Playing PC games on your TV is all the rage these days, with services like Luna and Stadia offering an easy entry to cloud gaming. But if you already have a gaming PC and a huge collection of games, maybe you’d rather not pay for another subscription. If you also happen to have a recent Xbox, it’s a snap.
Update, 12/4/21: Verified content and links still good.
Windows has the ability to send its display output to different screens and devices. With Microsoft’s official Wireless Display tool, that includes all models of the Xbox One and the new Xbox Series X/S. Once connected, you can use your Xbox’s controller as a mouse for the Windows desktop, launch whatever game you like (on Steam, Epic, even individual installers), and use the controller as if it was connected directly to your computer.
Install the Wireless Display app on your Xbox from the Microsoft Store to get started. Once it’s installed on your Xbox, go to your PC. Press the Windows button + A to get the “Action Center” open, then click the “Connect” icon. Your Xbox will appear in the list, so click on it. Click the “Allow input” option that appears, and you’re ready to go.
Wireless Display will work with any device running Windows, but obviously, gaming laptops and desktops will be able to take advantage of it the most. You can use non-gaming apps too, but some protected streaming video services like Netflix won’t display on the remote screen. It’s possible to do this over Wi-Fi, but you’ll have much lower latency and fewer streaming hiccups if you connect both your computer and your Xbox to your local network via Ethernet cables. Even with an ideal setup, some super fast-paced games like Rocket League might not be playable.
This can work in reverse, too: You can access games on your Xbox via your PC by using the official Xbox app for PC in the Microsoft Store. This is different from Game Pass streaming—it’s using the console on your local network, and does not require a subscription.