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Valve gives Steam Remote Play a long overdue upgrade

Steam Remote Play gets support for "4K high quality streaming presets" to give PC gamers the chance to play together at high resolutions for the first time.

Valve Steam Remote Play 4K resolution update: a monitor displaying the Steam logo appears against an orange background.

Steam Remote Play is a handy service that lets you stream PC games from your Steam library to your phone, tablet, or laptop. Its sister feature, Remote Play Together, facilitates streaming to your friends, and even lets them join in your games. Until now, we were limited to fiddling with our settings to allow 4K streaming, and there were often performance issues. But with the latest Steam Client Beta update, Valve has added support for “4K high quality streaming presets”. It’s about time, too.

Steam Remote Play is part of a raft of useful, user-friendly features introduced by Valve over the years, like Big Picture Mode and Family Sharing. It’s been around for a while now, having been released to beta in 2019 by Valve, and has been treated to regular updates, including changes to widen the service to those without a Steam account. Although everyone surely has a Steam account by now, don’t they?

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Steam Remote Play Together functionality was added later in 2019, allowing gamers to stream their sessions to friends over the internet, with only one player needing to own the game for a multiplayer match. It even allows for remote ‘couch’ co-op when the game itself doesn’t allow for online play, or cross-platform play, when the game doesn’t natively support it.

If you and your friends are happy with 1080p, then that’s where the story ends. But if you’re all on top-of-the-range 4K gaming monitors? That’s where Steam Remote Play has struggled. It’s definitely possible to stream in 4K, but it requires fiddling with your settings, and high quality isn’t always guaranteed. Some Reddit users have struggled to implement 4K, turning to fellow Redditors to help figure out how to get games to run at that higher resolution.

Thankfully, August 14’s Steam Client Beta update introduced a long-awaited feature, bringing “support for 4K high quality streaming presets”. This is welcome news for those of us looking to make the most of our high-end peripherals, but we’re still wondering why it’s taken Valve so long to get round to this upgrade. Check out our guide to the best 4K gaming monitors if you’re keen to get involved on the high-resolution action.