One of the most important questions for potential Google Stadia users is whether your network speeds are fast enough. Fortunately, Google has a tool available to answer these questions.
Google Stadia Network Speed Test
Head over to the official Google Stadia speed test tool, and simply click/tap the “Check Now” button, after which you’ll be presented with some feedback on what to expect from Stadia.
A few things to note about this test: I would advise running it a few times to get a sense for network variability, across 6 tests my speeds dipped as low as 31Mbps and as high as 110Mbps, with an average around 78Mbps. It was also the most conservative speed test that I’ve found, running an additional 6 tests on Fast.com and Speedtest.net, my results varied from 78Mbps up to 220Mbps, with an average around 167Mbps.
The speed test tool will give you some good data regarding your current network, an d you should take that and compare against the chart below for the targets to get the best results from Stadia. If you are considering upgrading your internet for Stadia, this what you would need to shoot for.
At the bottom end is 10Mbps, which will get you the 720p resolution at 60fps with stereo sound. At 20Mbps you hit the next threshold for 1080p resolution at 60fps, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound. Finally, at 35Mbps you can stream 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR and 5.1 surround sound.
Google Stadia Bandwidth Cap Concerns
This brings up the other piece to consider for potential Google Stadia customers, and that’s bandwidth caps. At current rates, a 4K stream through Google Stadia would use an entire 1TB data cap in about 64 hours. Drop down to 1080p and this jumps to about 111 hours. At 720p you are looking at 222 hours, which would be an aggressive month of gaming.
Keep in mind the examples above are assuming no other network activity, which is presumably not the case. If you aren’t sure whether your ISP has a data cap you can take a look at this page from BroadbandNow. Bethesda’s Project Orion is offering some hope that improvements may be coming on this front with bandwidth reduction efforts by developers at the game level, but won’t arrive soon enough to be relevant for early Google Stadia users.
There are other concerns we still have with Google Stadia, but hopefully this helped you identify whether Google Stadia will work on your network or if you will need to make some upgrades before Stadia arrives in the fall.
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