The video game streaming it is a phenomenon that is here to stay. But while platforms like Google’s Stadia, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, or Microsoft’s Project xCloud offer us the power of their clouds to process games on any device, there are others like Rainway that allow us to use our own computer.
Let’s see, if one day you thought about how cool it would be to be able to play your Steam library on mobile or iPad, or even in the browser of a more modest PC that does not even have dedicated graphics, this is the solution.
Without having to pay a subscription or having to buy the games again
My Xbox Game Pass games for PC on iPad
Rainway is streaming video games to play all your PC games on your favorite screen. It is not a new project, in fact, our colleagues at VidaExtra have been talking about it for a few years, but it is only until now that it went from being just promises and illusions to a very serious reality.
Rainway currently works from the browser, from Android, from iOS, and from today they have a new experimental app for the same Xbox that uses the universal Windows platform. Let’s keep in mind that Neither Stadia, GeForce Now, nor Project xCloud work on iOS, and even on Android they have limitations.
Basically with Rainway you can take your games from services like Steam, Xbox Live, EPIC, or Origin, or even any DRM-free executable to another screen, as long as you have a PC capable of processing the game.
Rainway is kind of like a Steam Link but honestly it’s better at almost everything. First because it doesn’t limit you to your Steam games, second because it is much easier to configure, and third because (I repeat) it works on iOS too.
What do I need to play with Rainway
The Rainway app for Windows 10
To play with Rainway you need a couple of essential things: a decent gaming computer that is capable of running the games you want to play well, and a good internet connection: 5 Mbps for low quality, 10 Mbps for medium quality, or 15 Mbps for high quality.
The first you have to do is download Rainway Dashboard for Windows 10, obviously on the same computer where you have installed the games you are going to broadcast.
The Rainway iOS app
The second is to install the Rainway app for either iOS or Android. You can also open Rainway from the web on any other computer (it only works with Chrome or Chromium-based browsers).
When you run Rainway on Windows 10 for the first time you will need to create an account, beyond that there is not much you need to configure. The app automatically scans your system and adds all your games to the library: Steam, Microsoft Store or Xbox Game Pass, EPIC, Origin, Rockstar, Bethesda, UPlay, etc., almost any other launcher.
Adding a device is as easy as scanning a QR or writing a code
The next thing is to connect your mobile device, you just have to click on “+ ADD A DEVICE” from Windows, and you will get a QR code and another alphanumeric that you must scan with or write in the Rainway app for the mobile or tablet.
Then you just have to choose a game and start playing, it’s that simple. From each device you have a settings menu to configure various optionssuch as streaming quality, FPS, resolution, the hardware you stream from, and many other things.
Stream settings from Rainway for iOS
Normally Rainway adjusts everything automatically And the game usually works in a few clicks, as long as your computer is able to run it well. Depending on your connection and its stability, you may have some lag, or the transmission may be interrupted, but it happened to me once with only one game of the five that I tried.
How it is to play Rainway
The game will be run on your PC and transmitted to your other device at the same time
On the mobile device you will see the games exactly as they appear in Rainway for Windows 10. The app basically mirrors your computer desktop and shows on the other screen what the Windows desktop shows. Although you can play with touch controls, If you have an Xbox or PS4 controller you can connect it on both Android and iOS via Bluetooth.
On the iPad for example, you can also swipe from left to right to display a menu and switch between touch controls or controller, see some statistics, change how the game fits on the screen, or simply close it without having to navigate through the various menus of the game.
In general, the experience is very good, especially from a device like the iPad, which is where I have played the most without any problem.. If you are like me and you barely support playing on a screen as small as that of a mobile phone and you have a tablet, with Rainway you can get a lot out of it.
The dropdown menu in iOS when you are inside a game
I also tried the service from a Macbook Air 2017 and there the experience from the browser leaves something to be desired compared to iOS or Android, although perhaps the resolution of this computer (1440×900) does not help much since it is difficult to deal with an HD transmission , much less will it achieve with a FullHD at 1080.
Besides that I tried on a very modest computer with Linux (KDE Neon) and the experience was catastrophic, but considering how bad hardware acceleration is going in Chrome for Linux and that I lag even on YouTube, I had no high hopes.
XCOM Chimera Squad on iPad
Rainway is a great solution for those of us who want to play PC games somewhere other than the PC, like in bed, with the iPad on a pillow. Not long ago I got the wonderful Itch.io bundle that has more than 1000 PC games for less than 5 euros.
Those games work perfectly on the iPad with Rainway, especially since most are indies with very low requirements that work well on almost any decent medium computer. Just manually add the .exe files to the Rainway Windows app and you’re done.
Overland on iPad
Rainway is in full development, the iOS app barely landed in January 2020 and the Android app followed in February. But these people do not stop there, they also have a version for Xbox One that is in beta, but that means the possibility of being able streaming games that are only available on PC on your Xbox.
Besides that too they have plans to come to Android TV soon, and at least for now the service is completely free, without advertising and without any additional purchase of anything to make it work. It’s more than worth a try, and if you want to find out everything about its development before anyone else, I recommend joining its channel on Discord.
And if you hate life you can play Sekiro