How to Use Chromecast to Play Games on Your TV
A little-known fact about the Chromecast is that it is also possible to stream games in addition to streaming video and audio. With mobile games becoming increasingly more sophisticated, that is a tempting prospect.
Streaming games from your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi to your Chromecast 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. To keep things running smoothly, your Chromecast will reduce quality. Here’s a step-by-step guide to playing games on your Chromecast.
How to Play Games on Your TV using a Chromecast with Google TV Device
The best way to play games on your TV with a Chromecast is to use the “Chromecast with Google TV” model. This particular device provides Chromecast functionality and gives you the benefits of Google OS/Google TV. With that feature comes the opportunity to install Android-based games just like you do with a Google TV or Android device. Sure, the selection is limited, but not as much as with a regular Chromecast.
- Launch your “Chromecast with Google TV” device.
- Press “up” on the remote to use the navigation menu at the top. Choose “Apps.”
- In the “Apps” screen, search for games in the “app search bar” that appears. Currently, the device lacks a genuine games category, so searching brings up a lot more choices.
- Select the game you want, such as “Star Wars Pinball,” then follow the installation prompts.
How to Play Games on TV using Chromecast 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gen. Devices
Step 1: Choose Your Chromecast Game on Your Android Phone/Tablet
The first step is to find a game to play. This task is not as straightforward as it sounds. Only a small handful of 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 only mirror the screen to your TV.
Launching Standard Android Games
Many Android games can get mirrored to your Chromecast device by simply replicating what appears on your smartphone or tablet. However, this option usually carries some lag.
If you keep the quality settings low, you can 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 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, making 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.
With every new update and version of Chromecast, the gaming potential also increases, which allows for more serious gaming on this relatively inexpensive device. Whether you’re looking for a simple pass time or are looking to expand your gaming horizon, consider the Chromecast.
Let the community know how you use your Chromecast to play games in the comments section below.