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How to connect Game Controller over RDP

Olga Weis Olga Weis Oct 13, 2021

If you want to connect your local gamepad to a remote game station via the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to play favorite games, there’s a simple way to do this. As you may know, remote protocols cannot support USB devices of some types, but with a reliable third-party USB for Remote Desktop, you’ll be able to forward virtually any local USB peripheral over RDP with only a few clicks. In this article, we’ll tell you about the simplest solution for sharing an Xbox gamepad over the network and gaming over a remote desktop.


  1. Using Game Controllers over a Remote Desktop session
  2. How to redirect a gamepad over RDP
  3. How to setup gaming over a remote desktop?
  4. Why does we use Remote Desktop Protocol

Using Game Controllers over a Remote Desktop session

USB Network Gate is probably the most convenient option you may choose for redirecting USB devices to the remote computer when working via Remote Desktop.
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This handy software application can help you easily forward a USB gamepad to Windows 10 Pro remote desktop.
How to redirect a gamepad over RDP
Here are the simple steps you need to follow in order to enable a USB for remote desktop functionality and forward a locally plugged PlayStation controller to the remote desktop environment:
Download USB Network Gate and install it on a computer where your gamepad is physically attached and a remote PC where you wish to connect it remotely over RDP.
Share the gamepad on the computer to which it’s connected physically. To do this, start USB Network Gate, navigate to the “Local USB devices” tab, find the controller there and hit the “Share” button next to it.
 Game controller local device
Once done, the gamepad will appear in the software interface on the remote computer. All you need to do now is find it in the “remote USB devices” tab and click “Connect”.
 connect game controller remotely

This is it! Just a few mouse clicks and you can enjoy remote desktop gaming on Windows 10 or any other platform supporting the RDP protocol.

As you already know how to redirect an Xbox gamepad over the network, let’s focus on the main aspect of RDP tuning for gaming purposes.

How to setup gaming over a remote desktop?

Here is one of the most simple and easy scenarios of RDP setting up for gaming. As all of us are well aware, hardware encoding is ONLY ever used with AVC444 encoding. If your client isn't explicitly telling the server that it is AVC444 capable (e.g. can only handle AVC420), a RDP server will NEVER use any hardware encoding. I think this is because MS uses a special codec to generate a stream that is AVC420 decoder correct but applies special encoding that ensures fonts do not look block and blurry.

20 vs 444 rdp codec

So for gaming via RDP you’ll need to have both your host and client running on Windows 10 Pro platform.

On the host-side, go to the local group policy editor and then to the computer configuration > administrative templates. Open the windows components and proceed to remote desktop services > remote session environment. Once you’re there, find the “prioritize h.264/avc 444 graphics mode for remote desktop connections” entry and set it to "enable".

Ok, let’s do a quick recap.

Here's what you need to set up RDP for gaming:

  1. Hardware that supports YUV444/AVC444 encoding (GM107 / 9xx series or later)

  2. Nvidia Studio driver (as opposed to the Game Ready driver, at least at the time of writing this)

  3. Client that supports AVC444 decoding and reports itself as such.

  4. Enable the option to prioritize/prefer AVC444 on the server side.

Why does we use Remote Desktop Protocol

If you have good knowledge of RDP settings, this method will be a reliable means for remote access. By connecting over RDP, you get the ability to not only see a remote desktop screen but also use the resources of a remote computer and connect your local drives or peripheral devices to it. For this to be done, the computer must have an external IP address (static or dynamic), or it should be possible to forward the port via a router with an external IP address.

An RDP client allows you to work with text and graphics applications, get data from your remote home PC, etc. To do this, you have to configure your router to forward the remote desktop port (3389 by default) to the correct computer on your network.

remote desktop connection

Some users consider RDP an unsafe way of remote access compared to dedicated programs, such as Radmin, TeamViewer, VNC, etc. Another myth is that RDP uses a lot of bandwidth. But the truth is that RDP is no less secure than any other solution for remote access, and in many common scenarios RDP’s bandwidth usage is lower than many of the screen scraping approaches can hope to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol, or technical standard, that allows users to access and operate a computer remotely. While many unique protocols exist when it comes to remote desktop software (like Independent Computing Architecture (ICA), RDP, and Virtual Network Computing (VNC)), RDP is the most frequently utilized protocol.

First released by Microsoft, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) supports a majority of Windows OS, and can even be used on a Mac OS, as well.
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