Stadia Overview Updated March 26, 2021

Google Stadia: Everything you need to know

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933 'Stadia' stories

March 2019 - November 2022

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 Yesterday

Following content purchases, the Google Store today alerted customers that Stadia hardware, including Controller and Editions bundles, refunds “will be issued within 2 weeks.”

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Stadia Stories November 23

Some Stadia players are getting refunds for Pro subscriptions, but it’s just an error

As Google Stadia refunds continue to roll out, some players are seeing refunds for their Stadia Pro subscription. While that’s great for them, it is actually just an error.

Stadia Stories November 22

Google Stadia will shut down fully in January, but refunds for games are rolling out to many. Have you had your Stadia refund arrive yet? How much was it?

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Stadia Stories November 17

Following Google’s announcement of the closure of Stadia, Xbox’s Phil Spencer is coming forward with some comments about the shutdown in a new interview.

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Continuing the complex process of refunding every Stadia purchase, Google is now reaching out to those whose refunds were “declined” for any reason.

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Stadia Stories November 16

Some customers are seeing massive Google Play Store credits and negative Play Points balances upon receiving their Stadia refunds.

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Stadia Stories November 15

Stadia refunds have started rolling out in Europe, the UK, and Canada

Google Stadia will shut down for good in January, but Google is in the process of rolling out refunds to its customers. As of this week, Stadia refunds appear to be heading to customers in the UK, Europe, and Canada.

Stadia Stories November 11

Nvidia GeForce Now is currently the only cloud gaming service to match the level of streaming quality and low latency of Google Stadia, even exceeding it in some areas.

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Stadia Stories November 9

How to obtain your Stadia refund and see how much you’ll get

Stadia is shutting down coming this January, and the cloud-gaming service is refunding almost every purchase you ever made. Here’s how to make sure you get your Stadia refund and see how much will be sent.

After the abrupt shutdown of Google Stadia in September, Google is today starting the process of refunding players for their game purchases and hardware.

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Stadia Stories October 28

Wavetale expanding beyond Stadia to PC and console just in time to escape Google’s sinking ship

The shutdown of Google Stadia is going to bring a few exclusive games down with it, but one exclusive is going to be able to escape the sinking ship. Wavetale, a “First on Stadia” title released in 2021, will make its way to PC and consoles in December.

Google Stadia is set to shut down in a matter of months after barely three years of availability. “What went wrong” is a complex question, but it seems Xbox’s Phil Spencer has an opinion on why Stadia didn’t succeed in the same way Xbox Cloud Gaming has, and, as someone who loved Stadia, I’ve got to say he’s dead on.

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Stadia Stories October 20

Before we set our sights on alternative cloud gaming services, it’s important that we take the time to fully appreciate what it is that Google Stadia offered and what made it truly unique.

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With the impending Stadia shutdown, Bethesda is offering free copies of MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online for Stadia players alongside the ability to transfer any in-game progress to the platform.

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Stadia Stories October 12

Google Stadia’s closure will sadly mark the death of one of its best exclusives, Outcasters

Earlier this month Google abruptly announced that Stadia would shut down in January 2023, but that left questions as to what would happen with Stadia’s exclusive games. Unfortunately for the super-fun title Outcasters, Google Stadia’s death will bring the game down with it.

Stadia Stories October 4

Following the abrupt shutdown of Google Stadia last week, there have been a whole lot of questions and not quite enough answers regarding the future of the platform’s few exclusive games. Today, we’re getting confirmation that Google Stadia’s very first exclusive, Gylt, will be ported to other platforms next year.

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With the announcement of the Nest Wifi Pro today, it seems the Google Store didn’t take the time to remove all of the references to Stadia.

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Amazon Luna could be the perfect Stadia replacement for Ubisoft fans

Stadia is officially closing its doors, and with that, big developers like Ubisoft are scrambling to keep players on board that supported them through the dying service. As a direct result, Amazon Luna with a connected Ubisoft account could be the cloud gaming service that benefits the most from Stadia’s demise.

Stadia Stories September 30

In the wake of Stadia’s shutdown announcement, Google announced that all customers of the service would be getting refunded in full. How much is your refund going to be?

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Well, it’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Stadia is dead and with it, this weekly column. So to close things out, let’s take a look at Stadia’s stats one final time.

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Ahead of Google Stadia’s shutdown in January 2023, Ubisoft has announced that players will be able to claim free PC copies of their lost games.

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Google Stadia abruptly shut down yesterday in a move that came as a surprise to players and Stadia employees alike. Apparently, Stadia game developers were also shocked by the news, but Google might be working to do the right thing.

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How to export & download your game saves from Google Stadia

With Google Stadia now set to come to a close next year, many gamers are left wondering what will happen to their years of progress across Stadia’s library of games. Thankfully, your saves are perfectly safe and can be easily moved to a PC! Here’s how you can export and download your game saves from your Stadia account to use on Steam or Epic Games on PC/Mac.

Google Stadia shuttered its first-party studios barely a year after it debuted, meaning no first-party exclusive games were ever announced, much less released. But there were several games that were released only on Stadia, and we don’t yet know what the future holds for these exclusives. Here’s what we know so far.

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Google purges Stadia’s YouTube channel following shutdown announcement

Google has removed all video content on the official Stadia Youtube channel after it was announced that the cloud gaming service is set to shutdown.

Before Google closed down the division in 2021, Stadia Games and Entertainment turned down the opportunity to have an exclusive follow-up to Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding.

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As a final offer to its players and its publishing partners, Google Stadia is dropping one more batch of new games. Available now, remaining Stadia Pro members can claim these six games.

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Stadia Stories September 29

Logitech G Cloud: Which games you can play on the newest cloud handheld?

Logitech recently announced the G Cloud, a fully self-sufficient handheld that’s made specifically to handle cloud-based games. So what can you play on the newest in cloud devices? This guide will take you through the Logitech G Cloud’s capabilities, including Xbox, GeForce Now, Stadia, and even Amazon Luna.

As Stadia shuts down, Google is giving out refunds to anyone who invested in Stadia hardware or purchased games on the platform. Along with that, the developers of Embr, one of the only early access titles to have been launched on Stadia, are giving Stadia players a free Steam key.

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Today, Google announced that it would be shutting down Stadia, its game streaming service from 2019. However, Stadia’s Phil Harrison only told employees about the shutdown minutes before the public learned.

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Stadia is dead. After three years of ups and downs, the platform has been confirmed to shut down early next year, and Google has immediately stopped selling all hardware related to its gaming efforts. While the Stadia Controller is dead, we still wish Google would unlock support for using it over Bluetooth.

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After nearly three years of operation, Google is shutting down its game streaming service Stadia, effective January 2023.

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Hot Wheels Unleashed ‘Game of the Year’ edition gets surprise release on Stadia, free on Pro

Google Stadia picked up a new title unexpectedly last night, with Hot Wheels Unleashed now available on the cloud gaming platform.

Google is rolling out a new desktop UI for Stadia that brings greater prominence to titles in your library and more.

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Stadia Stories September 26

With the rise of cloud gaming has come a new focus on game controllers for smartphones, and there have been some unique ideas. From cooling fans to compact sizes, there’s something for everyone. For the Xbox Game Pass player, the Moga XP7-X Plus might just be the ultimate gaming controller, but one element leaves it behind.

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Stadia Stories September 23

Google Stadia added several new games this week for the first time in a while, as the platform has also added a new “Retro” section and picked up some new hardware.

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Stadia Stories September 20

Google Stadia is gaining a dedicated 1440p streaming option, available now for some players, but it will remain exclusive to Stadia Pro subscribers.

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Stadia rolling out emoji reactions for its ‘Explore’ social feed

Google Stadia is picking up a new feature for its “Explore” social feed, as posts will now allow for emoji reactions.

Try these games completely free on Google Stadia with no account or downloads

Did you know there are free game trials on Stadia that don’t require you to sign up? In fact, there are several genuinely fantastic titles that are free to play. Here are the games you can jump into right now without an account.

October 2022 brings six games to Stadia Pro in an increase from last month.

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Stadia Stories September 16

Google Stadia’s future has a lot of unknowns, but there were several developments around the service this week. From Space, a game that was first in testing on Stadia, has been delayed, while bug fixes and expansions missing from Stadia are starting to show up for some titles.

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Stadia Stories September 13

Cloud gaming is extremely straightforward and has a unique pick-up-and-play factor to it. The GameSir X2 Pro is the latest Xbox-focused Android controller for cloud gaming, and it gives a little more power to the player in terms of customization.

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[U: Now avaialble] Samsung’s insane 55-inch curved gaming monitor has cloud services like Stadia built-in

Curved monitors are not uncommon for gaming, but they don’t always feel necessary. With its new Odyssey Ark, though, Samsung is offering a 55-inch curved monitor that is clearly meant for the ultimate PC gaming experience. And, the Odyssey Ark also happens to be the perfect hub for cloud gaming services.

Update: Samsung has officially opened up Odyssey Ark sales after pre-orders, more details below.

Google Stadia launched with high hopes and big promises, but three years later, the service is full of more unknowns than actual games.

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Stadia Stories September 12

Ubisoft has confirmed the exact platforms on which Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be launching, and Google Stadia is not one of them.

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Stadia Stories September 9

Google Stadia this week picked up confirmation of four new games on the way, as well as being one of the most easily accessible ways to play the new Cyberpunk 2077 expansion, Phantom Liberty.

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Stadia Stories September 8

Stadia 4.33 for Android is rolling out now via the Google Play Store, and in it, our team has found early signs of Party Stream coming to Android, as well as a potentially upcoming Ubisoft+ promotion.

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Stadia Stories September 7

Risk of Rain 2 experiencing major performance and multiplayer issues on Google Stadia

Risk of Rain 2 is one of our favorite games on Google Stadia, but it’s been broken for the past few weeks. Here’s what’s going on.

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