How to Use Chromecast to Play Games on Your TV
A little-known fact about the Chromecast is that, in addition to streaming video and audio to it, it is also possible to stream games. With mobile games becoming increasingly more sophisticated, that is a tempting prospect.
In fact, streaming games from your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi to your Chromecast – especially the newer Chromecast 3rd Gen. – can be surprisingly effective and fun. Be warned, though: you need your Wi-Fi network to be working at its optimum level for this to work.
If it is not particularly quick, or lots of people are using it simultaneously, gameplay can feel quite laggy and your visuals will suffer, too. In order to keep things running smoothly, your Chromecast will reduce quality. Here’s a step-by-step guide to playing games on your Chromecast.
Step 1: Choose Your Chromecast Game on Your Android Phone/Tablet
The first step is to find a game to play. This is not as straightforward as it sounds. Only a small handful of proper games have specific support for Chromecast, including Angry Birds Go and WGT Golf. The rest are quizzes, word games, and the like. Most Chromecast games use your Android smartphone as a controller.
To find these games, search Google Play for Chromecast games. This action does not mean that all games listed are Chromecast games. Check the details for more information.
Aside from Google Play Store, you can also visit the “official” Google Store (product store) and head to the Chromecast product section using your mobile device.
The apps listed there are specifically designed for Chromecast.
Tap on any game from the list using your smartphone or tablet. Select the icon for the chosen OS, then install the game from the associated store.
Step 2: Launch the Game on Your Android Phone/Tablet
Launching Chromecast Games
To start playing, you need to open the game on your smartphone. From there, the app will provide the necessary setup instructions to use it with your Chromecast.
The “Cast” icon is the most common component of any Chromecast game. Simply tap the icon on your mobile phone, then select your Chromecast on the popup frame. After a short delay, the game will transfer to your TV while the smartphone becomes the controller, assuming the game design using that functionality.
Note that some games suit being played through Chromecast more than others. While many apps use the phone as a controller, other games just mirror the screen to your TV.
Launching Standard Android Games
Many Android games can get mirrored to your Chromecast device by simply replicating what is shown on your smartphone or tablet. However, this option usually carries some lag.
If you keep the quality settings low, it is possible to play many non-Chromecast games by merely mirroring the screen on your smartphone or tablet to the Chromecast. The only drawback to this method is the fact that you’ll watch your phone rather than the TV.
Mirrored gaming works best on the Chromecast 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen. devices—it carries less lag than the first Chromecast, and this makes games easier to play. If you have the second or third-generation Chromecast, it is best if you set it up to use your Wi-Fi router’s 5GHz frequency band. Lastly, many games have adjustable quality settings. If you have difficulty getting a game to play smoothly on your Chromecast, try reducing the quality settings to a minimum.