What is Google Stadia and how to use the new gaming platform?

by Aron Harding
What is Google Stadia and how to use the new gaming platform

Google launched a streaming gaming service called Stadia some while ago, with which the company promises to reinvent the way we enjoy the games. We prepared a guide answering what is Google Stadia, how it works, what are the available games for Stadia and the pricing of the new game streaming service.

We should remind you that at the moment, Google allows people to use Stadia Pro for two months due to coronavirus for no charge. Enjoy : )

What is Google Stadia and how to use it?

It is a streaming game platform that offers the possibility of running games at maximum resolution and from different devices without installing them on the device. The idea is not new, but the resources that Google has can make it a different bet than the rest of the cloud gaming alternatives.

In the case of Stadia, each title is processed in Google’s global data centers (more than 7,500 data centers around the world) before sending a compressed version through its own Chrome browser. This also is done at a high speed, which makes the experience very similar to having the game itself.

It allows a maximum resolution of 4K UHD, 60 fps, with HDR and multichannel sound simply by having an Internet connection of at least 10 Mbps. Of course, to obtain the highest quality you will need a connection of at least 35Mbps. It is even hoped that in the future it can offer up to 8K and 120 fps game streaming.

To offer this experience, Google uses a compression algorithm specially designed for the service itself and with it it is possible to optimize the available bandwidth and reduce latency.

What is Google Stadia and how to use the new gaming platform - Chromecast Ultra

Requirements for Google Stadia

Hardware
Luckily, when it comes to hardware, Google Stadia is not going to force us to have the latest components on our computers. To enjoy the Google Stadia platform, the best thing is to have an internet connection with low latency.

Internet connection
Although we do not need to have a dedicated hardware on our devices, we need a fast internet connection. Depending on the speed of our connection, the resolution of the games may range from 720p to 4K:

  • 10Mbps for 720p and 60fps with stereo sound quality
  • 20Mbps for up to 1080p, HDR video, 60fps and 5.1 surround sound
  • 35Mbps for 4K gaming, HDR video, 60fps and 5.1 surround sound

It is also important to note that the game controller in Stadia connects to our router via WiFi to connect to Google’s servers, therefore, it is necessary for our router to have a sufficiently powerful and fast wireless network. So there will be no delay between pressing a button on the remote and seeing the corresponding action in games.

On which devices Google Stadia will work and are there any service limitations?
While at the time of its launch access to the platform was limited to Pixel 3, 3a, 4 and its XL variants, today we can enjoy Google Stadia from our iOS or Android mobiles , thanks to the app. On the computers, Google Stadia can run through Google Chrome or on TVs using the Chromecast Ultra and the remote control itself . This also allows us to start a game on any of these devices and continue it on another device.

To enjoy the platform’s video games on any device other than the TV, it is possible to use any remote connected to the device, but to get the most out of and have access to various service options, using the official remote might be the best idea.

Other drawbacks of Google Stadia are…

  • The need for Chromecast Ultra and official controller to enjoy video games on TV. Other versions or models are not compatible at the moment.
  • On the computer, mobile and tablet you can only play with a wired controller.
  • Since all games are on cloud, you might use a lot of bandwith.
  • The quality on PC is limited
  • Game catalog still not very large

How much data Google Stadia consumes on a phone or a tablet?

  • Optimal Visual Quality: Delivers up to 4K resolution and up to 20GB/hour.
  • Balanced experience: The system will determine which is the best experience based on the speed of our connection
  • Limited data usage : You can limit consumption to 4.5GB of data and quality to 720p per hour. This option can be configured in the section Data usage and performance of the Google Stadia app on iOS or Android devices.

List of available games for Google Stadia

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
AOT: Final Battle
Baldur’s Gate 3
Borderlands 3
Cyberpunk 2077
Darksiders Genesis
Destiny 2: The Collection
Destroy All Humans!
DOOM
DOOM Eternal
Dragonball 2 Xenoverse
Farming Simulator 19
FINAL FANTASY XV
Football Manager 2020
Get Packed
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Gods & Monsters
GRID
GYLT
Just Dance 2020
Kine
Marvel’s Avengers
Exodus Metro
Mortal Kombat 11
NBA 2K20
Orcs Must Die! 3
Rage 2
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Samurai Showdown
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Supercross 3
SUPERHOT
The Crew 2
The Elder Scrolls Online
Thumper
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Trials Rising
Watch Dogs Legion
Windjammers 2
Wolfenstein: Youngblood

What is Google Stadia and how to use the new gaming platform? Stadia Controller features and drawbacks

The controls

Many people wonders about the useability of the Google Stadia controller. We must remind that you only need Stadia controller if you want to play on your TV through Chromecast Ultra. But on a mobile or a computer, you can use other controllers such as the PlayStation DualShock , the Xbox or the Pro controller from the Nintendo Switch.

Of course, in this case you will lack some features, since the Google Stadia controller also connects to the Internet, which allows to reduce latency when you press the buttons. And Stadia controller allows to use certain functions. It has a Google Assistant button and microphone, a Capture button and provides quick access to image and video capture functions.

For the drawbacks of the Google controller, you must physically plug the controller through its cable to use it on your mobile or computer, since it does not support any other type of pairing with these devices. It should be noted that it also has a headphone jack.

Finally, it has a Li-ion battery, so you don’t need to put in batteries, but you need to charge it.

Google Stadia pricing

From the Google store it is possible to buy or subscribe to the streaming games service. For this, we will have these options:

Stadia Pro for $9.99 / month: includes resolution up to 4K and 60 fps, possibility to buy games whenever you want, get exclusive discounts for certain games or have access to certain games for free.
Stadia Premiere Edition for $129: Includes Chromecast Ultra, controller and 3 months of Stadia Pro.
Stadia Base (available from 2020): Free subscription mode that will offer a resolution up to 1080p and 60 fps and you can buy games whenever you want. But no access to discounts or free games.

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