Rainway might not be a name that everyone has heard before, and that’s perfectly fine. Developed to give you access to your library of PC games anytime, anywhere, the streaming app has made quite a name for itself since it’s initial release on Android and iOS devices. Now, though, the Rainway app is making its way to the living room with Apple TV and Android TV, and FireTV apps. While it does hit a few speedbumps along the way, the overall experience is definitely something worth trying out.
Nothing in the bank
Unlike other streaming services out there, Rainway doesn’t actually cost you anything to set up and start using. Of course, the biggest difference here is Rainway doesn’t offer you access to dedicated servers situated somewhere else around the world. Because of this it does require a halfway decent computer to run your games off of.
That being said, Rainway isn’t trying to reinvent game streaming like many other companies are. Instead, Rainway is trying to give you a way to enjoy the games you already have, on the system you already own, in more ways than ever. The application originally launched on iOS in January of 2020, following up with its Android release a month later in February. Now, the company is taking another huge leap and making the jump to multiple TV devices.
The goal with the new Rainway TV app is to give PC gamers a way to disconnect from their desk area without losing access to their favorite games. You can download the Rainway app on your PC and then on your TV streaming device, connect a controller, and then get started. It’s a really easy process to walk through at the start, and it didn’t take long to get the test system we were sent up and running.
Sleek and refined
UI is easily one of the most important parts of any application, especially one that you’ll be navigating with a controller. Because of this, Rainway has done a great job of situating its TV app UI to look sleek and refined. Everything you need is right on the screen and easy to get to, and you can press various hotkeys to bring up menus and allow greater functionality.
I never had any issues finding the games that I wanted when using the app, and the controller worked really well with the Apple TV app that I used to test it. Everything worked as intended and I never experienced any kind of crashes or performance hiccups in the app during the 10 or so hours that I spent testing various games in the system. To get a bit of a comparison, I did download the Rainway app on my phone (an Apple iPhone 11), and the experience on the Apple TV app was a much better one overall. That’s not to say that that iPhone app isn’t good or anything, but I just thought that everything worked a bit smoother on the TV.
To be or not to be
Of course, the most important thing about a streaming app for most people is going to be quality. Considering we’ve seen various streaming services offering subpar quality, it might seem a bit unreasonable that a service like Rainway – which doesn’t charge any kind of initial fees or anything – might be able to offer a smoother performance overall. Surprisingly, the Rainway TV app delivers a fantastic experience, even on wi-fi.
During my time testing the app, I played a couple of different games, as well as tested a couple of different network configurations. I tested the Rainway app using The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Destiny 2. Each game worked well within the Rainway environment, though I did notice some quality decreases when playing each of them on wi-fi.
That being said, wi-fi wasn’t a terrible experience on Rainway, and to be honest, if I was just looking to break away from my desk area for a bit, I’d be more than happy running Rainway on wi-fi from my PC to the living room. Of course, the best way to experience Rainway is to use it on a PC that is connected to your internet network via an ethernet cable, and the experience doing so was a much smoother and less pixelated one overall.
I will say that Destiny 2 definitely suffered from a few more quality issues than Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3. Because of how fast-paced Destiny 2 is, and how much you move around, the game does experience some quality drops during gameplay. It’s nothing super noticeable, and about what you’d expect from any kind of game streaming program.
An excellent addition to game streaming
While I have doubts that game streaming will ever reach the levels that many want it to, Rainway does a great job of working with what you already have to offer. The easy setup, no monthly subscription fee, and ability to access games from any launcher service on just about any major device is a huge plus. While the game quality isn’t nearly as great as it would be playing it natively on your machine, it never drops down enough to really write the service off.
If you’re looking for a way to play your PC games in the living room that isn’t going to break the bank, then Rainway’s TV app is a great addition to the game streaming world, and one I definitely recommend checking out.
These impressions are based up on a review unit provided by Rainway. You can learn more about Rainway on the official website.
Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Rainway TV app impressions: Couch-friendly PC gaming
Note that this also works in a browser (no app required for remote session)
Also kinda works in my Tesla
That's dope, dude. And yeah, I knew about the browser, this was just mostly about the TV App, though.