How does Stadia work? How to stream games on Google's cloud-gaming platform
Stadiaworks by allowing you to stream games without a console or gamingPC.
- You can play Stadia on a variety of devices including a computer with Chrome, a Chromecast Ultra, and certain Android devices.
- The platform relies on Google's servers and a fast internet connection for an optimal cloud-based gaming experience.
Stadia, Google's cloud-based gaming platform, represents a new world of gaming where you don't need a console or PC to play popular games like "Destiny 2" or cult favorites like "Dead by Daylight," marking a paradigm shift in the gaming business.
Here's an overview of what cloud gaming is, who's doing it, and how Stadia fits into the cloud gaming realm.
How Stadia works
Cloud gaming with Stadia means that rather than having a physical copy of the game you're playing, you'll be streaming the action.
Instead of relying on the personal hardware in your house, Stadia games are powered by Google's data centers, which are capable of handling the bandwidth of graphically demanding games at 4K resolution.
You also won't ever have to initiate game updates, patches, or downloads.
What you need to stream Stadia games
A solid internet connection is practically a mandate if you want to enjoy cloud-based gaming with Stadia.
Anyone who's ever played technically demanding online games like first-person shooters knows how important a good internet connection is to prevent lag.
Cloud gaming ups the ante on your internet even more, since graphics processing will be done externally on the Stadia servers, rather than on your computer or console.
When playing Stadia on the Chromecast Ultra, you can hardwire your internet for more reliable speeds and consistency, rather than using a wireless connection.
If you want to play Stadia on your TV, you'll want to buy Stadia Premiere for $99.99. It comes with a Stadia controller and Google Chromecast Ultra.
Stadia Pro gives you access to the Netflix-like games catalog at $9.99 a month. You can also buy games and stream them with Stadia's free tier service. Read our introductory guide to Stadia for more information.
Other game-streaming options
Luna, from Amazon, will have a similar structure to Stadia, and is taking early access requests.
Microsoft's Game Pass, a subscription service that allows full download of games, recently incorporated cloud-based streaming of games, which the PlayStation Now subscription has also offered since 2014.
And with a few years of streaming available in Japan already, Nintendo recently made its cloud service available to US audiences with "Control Ultimate Edition - Cloud Version." More games are expected to be available in the near future.
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