Playing Xbox One games is a lot of fun, but you need to have a display if you want to play games. If you are traveling, live in a large household with one TV, or maybe your TV stopped working, then you had an idea of using your laptop’s display as a monitor for the Xbox.
Luckily, there are a few methods that allow you to do that. You probably know about Xbox Remote Play, but you can also use an HDMI input port or a capture card to physically connect the laptop and the Xbox One. Let’s go over all of them and show you how to use a laptop as a monitor for Xbox One.
Using an HDMI Input Port
If your laptop has an HDMI input port on its side or back, then you can easily use that to connect your Xbox One to the laptop’s display. Note that most laptops actually do not have an HDMI input port but rather an output port.
An input port allows you to connect an input device, your Xbox One in this case, and use the laptop’s display as if it were a monitor. An HDMI output port, on the other hand, allows your laptop to use an external display, such as a TV, monitor, or projector, in addition to the built-in screen.
Unfortunately, most laptops only have an HDMI output port, which means that your laptop most likely will not allow you to use its display as a monitor for the Xbox. You can check on the manufacturer’s website or take a peek at the user manual to see if your laptop has an HDMI input port.
It is mostly gaming laptops that have it because they typically come with high-end panels that look great and sometimes have a high refresh rate too. The most popular laptops with HDMI input ports are older Alienware laptops like the M18x, R3, R4, and 18.
If your laptop does indeed have an HDMI input port, the setup is extremely easy in most cases.
Here is how it’s done:
- Turn off all programs on your laptop and turn your Xbox One completely off.
- Take an HDMI cable and connect one end to your HDMI port at the back of your Xbox One.
- Take the other part of the cable and plug it into the HDMI input port on the laptop.
- Turn on the Xbox One. You should see it start up as normal.
There is a huge chance that it will not work right away. HDMI input ports on laptops are notorious for that because the laptop is already using its display. You can try turning both the laptop and the Xbox off and then connecting the two devices. You can check if the display settings on your laptop are set up correctly.
If your laptop does not have an HDMI input port, though, do not worry. You can use a capture card to connect the two devices. Check the method below for more information.
Using a Capture Card
If you own a capture card, this idea has most likely crossed your mind. Using your capture card to play Xbox One games on your laptop is very easy to set up. However, the method is not ideal as capture cards can introduce a fair bit of input lag, which can render some fast-paced games unplayable. Still, it is the next best thing if you do not have an HDMI input port on your laptop or another type of display.
If you do not already have a capture card, then you can get a cheap one. Note that the more you play, the more you get, so a cheap capture card will not be nearly as good as a high-end one used by professionals. Still, if your laptop’s screen is the only choice you have, then it is worth a shot.
In case you are not familiar with capture cards, you can think of them as HDMI-to-USB adapters. They allow you to connect video input devices, for example, cameras, to your laptop or computer. If you are a streamer or want to become one, you might have already considered getting a capture card so that you could use a good DSLR camera for video capture.
Using your laptop’s display as a monitor for your Xbox One with a capture card is easy.
Here is what you will have to do to make it work:
- Close all programs on your laptop and turn off your Xbox One.
- Plug the cable into your Xbox One’s HDMI port.
- Take the other end of the HDMI cable and plug it into the capture card.
- Plug the capture card into your laptop’s USB port.
- Turn on the Xbox One.
- Download and install OBS Studio. Once installed, set it up by creating a new scene and adding the capture card as a source.
After you are done with all these steps, everything should work flawlessly. You will see that the Xbox One is now using the laptop’s display as a monitor.
See Related Topic: How to Use Your Laptop as a Monitor for Switch
In addition to using cables, you can also stream your Xbox One games to your laptop. This will work with regular computers too. Note that streaming is very different from the previous methods because you will essentially play the games on your laptop, but you will use the Xbox One to render the games. To stream Xbox One games, both the Xbox and the laptop will have to be connected to the same local area network.
You will also need to have Windows 10 for this to work.
The main benefit is that you will not have to use any cables for this. The downside is that there can be a lot of lag. You need to have a great connection for this to work, so try to use Ethernet cables to connect the laptop and the Xbox to your router. You can do it over Wi-Fi as well, but you will probably experience significant delays because wireless signals are significantly less stable and reliable.
Streaming your games from the Xbox is an excellent method to play AAA games that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to run on an older laptop.
Here is how to do it:
- Enable streaming on the Xbox One by going into System – Settings – Preferences – Xbox app connectivity – check Allow game streaming to other devices.
- Leave the Xbox running. Open the Xbox app on your laptop.
- Select Connection on the left. It has an icon of an Xbox.
- If your Xbox One is not paired with your computer, do it now. Once that is done, simply click on stream.
- Once everything has been set up, simply click on a game and click on Play from the console.
The next time you want to play, it will be much easier because you only have to connect and set up the device once. The next time you want to play, simply turn on both devices, connect them, and play your games.
This method is simple, intuitive, and easy. However, it requires a strong internet connection to work and you will always feel a minor delay that you do not get with an HDMI cable. Still, the experience will be similar to using a capture card, provided that your connection is fast enough.
In addition to connecting your Xbox and laptop to the same router with an Ethernet cable, you can also try connecting the two devices directly. You can use the laptop’s Wi-FI to play online games as well. This is better than connecting the two indirectly through a router because the connection is more direct.
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Using your laptop as a monitor for your Xbox One is not very difficult, especially if you have a fast connection or a laptop with an HDMI input port. Using the HDMI input port is the best way to play Xbox One games on your laptop because there will be very little delay. The Xbox will essentially treat the laptop as a monitor and you will see excellent performance and detail with this method. But since most laptops do not have an HDMI input port, you can utilize a capture card.
Capture cards are very useful devices that allow you to plug a video input device into your laptop. If you use a DSLR camera or a similar device as a web camera for Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype, then this method is inexpensive and easy. The hardest step is getting it to work the first time using OBS Studio, but after that, it is smooth sailing.
But the best method that you can use is the built-in one. Simply enable game streaming on your Xbox One and then do the quick setup required to connect the two devices through the Xbox app. You can use any computer with Windows 10 to stream Xbox games. You have to connect both the Xbox and the laptop to the same network or connect them directly with an Ethernet cable.