At GDC 2019, when Google unveiled Stadia to game developers, “State Share” was a very prominent feature touted as only being possible thanks to the cloud gaming platform.

Since launching, Google has been adding a number of features steadily as the platform builds momentum — much to the chagrin of gaming fans who expected a fully-fledged service right at launch.

While many promises are still yet to be kept, features like State Share are now available on Stadia for the first time as part of the recently released Stadia-exclusive Crayta. It’s fully integrated and works right out of the gate with very few issues to speak of.

Like Stream Connect, this could enhance just how we play games in 2020 and beyond. The traditional solo single-player experience has morphed into a truly connected experience — one that State Share could enhance yet further still.

What is “State Share” for Stadia?

In very basic terms, State Share on Stadia is a souped-up game invite. It’s actually a slightly more ambitious feature than that though, as State Share effectively works like a game invite but with some notable benefits and added flexibility. Like many of the emulators you’ve probably played for classic consoles, being able to save a “state” rather than using in-game saving means you can jump right back in where you left off.

Should a Stadia game support State Share, you can create a link to whatever title you’re playing. You’re probably wondering why this differs from a game invite. Well, this doesn’t rely heavily on the game or the framework, instead, it’s a hyperlink that can be shared and — in theory — should never get deleted.

Unlike limited-time game invites, you have a permalink to a point, place, or progress within a game. With Stadia now offering a free tier and not bound by the regular console or PC gaming experience, you can open the link on any device. It can do this because unlike a game running concurrently on your console and game servers, the entire game instance is within the cloud.

You can create an almost infinite amount of saved “states” meaning that you’re not bound by the traditional save point either. Progress is based upon a link rather than data on a drive or tied to an account.

How this could improve your gaming experience

Stadia TV

Say you have reached a certain part of a game and can’t beat that final boss or get past a tricky puzzle, you could potentially share that exact in-game point with a friend and have them try for you. Couch co-op is now exported into 2020 — and beyond.

For live streamers on YouTube and Twitch, the ability to share levels and content in real-time might prove to be a way to increase fan interaction and leave permalink challenges to viewers and subscribers alike. The popular “Let’s Play” series many of the largest YouTube gamers built their channels on, could turn into literal play-a-longs. Everyone progresses in real-time with all the same progress, loot, or story completed.

Because a State Share link shared on Stadia is a permalink, it lets you essentially “bookmark” portions or progress within a game. Think of this as a method of saving without the storage or profile requirements that you’re bound by currently. At this early stage, barely any Stadia titles have taken advantage of the potentially endless possibilities.

A recent release, Crayta, has been built around State Share so that you can share any in-progress world-building that you might be doing. This has manifested in level and world-building but could easily expand into further titles as Stadia improves and matures.

How do I use State Share on Stadia?

Simply put, it will depend on the game you are playing and if it supports the link sharing. At present, only one Stadia game “officially” supports State Share — which is Crayta. More games are expected as the entire platform progresses, but it is worth noting that developers can add the feature even on older titles should they wish.

Creating a link will vary from game title to game title. For example, within Crayta you can open the in-game menu and click the “Create” tab. From here you can simply create or enter a “Share link” to join or share a game “State.”

The link itself will consist of the game title and eight randomized characters. For example:

https://launch.crayta.com/NK5NQZ5Q

Clicking the link will open Crayta and launch directly into the map and game mode at the point of play depending on what hardware you are playing on.

What do you think of State Share for Stadia?

Have you tried sharing game links using State Share? What do you think so far? Let us know down in the comments section below.

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