Is someone else in your household hogging the big screen TV? Would you like to game in a different room without lugging your console around? If you’ve managed to get your hands on a PlayStation 5, an Xbox Series X, or an Xbox Series S, you can stream games from these consoles to other devices on the same wifi network.
While you don’t need a particularly fast wifi signal flying around your home for this to work, you do need a stable one to get the best results. If you can, consider plugging your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S directly into your router via an Ethernet cable. Switching off other devices using wifi will help too. Here’s how to stream locally
Sony offers an official feature to let you stream from the PS5 to other devices called Remote Play. Before getting started, you have to enable the feature on your console. Open up the System menu from Settings, then choose Remote Play and turn on the Enable Remote Play toggle switch. Next go to Power Saving and Features Available in Rest Mode, and make sure Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning on PS5 from Network are turned on, as it means you can still wake up the console from another device.
With those settings sorted, what you need next is Sony’s Remote Play app for your choice of operating system. It works on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, so you can stream to any phone, tablet, laptop or desktop with one of those OSes installed, as long as you’re on the same local wifi network as your actual PlayStation 5.
For Windows and macOS, you’re also going to need a DualSense or DualShock controller to use with your device of choice, so you need to buy an extra one or borrow one from your PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4 console. In the case of Windows computers, the controller must be connected directly via USB, but Macs can use controllers over Bluetooth or via a direct connection (pick Bluetooth from System Preferences to wirelessly pair a controller).
On mobile, you can connect a PS controller for your gaming (recommended) or try and make use of your phone’s on-screen touch controls (not recommended). Controllers can be paired on Android by choosing Connected devices in Settings, and on iOS by choosing Bluetooth in Settings.
Whichever device you’re installing the Remote Play app on, you’ll be asked to sign into your PSN account. The program should be able to automatically detect the PlayStation 5 on your local network, assuming you’ve configured it correctly, and after a few seconds the PS5 screen will appear inside the Remote Play software. You can take over using the PlayStation controller and work the PS5 as if you were sitting in front of it.
Click on the cog icon on the opening splash screen then Video Quality for Remote Play to set the quality at which the PS5 streams video to your computer or mobile device — reducing this quality can help if you’re having problems getting a stable connection. Other options are available while streaming on the mobile apps, like whether or not to always show the on-screen controller.
Xbox Series X/S
Microsoft has yet to enable local streaming from an Xbox Series X or Series S console to a Windows computer — which is rather strange, considering it’s so straightforward on the older Xbox One consoles. The functionality is in development, but isn’t live at the time of writing, and while rumours of an update are starting to gain momentum, there’s no indication of a launch date at the moment.
It’s the same story for streaming from a new Xbox console to a Mac computer for the time being. This wasn’t natively supported on the Xbox One X and Xbox One S, but you could use a third-party tool such as OneCast to do the job — this approach won’t work on the Xbox Series X and Series S for now.
Until support for local streaming to computers arrives fully formed and fully functional from Microsoft, you’ll have to content yourself with streaming to phones and tablets instead. On your Xbox, open Settings then choose Devices & connections and Remote features, and turn on the Enable remote features option.
Next, you need the official Xbox app for Android or iOS. Once you’ve gone through the initial sign-in and configuration process, tap the connection button in the top right corner (to the left of the bell icon), then Set up a console and follow the instructions on screen (unless you’ve already previously gone through this process).
Inside the Xbox app, you can then tap the library button (second in from the left at the bottom), then Consoles. Pick your Xbox, then choose Remote play on this device. Assuming your Xbox is turned on and online, you’ll be connected after a few seconds, and you should see your Xbox display appear on your phone or tablet.
You’re also going to need to connect a gamepad of your choice to your mobile device to actually get around the Xbox interface. The official Xbox controllers will do fine, or you can take your pick from any of the third-party alternatives that will work with your phone or tablet. Bluetooth accessories can be added via Connected devices in Settings on Android, or via Bluetooth in Settings on iOS.