blog, I explained that one of the ways I use my Steam Deck is by playing games streamed from my beefy Gaming PC. Either because I want higher graphics or because it’s a Game Pass game.

For this, I use a service called Moonlight developed by Nvidia and backed into any modern Nvidia graphic card. (There is Sunshine if you have an AMD-GPU instead.)

It is part of Nvidia GeForce Experience, so you must install this on your Gaming PC, which will function as a stream host.

Let it run and do its thing, update your drivers and all that. Usually, all games should be recognized and, if they work, made streamable.

Also, I wholeheartedly suggest you add your desktop as a streamable game to make the experience much more enjoyable:

Open GeForce, click the Settings (gear) button, click SHIELD on the sidebar, then click the Add button on the right. Browse to the app or file you want to add and click OK. You can rename the app using the Edit button.

To add the desktop to the list, you only need to add C:\windows\system32\mstsc.exe.

Now to the Steam Deck:

  1. On your Steam Deck, boot into desktop mode. Click the Steam button, go down to Power, and then Switch to Desktop. Wait for the Deck to reboot.
  2. Here, click on the menu button and open up Discover. Search for the app called Moonlight(If the keyboard doesn’t pop up, click the Steam Button + the X-button.) Install the app.
  3. Start it, and if both your Gaming PC and the Steam Deck are turned on and on the same network, you should see your host PC in the list. Click it, and verify the pairing code.
  4. You can also add Moonlight to the Steam Library. For this, you need to open up desktop Steam, go to Library, and at the bottom left corner, click on the plus sign, then Add a Non-Steam Game.... Navigate to your installation folder and add Moonlight. You’ll find it under Navigate to /var/lib/flatpak/exports/bin/. You need to change File type to All files and select com.moonlight stream.Moonlight.
  5. You’re all set. Boot back to the gaming mode and launch Moonlight through your library.

And if you want to go a little deeper, here is a guide on how you can set up Moonlight to launch Playnite for easier game management immediately.

I personally start the desktop and go to whatever game I want from here.

And also, if you want to have a way to wake up your PC from sleep, follow this guide:

How to wake up your PC using your Steam Deck
If you followed my guide to set up streaming from your Gaming PC to your Steam Deck using Moonlight, you might be interested in a method to wake your PC over LAN using nothing but your Steam Deck. You know, for when you are extra lazy and don’t even
Kevin Wammer
Gamer since the age of 3. Fell in love with tech while hacking PSPs for fun. I have a tri-force on my forearm.
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