Steam is not only the largest video game store that we can find on the network, but it is also one of the largest social networks of gamers. Through it we can connect with our friends, or with other players who share our tastes, and even play with them. But one of the lesser-known functions that we can find on this platform is to allow us to stream while we play, without needing anything else.
Steam allows us to stream our games without having to install additional software. Thanks to this we will be able to allow any of our friends to see our game while we are playing. And the guests will not only be able to see our game in real time, but they will also be able to leave us comments in real time and even start a voice chat to talk with us.
Do not confuse “Retransmission” with “Remote Play”
Although they may seem like similar concepts, in reality these two are very different options. The first, “Retransmission”, is the one that allows others to see what we are playing and talk to us through the Steam chat. However, it does not allow other people to interact with our game or have control of the second player. That’s a thing for the Remote Play.
Remote Play, formerly known as In-Home Streaming, is designed to be able to play on our computer remotely. Either with a Steam Link, with another PC or with a Smart-TV, we will be able to connect remotely to our computer and play as if we were sitting in front of it. In addition, this function allows us to invite other people to play LAN games as if they were sitting next to us over the Internet.
We are going to see, specifically, how the option of retransmitting, or streaming, for our games works.
Requirements to broadcast
Of course, the first thing we are going to need to be able to use this function is the Steam client on our computer. In addition, we will also be able to invite others to view our broadcasts from a relatively modern browser. Valve guarantees us the correct operation of this function in Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11. It will also work in Edge, although it is not officially indicated.
In addition, our account must have at least one purchase made in the store (it is not worth, for example, creating a new account and using only foreign keys or free games) and we must have an unlimited account. It is also important that our account is not banned from the Steam community.
For the rest, we will need an Internet connection and a mid-range computer capable of capturing, processing and transmitting the screen in real time without this implying a great loss of performance.
How to activate Steam streaming
To activate this feature, the first thing we need to do is make sure we are using an updated version of Steam. If we already have it, once we log into our profile, the first thing we have to do is enter the ” Parameters ” window , which we can access from the ” Steam ” menu .
Once inside this menu, we select the ” Retransmission ” section. At the top of the window we can see the status of this function. And from the “Privacy settings” section we will be able to choose who and how they will be able to see us play:
- Broadcast off : no one can see us play.
- Friends can request to see my games : anyone we have on the friends list can send us an invitation to see us play, but they will not be able to see us until we accept.
- Friends can see my games : any friend that we have added on Steam will be able to connect and see our game, without invitation.
- Anyone can see my games : any user, even if they are not on the friends list, can join to watch us play.
Once we select any of the last three options we will see a series of parameters that we will be able to configure:
- Video dimensions : the resolution we want the transmission to have. The higher it is, the more bandwidth we will need.
- Maximum bitrate : the bitrate we want the video to have. The higher it is, the sharper it will be, but we will need more bandwidth.
- Optimize encoding for : allows us to choose if we want the video to have higher quality (and occupy more) or have a better performance (occupy less, but with slightly less quality).
- Show viewers chat : we can choose where we want the chat window to appear. We can choose in any of the 4 corners of the screen, or deactivate it.
We will also be able to activate or deactivate some additional functions, such as:
- Record video from all PC applications.
- Record audio from all PC applications.
- Record our microphone.
- Show upload statistics (to know how much we are transmitting)
- Show “Live” status for others to join us.
Once the parameters have been configured to our liking, we click on the “Accept” button and that’s it. We will be ready to share our games with others.
How to prevent others from seeing us while we play
Not everyone likes to be seen while we play the computer. There are users for whom playing is a solo task. Neither online, nor have “gossips” watching what we do or stop doing. Everyone enjoys the games they want best, and there are those for those who see it as a big bottle, and for those who play the computer is like enjoying a good novel.
Therefore, Steam will allow us to completely deactivate the streaming function to prevent others from seeing what we are doing. To do this, we simply enter the Parameters window, in the “Retransmission” section, and in “Privacy settings” we will select the “Retransmission deactivated” section.
We accept the changes and that’s it. No one will be able to see us while we play.
How to join a live broadcast with Steam
When a friend on our friends list is broadcasting, we can see a message in the Steam chat. If we have in-game notifications activated within the client, we will even see a warning when it begins to transmit so that we can join it and not miss a second of the game.
If our friend is not broadcasting, and we want to see his game, we can send him a request to see him by right-clicking on the chat.
A new window will open, and if the friend accepts the invitation, in it we will begin to see what they are playing.
We can control the transmission as if it were a video on another similar streaming platform, and write messages in the chat.
When we get tired of watching the game, we can close this window to automatically stop the transmission. And, if we are the ones who are transmitting, the moment we close the game the transmission stops automatically.