The latest gaming consoles such as Xbox One and PS4 offer superb graphics. Hence, most gamers prefer playing on the large screen sizes to enjoy the full effects of the game. Some have gone as far as purchasing the very latest TV sets with huge size and mesmerizing graphics to enjoy their gaming sessions.
However, not all gamers can afford such a luxury and even those who have these TV sets cannot play their games on the go. With this comes a need to device new methods of playing on acceptable screen size at any location and time.
One of such methods and probably the most proficient is connecting your Xbox or console to your laptop. You are probably wondering how this can be achieved. Read our guide on how to use a laptop as a monitor for Xbox to find out.
How to connect your Xbox to a Laptop
There are two major ways of achieving this feat
Connection via HDMI cable
This method is simple and easy to set up. Your Xbox either 360 or One is known to have an HDMI output port. Hence, this connection should be easy once you have the following readily available.
- Xbox: You might be wondering why we still have this stated here. But it needs reiterating because it’s the most important piece.
- HDMI cable: This will be used to create a secure and fast connection between your laptop and your Xbox. You must get a high-quality cable to avoid problems with your connection and gaming.
- Laptop with HDMI input port: This is just as important as getting your Xbox ready. Most laptops do have an HDMI port but it is mostly output port. The output port is used to send video and audio signals out of the laptop and cannot in any way work in a backward connection.
However, the HDMI input port is all that’s needed here because you will be sending the audio and video signals to your laptop. Hence, you need to make sure this function is available on your laptop. Although, some use the HDMI adapter to connect their laptop to Xbox, it is not advisable. This is because it can affect the speed of transmission and consequently your gameplay. Also, you might have to get an adapter often because of its fragile nature.
After all the above materials have been provided, follow these easy steps to get your game running in no time.
Step 1: Close all the programs running on your laptop. This is to enable your Xbox to get the utmost attention from the processor. Also, it ensures that none of your activities are affected when you are connecting the devices.
Step 2: Shut down your Xbox. With this, you can easily create sync between your laptop and your Xbox.
Step 3: Connect the HDMI cable to your Xbox and laptop. As earlier stated, you must connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI input port of your laptop to avoid problems. Make sure the cable is connected firmly to avoid disruption when you are gaming and failed connection.
Step 4: Turn on your Xbox. After powering your Xbox, your laptop should detect a new input device automatically.
Step 5: In a case where your laptop fails to detect your Xbox input, you need to adjust your laptop display settings to meet the requirements. Also, you might need to adjust your Xbox display settings from the system settings to set a corresponding display with your laptop.
With these few steps, you should have your game settled and ready to go with your laptop as the monitor.
Connection without HDMI cable
This method is the most suitable if you don’t have an HDMI cable or your laptop does not have an HDMI input port. It is a bit more technical than the use of HDMI. But, once it is set up, it is very effective and fast. To carry out this connection, you will need the following
- Xbox: The most important piece in the setup.
- Wireless or effective Ethernet connection: For this method to work effectively, your Xbox and laptop must be connected on the same network. The internet connection along with the Xbox app serves as the connection module between your laptop and your Xbox. You must have an effective internet connection that works at a superb speed. This is because the fluency and smoothness of your game will depend on it.
- Laptop with Windows 10 Operating System (OS): The OS specification of your laptop is very important in this set up. Anything below Windows 10 cannot be used in this set up. This is because the Windows 10 operating system incorporates a wireless connectivity feature. This feature allows it to connect to various devices such as other laptops or gaming consoles wirelessly. Also, most of the features on the Xbox app especially that of Xbox one work well with Windows 10. Add the influence of Directx 12 feature from both the Xbox One console and the Windows 10 OS and you have a match made in heaven in terms of easy and flawless connection.
With everything set and settled, follow the steps below to get going.
Step 1: Connect your laptop and your Xbox to a single internet connection. This is important for effortless streaming. Connecting to a different network is also possible but it will require you to supply the correct IP address on your laptop and Xbox manually. This method is usually stressful and any mistake will render your connection useless.
Step 2: Download the Xbox app for free on Microsoft store. As well as the internet connection, the application serves as the connecting module between your Xbox and your laptop. This is because the Xbox console can be accessed on different devices via its app. Also, the application packs in lots of features that support and enhance streaming.
Step 3: Install the application and sign in your Xbox account. If you are yet to register for an Xbox account, then you should sign up and create a new account. The process is pretty simple and straightforward.
Step 4: Power on your Xbox. Once you finish logging in your details on the app on your PC, you need to boot up your Xbox too. If you are yet to connect it to the internet, then you should before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Create a connection between your laptop and Xbox. Firstly, on your Xbox, go to settings, after which you select ‘preferences’ from the options. From the options displayed, choose the checkbox ‘allow game streaming to other devices’.
Similarly, on the application on your laptop, navigate to the left side where the menu bar is. Click on the rectangular icon that is second from the bottom which is the connection icon. This will display a pop up to add a new device that will also carry the name of your device, select connect.
Lastly, it will display “Now playing, Stream and Controls” on your laptop screen, choose the stream option and you are good to go.
The major determinant of fluency in this connection type is the speed of your internet connection. If it is top-notch and reliable, you will surely enjoy your gameplay.
FAQs on using a laptop as a monitor for Xbox
Q. Is there any difference in connection if I want to use my desktop PC instead of my laptop?
- There is absolutely no difference. Your desktop must meet the requirements stated for the two types of connections. That is if you will be using HDMI cable, it must have an HDMI input port. Also, for a wireless connection, your desktop must operate Windows 10 operating system.
Q. Can I use my laptop as a monitor for Xbox without an HDMI cable?
The short and simple answer is yes. The best alternative to HDMI cable is the wireless connection. In this connection, you need a reliable and high-speed internet connection for your laptop and console. Also, your laptop must run Windows 10 OS to be able to use this style of connection. Everything on the wireless connection has been explained above.
Another effective but less desirable method is the use of the HDMI adapter. The adapter will serve as an interface between Xbox and your laptop by connecting through your laptop’s USB port.
Q. Can I use Ethernet cables to connect laptop and Xbox to the internet?
Yes, this is very much possible. The defining condition with internet connection for setting up your laptop and Xbox is that they must be connected to the same internet connection. However, if you want to use different networks for the two devices, you will need to supply the corresponding IP address.
Though, the use of Ethernet cables is not advisable as it can wobble and shake causing disturbances. But if you can get the connection right, it is a very good prospect.
There are series of ways through which you can enjoy your Xbox. Travelling and space should not be a restriction for you in any way. Once you have your laptop and the right accessories, you can fully enjoy your game on that widescreen anywhere at all times.