Stadia Overview Updated March 26, 2021

Google Stadia: Everything you need to know

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721 'Stadia' stories

March 2019 - September 2021

Stadia Controllers hanging on a wall

What is Google Stadia?

Stadia is a streaming service that leverages Google’s vast cloud infrastructure to deliver AAA and indie games alike over the web without needing specialized gaming hardware. This ambitious effort follows in the footsteps of the company’s other large platforms: Search, Chrome, and Android. Google hopes to bring this form of entertainment to the next billion gamers by removing various limitations that exist today.

What do I need to play games on Stadia?

The only things you need to play Google Stadia are a good internet connection and a device to play it on.

The service requires at least a 10Mbps internet connection for 720p quality at 60FPS and Stereo sound. With at least 20Mbps, you can get 1080p with HDR video and 5.1 surround sound, while 35Mbps is needed for 4K resolution. With those high requirements in mind, Stadia can burn through 4.5GB to 20GB of data per hour of gaming, so be aware of any monthly bandwidth caps your internet provider may have in place.

As for supported devices, you can play games on Stadia from almost any relatively recent device that runs Android or iOS, a Windows or macOS device with Google Chrome, a Chromebook, or a Chromecast Ultra. On Android and iOS, you’ll probably want a controller like the official Stadia Controller, but many third-party controllers are also compatible. These apps also offer a touchscreen-based controller for less hardcore gameplay.

On the Chromecast Ultra, the only compatible controller is the official Stadia Controller, as it connects over Wi-Fi, though this controller is compatible with every other way to enjoy Stadia. Meanwhile, players on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook can play with nothing more than a keyboard and mouse.

How much does Stadia cost?

You can try Google Stadia entirely for free, thanks to fully free-to-play games like Destiny 2, Super Bomberman R Online, and Crayta. If you have a Google account, you can play these few free-to-play games with no other costs or monthly fees, allowing you to see if Stadia works well on your home internet.

To play other games, you’ll only need to pay the cost of the game itself and any DLCs you may want. Again, no monthly fees are required; once you buy a game, it’s yours to play forever. That said, to truly make the most of what Stadia has to offer, you may want to subscribe to Stadia Pro.

What is Stadia Pro?

Stadia Pro is an optional subscription, available for $10 per month, which offers enhanced features for your Stadia games like up to 4K resolution and 5.1 surround sound. Not every game offers 4K or surround sound, but for those that do, it’s limited to Stadia Pro players.

Additionally, Stadia Pro includes a variety of games you can claim for free, with more titles arriving each month. Just like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, each month’s Stadia Pro games are available to claim for a limited time and are yours to play so long as you have a Stadia Pro subscription.

Do games on Stadia have any special features?

There are a decent handful of games in the Stadia Store that include exclusive features, usually built to make livestreams feature Stadia more interesting. However, game developers need to intentionally add these features to their games.

  • Stream Connect can embed other players’ streams into your own as a sort of picture-in-picture mode great for team coordination in games like The Division 2 and Orcs Must Die! 3.
  • State Share creates web links to a specific place within a game and is used by Crayta to create links that let a player jump straight into a particular mini-game or lobby.
  • Crowd Play adds a queue feature to YouTube Gaming, where viewers of a stream can request to join their favorite streamer for a game.
  • Crowd Choice allows streamers to give their viewers direct control over certain aspects of the game through polls run via YouTube.

But how is Stadia really?

The experience you’ll have with Stadia will vary wildly depending on your home internet situation, ranging from “horribly unplayable” to “console quality.” If you run into issues with playing Stadia on your own connection, you can check out our guide to improving your home network. To get an idea of how it can be in the best-case scenario, you can read our in-depth one-year review of Google Stadia.

One of the first things we felt compelled to share about Google Stadia, in the first days after its launch, was that it just plain works. One year later, that feeling still rings fairly true; Stadia feels less like “game streaming” and more like “gaming.” It’s genuinely easy to forget that you’re streaming at all, particularly when playing on a TV with Chromecast Ultra, but Android and web are also surprisingly good.

You can read the latest news in the world of Google Stadia down below, and be sure to follow our “Stadia Changelog” series that collects each week’s big and small bits of news.

Stadia Stories September 17

Stadia gains official support for 11 more Samsung devices including Galaxy Tab series

Google Stadia has picked up support for 11 more Samsung devices today, including the Galaxy S21, Galaxy Tab series, and more.

Google Stadia had a fun week with several new game launches and even more confirmed to be around the corner including The Falconeer, which is coming next month.

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Google encouraging former Stadia Pro users in the UK to resubscribe with free Premiere Edition offer

Google has never revealed Pro or free subscriber numbers for Stadia, but a new promotion reveals that the company is trying to get more in the former category to resubscribe with a “surprise gift.”

Stadia for Android TV bug freezes controls when you pause a game, Google is aware

Google Stadia makes it pretty easy to stream games on your TV, thanks to its new Android TV app, but some users are reporting a pretty frustrating issue. For some reason, the Stadia app for Android TV is leaving controls temporarily broken if a game is paused for too long.

Stadia Stories September 10

Another week, another round of Stadia news. This week, Google’s platform saw the release of Life is Strange: True Colors as Stadia also saw a surprise new Pro game, several free-to-play weekends, and more.

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Stadia Stories September 9

As Google inches closer to its goal of 100 games coming to Stadia in 2021, the platform is losing one title that was supposed to arrive next year. Tchia is transitioning from a Stadia exclusive to one for PlayStation and Epic Games.

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Stadia exec Jack Buser moves to Google Cloud to lead further gaming ambitions

Stadia is losing another member of its original team, as Jack Buser is moving away from Stadia directly and will instead work under Google Cloud.

Stadia Stories September 8

Android updates nowadays are usually pretty stable, but issues can still crop up and go some time without a patch. With Android 11, some users have noticed problems with game controller input being ignored by the system, and it’s still happening.

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Stadia Stories September 3

The past week on Google Stadia saw the surprise debut of ARK: Survival Evolved, but elsewhere, there’s good news for college football fans in EA Madden, as well as updates going around for other titles.

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Stadia Stories September 1

Surprise! Months after it was originally slated to arrive, ARK: Survival Evolved has finally made its way to Google Stadia today, and as promised, it’s a free addition to the Stadia Pro lineup. However, the hotly anticipated title is arriving in a lackluster fashion.

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[U: Now on Stadia] Orcs Must Die 3’s next major update brings a new trap and game mode

One of the best Stadia exclusives ever, Orcs Must Die 3, is set to expand to PC and consoles soon, and with that, it’s also getting a major update. On July 23, the game will pick up a brand-new trap type and the “Scramble” game mode, too.

Google added six games to Stadia Pro for September 2021 in a continuation from last month’s larger than usual drop.

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Stadia Stories August 31

Google Stadia players can now change their username without contacting support

Stadia is getting a nice quality-of-life tweak this week, as the platform is now rolling out the ability for users to change their name without asking Google for assistance.

Stadia Stories August 30

Here’s every smartphone that officially supports Google Stadia mobile gameplay [Updated]

Google Stadia support is the only thing standing in the way of being able to play triple-A videogame titles no matter where you are — provided you have an active Wi-Fi or data connection.

Stadia Stories August 27

Google says the future of its Stadia platform is in third-party games, but that’s not what you’d think based on events that showcase those exact titles. At Gamescom 2021 this past week, Google Stadia was almost entirely absent, but there was some good news this week.

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Stadia Stories August 26

More Star Wars video games are coming in the not-too-distant future, but this week it seems we’re getting a first look at one that has yet to be officially announced. A video shows off an alleged, likely unfinished Star Wars: The Mandalorian game that’s running on Google Stadia.

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Stadia Stories August 25

The latest update to the Stadia app, version 3.31, includes continued work toward a touch gamepad for Android TV, a new “magic linking” method for controllers, and more.

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Stadia Stories August 23

Embr will get crossplay between Stadia, PC, and consoles next month as it leaves early access

One of Stadia’s first early access games was also a partial exclusive in Embr, a wacky firefighting game that was one of our favorite titles on the platform. Now, Embr is gearing up for its full release that includes crossplay between Stadia and other platforms.

Stadia Stories August 20

The latest shooter grabbing attention from gamers is Splitgate, and while there’s no guarantee, it was this week revealed that the door is certainly open to the game’s future arrival on Google Stadia.

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Stadia Stories August 17

YouTube Premium subscribers can now get 3 months of Stadia Pro for free

After we spotted it last month, Google Stadia is getting a new freebie. YouTube Premium subscribers are now being offered an extended Stadia Pro trial for free.

Google Stadia adds new games today w/ Madden NFL 22, Humankind, and Young Souls exclusive

August 17 has turned out to be a pretty big day for Google Stadia, with two big new games making their debut, and a third anticipated release also quietly arriving. Madden NFL 22, Humankind, and Young Souls are all now available on Stadia.

Stadia Stories August 13

Google’s Stadia platform is still relatively new to the scene, and being a new gaming commodity entirely, it still struggles to get recognized in places where other established platforms are. This past week, the Stadia fanbase rallied behind an effort to have more games rated on Metacritic, a show of the platform’s strong community.

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Google is adding five games to Stadia Pro for August 2021 in a slight increase from previous months. The first four titles have already launched, while GRIME will debut with the subscription next month.

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Upcoming 4X game, HUMANKIND will introduce a new “direct touch” control method to Stadia for mobile, along with an in-depth integration of Stadia’s State Share.

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Stadia Stories August 12

The highly-rumored trilogy of Grand Theft Auto remasters is now reportedly coming to more platforms, including Google Stadia.

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Stadia for Android TV scores 100K downloads in less than two months [Updated]

After months of anticipation, Stadia has finally become available on Android TV, and in the first two weeks, the app has seen a fantastic turnout in terms of the number of downloads.

Update: Stadia for Android TV has continued to grow, reaching another milestone ahead of the two month mark.

Stadia Stories August 11

Google’s ride with its first-party studio, Stadia Games & Entertainment, was a roller coaster ride for hundreds of developers, but it might have a good outcome for at least one team. The folks behind Journey to the Savage Planet have formed a new studio and obtained the IP back from Google.

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Stadia Stories August 6

Google is offering up yet another game for free for Stadia this weekend, this time delivering Far Cry 5 for a few days.

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Stadia Stories August 5

The latest update to Stadia for Android, version 3.28, works toward taking screenshots and accessing Assistant with third-party controllers, joining parties from your phone, and more.

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Stadia Stories August 3

On Friday, the Google Store introduced a permanent Chromecast with Google TV and Stadia Controller “package.” The Stadia Controller is now seeing a $10 price cut to $59.99.

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Stadia Stories August 2

Google’s Stadia Pro subscription may not include every game on the service, but it’s made nearly 100 titles available to subscribers since its 2019 launch. This month, though, the record holder for the longest-claimable Stadia Pro title, PUBG, has left the subscription.

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Stadia Stories July 30

With the launch of Stadia for Android TV last month, Google started offering a discount for those that purchased the Chromecast with Google TV and Controller together. The Google Store is making the Stadia Controller and Chromecast an official “Package” today and discounting Premiere Edition further.

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While Stadia only saw one new game release this week, it saw quite a few notable updates, including Get Packed Fully Loaded, which is now available on Stadia and other platforms too.

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The Stadia for Android and Google TV app officially launches today — though we’ve been using it for a few days through a simple workaround. As part of that, the Google Store is offering a “special offer” that gives you a small deal when buying both the Chromecast with Google TV and Stadia Controller. 

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Stadia Stories July 29

After closing its in-house Stadia Games & Entertainment studios earlier this year, many have wondered what the future of Google’s game streaming ambitions will look like. Apparently, it will indeed include Stadia becoming the backend of other streaming platforms as a “white label” option.

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Stadia Stories July 27

Google this evening updated a privacy setting in Stadia that lets you “control what information is visible to others through newly added features.” The change in question suggests that you’ll soon be able to send Stadia friend requests if you know a person’s email address or phone number.

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Off the news of June’s Pro games and a more specific release window for Ark: Survival Evolved, Google has another announcement for new games on Stadia this week. Over the next few months, the hit game Control: Ultimate Edition will be heading to Stadia along with Olympic Games Tokyo.

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Stadia Stories July 23

As Google focuses on bringing more games to the Stadia platform through third-party developers, all eyes have been on devs both big and small. This week, though, concerns arose surrounding Google’s latest revenue models, and while some may be valid, there is some good news, too.

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When Stadia was first announced, Google (and many others) talked about the potential crossover with its video service. One of those YouTube integrations is now opening up more widely with the ability to sign-up for a beta of Stadia Crowd Play.

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Stadia Stories July 20

One of the most exciting promises of Stadia on Android TV is that you can get great video games directly on your smart TV, all you may need to buy is a controller. The latest update to Stadia for Android continues working toward playing games on your TV using your phone as a controller.

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Stadia Stories July 19

Ubisoft just announced its latest installment in the Tom Clancy series, the free-to-play shooter “XDefiant,” which will be arriving on Google Stadia.

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Stadia Stories July 16

As we pass the midway point of July, Stadia only saw one new game this week, but it did see some notable game updates including a huge update to Baldur’s Gate 3 and an unfortunate delay for Rainbow Six Extraction.

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Stadia Stories July 13

‘Stadia Porting Toolkit’ will help bring more games from Windows to the cloud

Google is working on a “Stadia Porting Toolkit,” which aims to make it easier for developers to bring their games from Windows to the cloud.

At the Google for Games Developer Summit, the company unveiled its latest efforts to reach game developers, including reduced commission fees and an affiliate program.

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Stadia Stories July 12

Square Enix launched Outriders earlier this year with a very messy but same-day launch on Google Stadia. While the game has continued to squash bugs and roll out other updates, Outriders has been sorely neglected on Google Stadia, but thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Stadia Stories July 11

One of the biggest problems that Google Stadia continues to face is new releases, with many games not being confirmed ahead of time for the platform or even released later. That won’t be the case, though, for EA’s ultra-popular FIFA series, as FIFA 22 has just been confirmed to be a day-and-date release on Google Stadia.

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Stadia Stories July 10

Owners of the Chromecast with Google TV have begun to see recommendations for Stadia games on the “For you” tab, suggesting deeper integration between the gaming service and Google’s streaming box.

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Stadia Stories July 9

Google’s Stadia platform added two new games this week along with a handful of updates, and this weekend, you can play some games for free, including The Crew 2 and Dead by Daylight.

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