The Google Stadia Guide: Is it worth it? (2022)
(3/17) Update: As of January 18th at 11:59PM PT Google Stadia has officially shut down. This article serves as an archive of the past, documenting the once-promising future that Google Stadia had. It captures a specific moment in time when the potential of the platform was widely discussed and viewed as a game-changer in the gaming industry.
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What is Google Stadia?
Google Stadia is a cloud gaming or game streaming service from Google. Similar to video streaming services like Netflix, Google Stadia brings you classic and new games at a stroke without taking up valuable disk space or massive downloads.
Google Stadia is a new and different gaming platform as no huge downloads, no console, high-powered PC, or gaming laptop is required. All you need is a reliable internet connection.
What devices is Google Stadia compatible with?
You can play using any device, from a PC to a tablet to a phone to a TV. Here's a list of some of the supported devices:
- Apple® iPhone® and iPad®
- Samsung Galaxy® S8 and higher
- Samsung Note 8® and higher
- Pixel 2 and higher
- Chromecast Ultra
- Sony® BRAVIA
View the Stadia-compatible screen and gamepad list for the complete guide.
What countries can I play Google Stadia in?
Google Stadia is available (currently) in 22 countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
What is cloud gaming/ game streaming?
In brief, just like Netflix and other streaming services, cloud gaming is a way to play games using remote servers in data centers. Stadia removes the need for a powerful machine to play high-quality video games. Google's powerful cloud computing servers stream the games, so it's done remotely instead of processing via your CPU. So, you can instantly play games almost anywhere as long as you have a decent internet connection - giving your not-so-new computer, phone, or tablet a new lease of life.
How does Google Stadia work?
Google Stadia works by relaying inputs from your controller over the internet, then streaming the result back to your chosen device via cloud computing power.
When it started, Stadia supported just:
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 3 & 3a
- Pixel 4
Google has since significantly increased the list of compatible phones and other devices. You can also stream on iPhones and iPads, but you'll need Safari, as Apple doesn't permit this kind of streaming app in their store.
You do not need to download or install games on your PC or console. That said, the service requires a fast and reliable internet connection to send the necessary gaming information to an app or browser installed on the device you want to use. Google recommends an internet connection of at least 10 Mbps for a stable 720p stream.
It all takes place on a remote server, but you watch and play on your choice of device. As long as you have a good internet connection, you're good to go.
The seven benefits of Google Stadia
The benefits of Stadia are pretty impressive:
- No downloading: It is all on a remote server, you don't lose space on your hard-drive.
- Ability to use multiple platforms with one account: Play on your TV, tablet, PC, or phone.
- Inexpensive: Choose free, or Pro membership is only $9.99USD per month.
- Massive game library: Over 350 titles available that expands every month.
- Console Agnostic: No need to buy the latest console - saving you lots of cash.
- Play anywhere: Because it's cross-platform, you are only limited by internet connection.
- Automatic Updates: You don't need to update it's done for you.
What is the cost of Google Stadia?
Stadia is 'free.' The price is the cost of your internet and the game itself. Membership costs nothing, but you need to pay for each game individually as you would in a store or on Steam.
Stadia Free Plan
The free version of Stadia caps game resolution at 1080p and 60FPS. Stadia comes with some free game titles available for all, including:
- Destiny 2
- Super Bomberman R
- Resident Evil Village (Demo)
Stadia allows you to demo many titles for 30-60 minutes at no cost. It is an excellent chance for you to check out the service and see how it plays.
The Stadia Pro version is a subscription service that costs $9.99 per month. The perks include:
- 2 -4 free games a month to play that you can keep with your membership.
- Higher quality display: stream games up to 4k at 60fps and 5.1 surround sound.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals on supported TVs.
- Exclusive game discounts.
You get a free one-month trial with any new membership.
What does Google Stadia need?
Stadia doesn't require that much hardware, which is the beauty of cloud gaming. You can use a keyboard, a Stadia controller, or a regular controller if it is on this list.
It does need a good internet connection as it eats data. If you want to play on mobile, your data usage is up to 2.7 GB per hour! So, you'll need to upgrade to an unlimited data plan.
At a minimum, you'll need:
- A connection speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or higher. A slower connection speed would cause gameplay issues.
- To play at 4K resolution, you need the Stadia Pro subscription and a connection of 35 Mbps or more.
Google Stadia's speed test can tell if your internet connection is fast enough.
Is Google Stadia worth it in 2022?
That would depend on what you are looking for. At the moment, cloud gaming isn't quite as good as console gaming, but it is catching up rapidly.
There are issues with latency and lag because of internet connection quality, which varies globally. You'll see no problems if your connection is good and reliable.
There are tons of games, and you can play them anywhere with any of your devices. The number of games available for a small subscription fee makes it a no-brainer if you don't want to free up your hard drive. Plus, the dream of CyberPunk 2077 on your mobile is a compelling reality.
Early in the year, rumors abound that Stadia would shut down, but this appears untrue. Google says that they remain committed to Stadia and its users.
Try Stadia for free.
Stadia Pro comes with a free trial for the first month, then $9.99 monthly.
Plus, you can play for free before purchasing a game, usually 60 minutes of game time. It is brilliant to see if you like the game enough and whether your device and connection are what you'd need to make the most of it.
Like everything, there are pros and cons with Google Stadia. But, what are the best and the worst things about Google Stadia?
- Good discounts on games up to about 50%, and they change regularly
- A comprehensive and varied collection of games
- High resolution and superb sound give immersive gameplay
- No need for storage or updates
- No need for expensive consoles etc. Just use what you have
- You need a good connection with lots of data
- Latency and lag
- Lacks a big gaming community
- Base Stadia lacks games
Google Stadia is a sound system. Is it perfect? No. But it's an excellent choice for gamers who want to play great games without buying extra hardware. Its continually expanding library of games and simple accessibility are some of its best features. Although Google is known for discontinuing services that don't live up to their potential, we're hoping they'll keep Stadia around for a long time.
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