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’s also possible to stream games. With mobile games becoming increasingly more sophisticated, that’s a tempting prospect.

In fact, streaming games from your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi to your Chromecast – especially the newer Chromecast 2 – 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 isn’t 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:

  1. The first step is to find a game to play. This isn’t 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. To find these games, search Google Play for “Chromecast games”. You can also visit the Chromecast store on your mobile device.

  2. If you keep the quality settings low, it’s possible to play ANY game, simply by mirroring the screen on your smartphone or tablet across to the Chromecast.

  3. Mirroring your screen is easy: first, pull down a finger from the top of the screen. On most modern phones you’ll now see a list of notifications – Users who have a newer Chromecast may have the ‘Cast/Big Screen’ option in the game.
    screenshot_20151116-164124

  4. Drag your finger down on this menu again. You’ll now see a bunch of options, including the option to Cast right at the bottom of the menu.
    screenshot_20151116-164107

  5. Simply tap the Cast icon, then select your Chromecast when you get to the next screen and, after a short delay, the screen on your smartphone will appear on your TV. Now, simply launch your game and play as normal. Note that some games suit being played through Chromecast more than others.

Gaming on your Chromecast: Tips and tricks to get the best out of your streaming stick

  1. Mirrored gaming works best on the Chromecast 2 – it’s less laggy than the first Chromecast, and this makes games easier to play

  2. If you have a Chromecast 2, it’s best if you set it up to use your Wi-Fi router’s 5GHz frequency band. This is usually less busy than the 2.4GHz band and will provide smoother performance, less lag and, therefore, better quality graphics

  3. Many games have adjustable quality settings. If you’re having difficulty getting a game to play smoothly on your Chromecast, try reducing the quality settings to minimum

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