Interest in the cloud gaming space is heating up. As big brands like Xbox, NVIDIA, and Amazon vie for their place in the market, pioneering Google Stadia has grown steadily since its launch in late 2019. Here are just a few of the reasons why you might choose Stadia over the competition.
While major cloud gaming services like GeForce NOW and Shadow offer experiences that will best resonate with PC gamers, Stadia feels more like it was made for console gamers. Instead of signing into Steam, the Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect, you only need one Google account to access all of your games. The user interface, including the game library, can be scrolled using the game controller – no mouse and keyboard needed unless you prefer them.
Stadia has full achievement support, a place to view captured screenshots and videos, and a play store that can be accessed through the mobile app or Chrome browser. There’s even a full-featured friend center that lets you send friend requests, host parties, voice chat, and send text messages. Overall, Stadia will be very familiar to PlayStation and Xbox gamers.
Keep your rights to Stadia Pro
Subscription models have proven their worth in the cloud gaming space, defining the core spirit of Xbox Cloud Gaming and Amazon Luna . However, Google Stadia is currently the only cloud gaming platform that allows gamers to both purchase games from the digital store and sign up for new monthly games with Stadia Pro.
The coolest thing about the Stadia subscription service is that eligible Stadia Pro games will never leave your library once they’ve been added. As long as you’re subscribed, you can play them forever, at your own pace, without worrying about them being unceremoniously deleted. Even if you upgrade to the free Stadia tier and switch back to Pro after a few months (or years), the same claimed games will instantly appear in your library along with all your save data.
While new Stadia Pro subscribers can sign up today and get over 50 games including Control Ultimate Edition , Outriders , Saints Row: The Third – Remastered and Saints Row IV: Re-Elected , players who have been signed since the beginning, unbridled. access to hundreds of professional games, with more every month. In other words, the longer you stay subscribed, the more games you’ll have in your library.
Stadia exclusive features
When Stadia was first announced in 2019, it wasn’t meant to be just a console in the cloud. It introduced a number of exclusive features that most competing cloud gaming platforms failed to replicate years later.
The most significant of these features is Click to Play. Stadia lets you click a simple hyperlink and jump straight into a full-featured game—no download, registration, or credit card information. It’s a magical feature that seems impossible, but you can jump straight into Destiny 2 , PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, or the HITMAN – Starter Pack right now. You don’t even need to pair a Bluetooth controller with your device, but I recommend one if you have one nearby.
Another great Stadia exclusive feature is Live Stream. While most game streamers have to use a third-party screencasting tool like OBS to capture and stream game footage to Twitch and YouTube, Stadia has this trick built in. Stadia server to your YouTube channel. The only downside is that Live Stream to Youtube does not support webcams, but it does allow you to plug in a microphone for full commentary.
Although they are only found in a small selection of games, there are other great Stadia exclusive features in your library:
- Crowd Choice allows Live Stream viewers to choose specific challenges you will face in your game.
- Crowd Play allows streamers to invite viewers to play with them live.
- State Share allows players to share a screenshot of their game with others and then let those players dive into the same location in the game to experience it for themselves.
- Stream Connect is a collaborative feature that allows teammates to view each other’s screens in real time so they can better coordinate attacks against enemies.
No gaming brand is worth anything without its players, and for a platform as young and revolutionary as Stadia, this group is especially important.
While the Stadia community is relatively small compared to those on PlayStation or Xbox, their size is not to their detriment. Like a small town where everyone knows your name, Twitter hashtags like #TeamStadia and #Stadia100 and the official r/Stadia subreddit are filled with a family of gamers who love to share experiences, exchange ideas, advocate for new games, and help each other get getting the most out of the Stadia platform.
In short, these players are the heartbeat that keeps Stadia running, even as its longevity has been repeatedly questioned.
The ubiquitous game console
Some Stadia players like to say that their Gmail account is their console, and while that’s not entirely accurate, it’s not that far from the truth.
A simple Google account provides the gateway to run Stadia. Approximately 1.5 billion people have signed up for Google services, and many of them can use it to access cloud gaming if they live in a supported region . Just activate Stadia on your account and you’re done.
As for which device your “console” is, it’s most likely the one you’re using to read this article. Stadia works on phones, tablets, computers, TVs, and even some smart refrigerators and Teslas. Pretty much anything with the Chrome browser can become a Stadia gaming machine. You don’t even technically need to plug in a controller or mouse and keyboard since all games support touch on their respective devices, but it does improve the experience.
Get started with Stadia today
Google has made it as easy as possible to start playing games on Stadia. In fact, you don’t even need a Google account to access over 120 free trials and demos. Just go to the official Stadia website , find the game you like, click on it and dive into it.
When you’re ready to go a little further, use your Google account to activate your free Stadia tier. With this option, you only pay for the games you want to purchase and play. Unlike many of the free levels you’ll find on competing cloud gaming services, there are also no waiting times or time limits. You can play as much as you want for free.
Then, if you want to get even more out of Stadia, subscribe to Stadia Pro for $9.99/month. Not only do you get the first month for free, this tier allows you to request and save 3-6 new Pro games every month, stream up to 4K, and listen to 5.1 surround sound. Professional players also get access to regular game sales and free games on weekends, where you can play unpurchased games at no additional cost.
That’s it – everything you need to know about Google Stadia. Some players love it. Others are skeptical about it. The only way to know where you are is to try it yourself. Just go to the Stadia website and start the free demo right now.