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How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV: Nvidia GameStream

Nvidia-SHIELD-TV-Plex-CLient

written by Moe Long October 18, 2017

The Nvidia Shield TV is our Editor’s Choice as a Plex client device and a legal Kodi box. It’s the best 4K streaming box available, and sports smart home use with its SmartThings USB hub and Google Assistant integration. But a major component of the Shield TV is its ability to play games. While the Shield TV is capable of playing ROMs using emulators, it packs the power to bring PC games to the living room. Learn how to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV using Nvidia GameStream.

Nvidia GameStream requirements

We’ll look at how to play PC games on Nvidia Shield TV units. But before that, there’s a small list of prerequisites. Nvidia GameStream is the way the Shield handles network streaming. It’s a fantastic bit of software with the ability to cast games in 4K, and features Steam support baked in. However, you’ll need a few items first. [Read: 5 Best IR remote controls for Kodi boxes – Fire TV, Android TV, Shield TV]

  1. GeForce Experience
  2. A compatible Nvidia GPU 
  3. A Shield TV
Best Plex Client Devices:
  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server - $299.99 editors pick
  2. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player - $89.99
  3. Roku Premiere+ 4K UHD - $83.99
  4. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit - $69.99
  5. Xbox One 500 GB Console - $264.99

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV

Note that performance varies based on several factors. The specific GPU, network quality, and connection type all dictate the PC game streaming experience. Ideally, run both the host machine and Shield TV off of an Ethernet connection either directly or using a powerline adapter. But Wi-Fi will work depending on the strength of said router. [Read: 20 Best streaming apps for Nvidia Shield TV 2017: Movies, music, and more]

1. Install GeForce Experience

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV - GeForce Experience

First, download the GeForce Experience software

Navigate to the GeForce Experience main page. Here, click the Download Now button to download the most recent version of the GeForce Experience software. When that’s downloaded, navigate to the directory where you saved the .exe and install GeForce Experience. Likely, this is your Downloads directory. [Read: 5 Best Kodi skins for Nvidia Shield TV 2017 – Performance with looks]

2. Launch GeForce Experience

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV - GeForce Experience main page

The GeForce Experience main page

Next, with GeForce Experience installed, launch the software. Here, you’ll need to create an account. After you’ve launched the software and made an account, log in.

3. Enable GameStream

After installing GameStream and creating an account, it’s time to enable GameStream. Click on the cog wheel in the top right hand corner of the screen.

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV - Settings

Navigate to GeForce Experience settings

Once on the settings page, click the Shield tab. Then, toggle GameStream to on.

How to stream games to nvidia shield tv - Toggle GameStream on

Toggle GameStream to on

4. Open Nvidia Games app on Shield TV

With that step completed, we’re almost ready to use GameStream with Shield TV devices. On your Shield TV, open the Shield Games app and select My Library. Then, click the Set up GameStream option. You’ll be prompted for your login. After entering that, you should be able to stream games over your network from a compatible PC to a Shield TV.

GameStream with Shield TV notes

While the process is pretty straightforward, there are a few items to note. As I mentioned, I’d strongly suggest running either your Shield TV, PC, or both off of a hardwired connection. This ensures that your network isn’t bogged down with the traffic of heavy network streaming.

Notably, this method for how to play PC games on Nvidia Shield TV set top boxes works with both desktop and laptop hosts. But for those with switchable graphics, you might encounter an issue. On my HP Omen laptop, outfitted with an i7 and GTX 965m, some games launched with a black screen. I had to manually specify which graphics to use, in this case discrete, not integrated.

To accomplish this, open your Nvidia control panel.

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV - Nvidia control panel

Open the Nvidia control panel

With that open, select High-performance Nvidia processor from the drop down. Then, click Apply.

How to stream games to Nvidia Shield TV - high performance GPU

Select your discrete GPU

How to play PC games on Nvidia shield TV: Final thoughts

With its native Android gaming, emulator support, robust streaming, and PC game streaming capabilities, the Nvidia Shield TV is one of the most versatile devices available. Benefiting its gaming aspects, there are loads of third-party gamepads which support the Shield TV.

What games are you playing on your Shield TV?

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