As high performance, low cost video processing chips were introduced, it became clear that delivering video over the internet at extremely low latencies was possible. Since then, it has been our obsession to perfect peer-to-peer, low latency game streaming over a wide area network. This guide goes over how you can get started with our low latency game streaming tech, whether you want to play with friends or connect to your own machines remotely.
If you have a Windows computer, you can turn your computer into a "host" and share the whole screen, play games or do generally anything in low latency, with a controller, mouse or keyboard. You can remotely connect to your computer, let friends join to play split-screen games with a controller, and manually give some people access to keyboard and mouse if you wish.
macOS devices can also share their screen, but are currently best for productivity, and do not have controller or full support for mouse in first person games at this time. Learn more about differences of hosting on Windows vs macOS.
How to host a desktop session
Use either of the methods below. If you're inviting other people over, you will need to approve people's connections on the host from the Parsec app, or by pressing Ctrl+F1. Once people join, start up a game and play!
- Play with friends: Add friends using the friends icon in the sidebar. People can join someone that is willing to host by clicking 'Connect' in the Computers tab
- Get a quick link: Click the Share button in the host computer to get a link you can share around. People can paste this link in the bottom-right section in Parsec to join. Please note you'll need to accept the connection request to begin the session
- Join yourself: Login to both the host and client computers with your credentials. Click 'Connect' on your host computer in the Parsec app on your client computer
How permissions work
By default, guests only have controller permissions, while the owner has full permissions. The guests can just press any button on their controller to connect it to the host. If guests need additional permissions, the person hosting the game needs to manually give keyboard and mouse permissions by clicking the profile picture of a guest at the bottom of Parsec, or changing their default permission in the Friends icon.
If you want to make sure people can only interact with the game, the host can also use Approved apps in 'Settings' > 'Approved apps', which will pause the stream and prevent the guest's controller, keyboard and mouse from working whenever the host isn't in a game that has been approved.
Also keep in mind that the host can kick everyone from the stream at any time if needed by pressing Ctrl+F3.
Accepting or rejecting a connection
In cases where you're trying to join a host computer you do not own, the host will need to click 'Accept' for a connection to be made, or press Ctrl+F1. If the host does not accept or reject the connection request, it will automatically be rejected.
If you have any issues with Parsec, here's some pages that will likely be useful for you.