Scott Hanselman

How to stream PC games from Windows 10 to your Xbox One for free

March 12, '19 Comments [7] Posted in Gaming
Sponsored By

Xbox is ready for you to connect to wirelesslyI've been really enjoying my Xbox lately (when the family is asleep) as well as some fun Retrogaming on original consoles. Back in 2015 I showed how you can stream from your Xbox to any PC using the Xbox app from the Windows Store. You can pair your Xbox controller with any PC you've got around (either with the $20 Xbox Wireless Adapter or just with a micro-USB cable you likely have already). In fact, I often walk on the treadmill while streaming games from the Xbox to my little Surface Pro 3.

Then, a year later I did the inverse. I played PC games on my big screen using a SteamLink! Although they've been discontinued, they are out there and they work great. This little box lets you play PC games remotely on your large screens. I have a big PC in my office and I wanted to use the big TV in the living room. The game still runs on the PC but the video/audio and controls are all remoted to the Xbox. Plus, SteamLink only works with the Steam app running and is optimized for Steam games. It's a single task box and one more thing to plug into HDMI but it works well.

Fast-forward to today and I learned that Windows 10 can project its screen to an Xbox One AND you can use your Xbox One controller to control it (it's paired on the Xbox side) and play games or run apps. No extra equipment needed.

I installed the Xbox Wireless Display App on my Xbox One. Then on my PC, here's what I see upon pressing Win+P and clicking "Connect to Wireless Display."

Connected to Xbox One

Once I've duplicated, you can see here I'm writing this blog post wirelessly projected to the Xbox. It just worked. Took 5 min to do this.

If you're tech savvy, you may say, isn't this "just Miracast" and "hasn't this always been possible?" Yes and no. What's been updated is the Xbox Wireless Display App that you'll want to install and run on your Xbox. You may have been able to project your PC screen to various sticks and Miracast adapters, but this free app makes your Xbox a receiver for Miracast broadcasts (over wifi or LAN) and most importantly - now you can use your Xbox controller already paired to the Xbox to control the remote PC. You can use that control to play games or switch to mouse control mode with Start+Select and mouse around with your Xbox thumbsticks!

20190315_050720572_iOS

If I hit the menu button I can see how the controllers map to PC controls. No remote keyboard and mouse connected from the Xbox...yet. (and to be clear, no word if that will ever be supported but it'd be cool!)

Controller Mapping for PC to Xbox

To make sure you can do this, run DxDiag and save all information into "DxDiag.txt." Here's part of mine. There's nothing special about my machine. It's worth pointing out I have no Wifi adapter on this machine and it has an NVidia 1080 video card. Miracast is happening over the Wired LAN (local area network) in my house. This is Miracast over Infrastructure and it's in Windows 10 since version 1703 (March 2017).

------------------
System Information
------------------
Machine name: IRONHEART
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-7900X CPU @ 3.30GHz (20 CPUs), ~3.3GHz
Memory: 32768MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 12
User DPI Setting: 144 DPI (150 percent)
System DPI Setting: 144 DPI (150 percent)
Miracast: Available, with HDCP

When you've connected your PC to my Xbox and are streaming FROM my PC to your Xbox, you'll see this bar at the top of the PC side. There's three optimization settings for Gaming, Working, and Watching Videos. I assume these are balancing crispness/quality with framerate and latency changes.

Gaming, Working, Watching Videos

Now let's take it to the next level. I can run Steam Big Picture and here I am running Batman: Arkham Origins on my PC, but played on and controlled from my Xbox in the other room!

I like that I don't need the SteamLink. I find that this runs more reliably and more easily than my original set up. I like that I can switch the Xbox controller from controller mode to mouse mode. And most of all I like that this doesn't require any custom setup, extra work, or drivers. It just worked out of the box for me.

Your mileage may vary and I'm trying to figuire out why some people's video card drivers don't allow this and then end up with no "Connect to a Wireless Display" option in their Win+P menu. If you figure it out, please sound of in the comments.

Give it a try! I hope you enjoy it. I'm having a blast.


Sponsor: Manage GitHub Pull Requests right from the IDE with the latest JetBrains Rider. An integrated performance profiler on Windows comes to the rescue as well.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb
Friday, March 15, 2019 10:18:21 AM UTC
Most possible issues is the HDCP support of gpu drivers...
Phillip
Friday, March 15, 2019 10:27:51 AM UTC
Hi Scott,

I saw your tweet about this and am trying to set this up myself.
I must say, your blog is about the only resource on the internet with anything resembling instructions on how to get this working.

But when i try to project from my pc to my xbox it just gives me a message in yellow "can't connect".
Infact, while writing this, the win 10 settings screen is frozen. will restart my computer and try again.

I really hope i can get this feature working, it's been the 1 thing missing on my xbox setup.

But do you maybe have some ideas why the display to my xbox is not working?
Ps. i am using wifi, no lan cables.
Quintonn
Friday, March 15, 2019 2:02:29 PM UTC
Is there a way to start the streaming on the Xbox itself? From reading this, it looks like you have to begin the stream from the Windows machine. That's one of the niceties of the Steam Link - as long as the computer is on, you can start playing from the Steam Link side without having to go to the computer (which is extra useful if the computer is in another room).
Chad
Saturday, March 16, 2019 9:00:40 PM UTC
I'm able to stream the screen OK but once the connection is established in Windows 10 action center the "Allow mouse, keyboard, touch and pen input from this device" option is not present. Anyone else had this and found a workaround.
Ben
Sunday, March 17, 2019 10:30:08 PM UTC
What network connection is this being run over? One of the main problems I've had with steamlink-ing games over wireless is latency spikes that caused the screen to artifact or drop connection.
Monday, March 18, 2019 10:38:52 PM UTC
If you miss steam link, checkout Nvidia Geforce Now. It's a game streaming service that lets you play your Steam, Ubisoft, Battle Net and even some standalone games (Magic Arena) via what's essentially a cloud gaming rig. Even better, it's in Beta and free for the time being. It can stream to the Nvidia Shield or to your wimpy laptop...and even better...PC games on the Mac without an emulator.
MICHAEL D BROWN
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 7:18:27 PM UTC
Thank you for this post! I will definitely try this!
Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.