Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions that aren't addressed here, please reach out via our support email address or join our Discord support channel for community support.

General

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

  • command + Q — This is the best way to quit the client on a Mac.
  • alt + F4 — This is the best way to quit the client on a PC.
  • ctrl + F1 — When your friend requests access to view your screen, you have to explicitly approve their access with this shortcut.
  • ctrl + F2 — If you're playing with friends, you can toggle who has control of the keyboard and mouse. These hotkeys are only available on the server side.

RUN YOUR GAMES IN BORDERLESS WINDOWED MODE

When running full screen applications, such as games, please run the game in "Full Screen Windowed" or "Borderless Windowed" mode. Parsec can sometimes have trouble switching resolutions and frame rates while it is running, so these are the safest settings.

THE SERVER MUST BE UNLOCKED

Due to Windows security settings, if you want to remotely access your PC via the Parsec Client, you'll need to leave your Gaming Server unlocked. You can turn off the monitor on your server, but make sure the computer doesn't enter sleep mode or lock after inactivity. If this happens, the Parsec Server will be unreachable on your gaming machine.

SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEMS

  • Client — Windows 7+ or Mac OSX 10.9+
  • Server — Windows 8.1+

SUPPORTED HARDWARE CONFIGURATIONS

  • Windows Client— Intel HD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 series or later
  • Windows Server— Intel HD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 series or later, AMD Radeon GPUs released after 2012
  • Mac Client— Any Mac released after 2012

Networking

PORT FORWARDING

The server will attempt to open ports 8000 — 8004 automatically via UPnP to allow you or your friends to connect remotely. If UPnP is unavailable or disabled on your router, you'll need to forward ports 8000 — 8004 manually. If you do not know how to open ports, we recommend the following guides:

Once you've forwarded ports, launch the server and visit the Servers page to start connecting.

NAT TRAVERSAL

If NAT Traversal fails, please open your ports directly following the instructions above in the Port Forwarding Section.

SET LOCAL IP

If you're having an issue connecting on your local network while running a VPN or if you have multiple network interfaces, you can set the local IP you'd like to connect to with a setting in the configuration file. Please change or add this setting to server.txt: network_adapter=YOUR_LOCAL_IP;

Getting Started

LAUNCHING THE SERVER

The server is located in your start menu after installing. You'll be prompted to log in, after which the server will minimize to the system tray and run in the background. You can right click the system tray icon for more options. When you log in, as you type your password, it will not appear in the app. This is a security measure. It may look like we're not registering your password, but we are.

LAUNCHING THE CLIENT

After you download the appropriate client for your system, you can connect to any server that is online via the Connect button on the Parsec control panel in the Servers tab.

CONNECTION SETTINGS

  • Resolution — Parsec automatically detects the screen resolution of the client device and will open a full screen window on the primary monitor. The resolution dropdown contains all of the currently supported server resolutions. While this setting affects the global Windows resolution on the server, you may still need to change resolutions when you enter a game to match the adjusted global resolution.
  • VSync — Currently the VSync setting will only impact macOS clients. Turning on VSync will increase latency by ~15ms, but will prevent screen tearing.
  • Bandwidth — Parsec will attempt to detect the available bandwidth between the client and server and use an optimal bitrate setting; however, you can put a maximum bandwidth cap on the connection by setting your bandwidth. For 1080p, 15 Mbps is usually sufficient. We recommend not going above 20 Mbps as the quality improvement starts to become less perceptible, and lower performing decoders can start to have issues at higher bitrates.

CONFIGURATION FILE

Both the Parsec client and server contain a configuration file as part of their default installations. Most of the important settings are automatically configured when you connect, but you can take a look at other settings in these files for fine tuning.

  • On Windows — The server’s is called “server.txt” and the client’s is called “client.txt”. These files can be opened and edited with any text editor, such as Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on MacOS. On Windows, there will be a shortcut to the configuration file in the Start Menu.
  • On MacOS — The configuration file is located inside the Parsec application bundle. Simply right click on the Parsec app in “Applications”, then choose “Show Package Contents”, then navigate to “Contents”, then "Resources", then "Scripts" to find the configuration file (~/applications/parsec/contents/resources/scripts).
  • Config Options — For details on all of the settings in the configuration file, please take a look at this list.

Raspberry Pi Instructions

RASPBIAN INSTALLATION

The installation of Parsec is very simple. Start with a fresh distribution of Raspbian Lite. You can get the latest Raspbian Lite image here.

The Raspberry Pi Organization provides detailed installation instructions here.

GPU MEMORY SPLIT

Once the installation and set up of Raspbian is complete, verify that the GPU memory split is 128mb or higher. Please run this command sudo raspi-config. Navigate down to:

7 Advanced Options

then:

A3 Memory Split

Enter 128, accept the option, and exit choosing to reboot.

INSTALL AND RUN PARSEC

After the Pi has rebooted, enter the directory in which you downloaded Parsec and extract the file with tar xvfz parsec-rpi.tar.gz.

Make sure this stays in a directory that the user has write permissions to. Parsec will crash when it attempts to update if it is in a directory without write permissions. Enter the directory cd parsec.

Run the Parsec Client with ./client

Common Issues

MISSING DRIVER

If you experience any errors with a missing driver, we recommend that you perform a routine update of your operating system. On Windows, the error is typically rendered in a prompt that informs you that "the program cannot start due to a .dll missing from your system." Many of these issues are resolved with a quick system update; however, please let us know if the problem persists after a system update, and we'll be happy to help.

The most common missing driver is api-ms-win-crt-L1-1-0.dll. The update that solves this error message is here.

AMD Crimson Drivers

If you're having an issue with an AMD APU or AMD GPU, please confirm that you have the most updated drivers for your CPU/GPU. AMD lists those here.

MFX DECODE ERROR

This error can occur when your machine is trying to use the Intel decoder because Intel HD Graphics is set as your primary video card, but you also have an Nvidia or AMD video card in the machine. If you see this error, please make sure that your primary device is set to your Nvidia or AMD video card.

WINDOW 7 PRIMARY DEVICE

If you're connecting using Windows 7, please make sure that your primary device is the same one that is handling the decoding of the video stream. If you have an Nvidia GPU in your client computer, you may need to set your Intel Hardware as your primary device to ensure the Parsec Client will function properly.

OPUS ENCODE ERROR

If you see the error opus_encode_float=-1, this is typically resolved with a fresh update of your sound card drivers. We're looking for an audio format that most new drivers support.

AMD RESOLUTION SETTINGS

New AMD cards have an option that prevents your computer from changing its screen resolution into an unsupported setting. Although this is helpful in certain circumstances, this setting on the server can block Parsec from working when you're accessing the server on another computer with a different screen resolution. Visit your AMD settings, click on the "Display" option -> "Advanced Settings" -> "Properties (VGA Display)" -> and check off the "Use Extended Display Identification Data" button.

2.4-GHZ WIFI

If you're experiencing intermittent connection issues and are on wifi, we suggest switching to your 5-Ghz connection. 2.4-Ghz connections suffer from lower quality connections and instability relative to the newer 5-Ghz standard.

SOUND ECHO

If you're connecting to a server and the user on the other end is using a video conferencing or audio conferencing, you'll hear an echo. This is another avoidable issue that we're working to resolve. Sorry for the inconvenience!

If you have any questions, contact us at support@parsec.tv