Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Whether it be for travel or a quick fix in a pinch, I’m sure every video game enthusiast has dreamt of owning a small portable monitor. There’s nothing worse than breaking a telly or monitor only to then be left the rest of the day having your Xbox One tease you as you are unable to play it. To make sure you’re never left without a backup plan, today I will make sure you never have to hastily google ‘How to use laptop as monitor for xbox One’ again! This guide will help you with connecting your Xbox One to whatever device you fancy.
While it is indeed possible, it still depends on your laptop and what ports it has. On the back of an Xbox One there are two HDMI ports. One of these will be an HDMI input while the other will be an HDMI output. Your laptop is very similar to this, some will have an HDMI input port and an HDMI output port, whereas others shall only have an HDMI output.
The difference between the two is that input can transmit data from another device connected with an HDMI cable, whilst an output can transmit data from your laptop to another device using an HDMI cable. In its simplest terms, input lets data in, and output lets data out.
If your laptop has both of these ports then you can use your laptop as a monitor to play Xbox games via an HDMI cable. Don’t worry though because if your laptop only has an output, there is still another way.
Assuming your laptop has both of the aforementioned ports, then you can connect it to your Xbox One using an HDMI cable. The steps are quite simple for this, thankfully. However, if you’re fresh out of HDMI cables then you might run into an issue.
Step 1- Make sure your Xbox One is turned off and your laptop is idle. Idle means that no applications are running in the background and you are not installing anything. The reasoning for this is that we are trying to optimize your laptop’s CPU and make sure it is focused on detecting anything that is inserted.
Step 2 – Connect your HDMI cable from the Xbox’s output to the laptop’s HDMI input port. This will secure an HDMI connection, assuming your cable works.
Step 3 – Turn your Xbox One on. Your laptop should now display the user interface of your Xbox if all is done correctly. If this is not the case, make sure to visit your laptop’s system settings and locate the display settings to see if it supports being used as a monitor. If so, select the appropriate video source you want it to take multiple high definition sources from.
HDMI cables are becoming more and more affordable nowadays so getting one should be a piece of cake. Either visit any multi-purpose store or a more specified store that will sell cables. If you would rather not leave the house, Amazon sells HDMI cables as well. If your Xbox one console or laptop does not support 4K resolution, then it is unnecessary to spend more money on a 4K HDMI cable.
If your laptop lacks an HDMI input but seems to have a VGA input, then you can purchase an HDMI to VGA adapter and follow the steps above but with the VGA input being used instead.
If wired methods really will not work for you, then there is always the option of connecting wirelessly. Thankfully the wired method is not absolutely essential.
As some laptops do not have the correct HDMI ports, there is a slightly more technical alternative. You will require a wireless or cabled internet connection, be it Wi-Fi or Ethernet. You shall also require your laptop to be running an up-to-date version of Windows 10. Last but not least, you will also require an Xbox one (obviously) that is also connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or ethernet.
Step 1 – make sure the Xbox Console Companion application is downloaded and updated. This will be available in the Microsoft/windows store.
Step 2 – Log in to the app using the same email and password that is linked with your current Xbox account.
Step 3 – Using the bar on the left-hand side of the app, navigate to the ‘connections’ tab, which is located just above settings.
Step 4 – Click on the Xbox one icon to connect your laptop to the Xbox itself.
Step 5 – Click the stream button found beside ‘Test streaming’ and ‘More’. This will then begin transmitting audio and video from your Xbox to your laptop or computer.
Step 6 – Now click ‘Continue’ when you are prompted to do so, so that you may plug in a controller to either your laptop or Xbox.
Step 7 – Enjoy. You should now be happy as ever playing games on your Xbox while using your laptop as a display.
This works with any computer and other devices that run Windows 10 and is quite seamless provided you have a good wifi connection.
Ethernet is a lot more stable so the likelihood of it not working is slim. Being this method’s biggest downfall, your Internet speeds will most definitely be your main factor on if this is viable or not. Some routers are better optimized for gamers so investing in one of them should make this option a lot more enjoyable for you. The Xbox app itself is very helpful and offers other third party features that make controlling your Xbox account from a computer very easy. As long as all this works, you can play any Xbox game wirelessly on your computer.
Provided this is more than just a backup plan while you’re traveling, you may want to use something better than a laptop screen.
The television is what Xbox’s are designed to be played on, however with the console getting more and more powerful, and people being reluctant to get a better television every year; a new solution would be quite welcomed.
If you want your Xbox plugged into your gaming setup instead of your TV, then consider investing in a gaming monitor. Having an alternative screen may prove useful instead of using your laptop’s screen.
Gaming monitors are proven to be better than your standard TV or laptop screen because they have a higher resolution and refresh rate which makes your games run a lot more smoothly. Some gaming monitors also use special technology to make the screens less harmful to your eyes if you plan to use them for hours at a time.
Similar to the wireless connection used with Windows 10 and the Xbox app, you can do the same with your phone by following the same steps so that you can connect your Xbox One to your phone. Provided you have a newer generation of Xbox one controllers, they should link via Bluetooth to your phone. While this utilizes innovative technology, some phone screens would not be fast enough to make this a viable solution for a competitive gaming experience.
Not all phones let you connect Xbox One controllers to them however, most newer ones such as phones and Samsungs do. To connect the controller to the phone, simply turn on Bluetooth via your phone and hold the power button on the controller. Once the controller starts flashing, hold the connect button until it appears on your phone. After this, it is as simple as clicking ‘pair’, this, however, will require user consent.
Just so you understand what to look for when researching this topic for yourself or when buying anything monitor or screen-related, here are some terms that you will come across and what they mean.
Resolution is a measurement of how many pixels are on the screen. Usually seen as a number multiplied by another number, resolution counts the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and then counts the number of pixels on the vertical axis. As an example, standard monitors have a resolution of 1920 x 1080, as would a laptop screen.
Resolution is also seen as how many pixels are on the screen in total and directly impacts screen quality. For instance, standard gaming monitors are known as Full HD or 1080p (p for pixels). More expensive monitors will be known as 4K, or Ultra HD. The 4K monitors are basically 4 1080p monitors but on a single screen so the difference in quality and little details is ridiculously noticeable.
While a Tv monitor may have a higher resolution, the refresh rate will always be what makes it not the best for gaming on.
Your refresh rate is critical when it comes to gaming, especially the more competitive games. This is how many times per second your display will change. It is measured in Hertz (Hz) so if your display is 144Hz, then it is refreshing and drawing a new image 144 times per second.
You can most likely see why it is so important. 144 was the higher tier in terms of monitors but nowadays they are becoming a lot more affordable, so the difference between 75Hz and 144Hz shall no longer cost you an arm and a leg. A standard laptop screen would have a 75Hz refresh rate although higher ones are available. Some games limit this so if you want to reach 144Hz for certain, go to a game’s main menu and select it in the graphics category.
While the screen size is fairly obvious, it can play a huge part in impacting the price of your monitor. If you are looking for a 75Hz monitor with a 1080p display then it won’t be too expensive, however, the price will dramatically increase when you decide to go for a 4k resolution 144Hz monitor of a similar size.
Take this into account when deciding on what monitor to get as if you want a large monitor, you might have to decide if you would prefer a smaller but better monitor or a larger but slightly slower one. Personally, I find 4K resolution a tad redundant on monitors as you sit so close to them that the difference is not too noticeable. Do not get me wrong, the difference is still there so if you can afford it then, by all means, buy one. However, I’d recommend prioritizing a 144Hz 1080p monitor over the alternative.
Also, take into account how close you are sitting. The size on a laptop screen would be fine as you have to sit close enough to it to use the keyboard but the screen size of an external monitor must be looked at more carefully as if it is too big or too small then you risk straining your eyes.
Using an HDMI cable, you will seldom notice this as they provide a better than standard connection. With an HDMI in place of other cables or methods, input lag will not be an issue. However, when connecting wirelessly or with an older generation cable such as VGA, you may notice some input lag.
To answer what exactly input lag is, it is the slight delay from your input. This could be either a delay on the screen or a noticeable delay from you pressing a button on your controller and having to wait for the signal to register. While the delay, or lag, is never long. It is still noticeable and can potentially frustrate you.
Technically, input lag is the time that passes between sending a signal and seeing a result of that signal. Using an HDMI cable is the best way to make it function properly as it negates the input lag as much as possible. Those of you using the console companion app for the Xbox One may run into more input lag if your WiFi is not the greatest. This is because you will send high definition audio and video to a screen and also all of your controller button presses, which can be a lot for a mediocre connection to handle.
Despite only talking about downloading an Xbox app, or connecting your controller to your phone; online security is a big issue in the tech world. Your personal data is always at risk and therefore you need to know how to protect it.
Assuming your laptop has all the needed ports, plug the HDMI cable into the output port on your Xbox and the other end of the HDMI cable into your input port on your laptop.
Yes, but only if your laptop has an input port that works with an HDMI cable.
This can be done as long as your laptop has an HDMI input port on it and you have the correct display settings on your laptop.
This can be done either with an HDMI cable connected to your laptop’s input port or by connecting to the internet and using the Xbox One companion app on windows 10.