Stadia Overview Updated March 26, 2021

Google Stadia: Everything you need to know

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836 'Stadia' stories

March 2019 - May 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

A recent interview shines an interesting light on how Google thinks of Stadia in relation to Immersive Stream for Games.

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Stadia Stories May 23

AT&T is continuing their use of Google’s Immersive Stream, built on Stadia tech, by giving customers free access to the game Control, complete with mobile gameplay.

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Stadia Stories May 20

Google Stadia has dates for a bunch of new family games coming to the platform, as it also added a huge classic this week.

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Stadia Stories May 18

As confirmed last week, Ubisoft is bringing its new game Roller Champions to Stadia. Today, the publisher officially announced everything about the upcoming free-to-play game, as well as announcing that it won’t launch day-and-date on Stadia.

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In a slightly protracted rollout, Google today revealed the first three games that will be available to Stadia Pro subscribers for May 2022. More titles will be announced in the coming days.

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Stadia 4.16 is rolling out now via the Google Play Store and includes preparations for likely 1440p streaming, in-app help improvements, and more.

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Stadia Stories May 17

Google Stadia is adding Cities: Skylines today, and in a surprise, the game is a free addition to Stadia Pro!

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Stadia Stories May 16

Google Stadia has been pretty slow to add new games to its platform so far this year, but there are a few big ones on the horizon. This week, Ubisoft has confirmed that Roller Champions and a new Rabbids game to Stadia.

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Stadia Stories May 13

As focus has seemed to lessen on Stadia over the past couple of years, Stadia was an unsurprising no-show at this year’s Google I/O conference, and it also came as no new games were released this week.

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Stadia Stories May 11

Google Store removes dedicated ‘Gaming’ tab, effectively burying Stadia, to highlight Pixel Buds

In the midst of Google I/O today and the plethora of Pixel product announcements, the Google Store has removed its dedicated “Gaming” tab, effectively burying Stadia listings in an effort to highlight the Pixel Buds Pro.

Stadia Stories May 10

After debuting on PC earlier this year, Risk of Rain 2 has officially released its “Survivors of the Void” expansion on Google Stadia, months ahead of when console players will get their chance to play the long-awaited DLC.

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Stadia Stories May 6

The pace of new games on Google Stadia in 2022 has been slow, to say the least, with merely 20 new games available as the month of May starts.

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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.

Stadia Stories May 5

Following a brief delay, the hit party game Overcooked: All You Can Eat will officially arrive tomorrow on Google Stadia.

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Stadia Stories May 4

Risk of Rain 2 pushes ‘Survivors of the Void’ expansion on consoles and Stadia to Q4

After launching on PC last month, the developers behind Risk of Rain 2 have unfortunately confirmed that the “Survivors of the Void” expansion, the game’s first paid DLC, will be delayed to a Q4 release on consoles and Google Stadia.

UPDATE: Survivors of the Void was released on May 10, 2022 for Stadia.

Stadia Stories May 3

EA looks set to bring cross-platform versus play support to FIFA 22 on Stadia, Xbox Series S/X, and PS5 with the confirmation of a cross-play test process.

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Stadia Stories April 29

The latest update to the Stadia app, version 4.13, points to game-specific touchscreen controls and hints at 1440p streaming on Android.

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Google Stadia has a few games on its horizon, but one title that was supposed to arrive in April, Overcooked, has been delayed.

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Stadia Stories April 28

Stadia redesigns its store on the web, showcasing trials, demos, more

Stadia has rolled out a redesign of its web store to better showcase free trials, demos, Stadia Pro games, and more.

Stadia Stories April 22

Google Stadia’s release pace didn’t get any better this week, but there’s quite a bit to look forward to. This week, Stadia confirmed a release for Five Nights at Freddy’s, and there was also a hint that Hot Wheels Unleashed could also be coming.

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Stadia Stories April 20

There haven’t been many major releases on Google Stadia so far this year, but today the platform is announcing a pretty big new addition. Coming soon, last year’s entry in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series, Security Breach, will be available on Google Stadia.

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GameSir X3 gaming controller for Android launches on IndieGogo, adds cooling fan

The GameSir X3 is launching today on IndieGogo as a successor to the company’s popular X2 controller for Android phones, bringing a new cooling fan.

Stadia Stories April 15

While things are looking up for Stadia in terms of developer tools and more, the reality is that games aren’t coming quickly enough. This week, Golf With Your Friends arrived on Google Stadia, but it also helped show the slow pace at which Google is adding games this year.

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Stadia Stories April 8

Google added one new game to Stadia this week with the debut of World War Z, but it wasn’t the only news on the platform.

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Stadia Stories April 5

[Update: World War Z: Aftermath] Google adds four Stadia Pro games for April 2022

Following the Google for Games Dev Summit, April 2022 brings five four games to Stadia Pro in a slight decrease from the previous drop.

Stadia Stories April 4

Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now are coming to Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs ‘later this year’ [U]

As with last year’s CES, cloud gaming is starting off the new year with a pretty big announcement as Samsung has just announced that Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now will be coming to the company’s smart TV lineup.

Update 4/4: Samsung has confirmed this functionality has not been delayed. See more in the update below.

Stadia Stories April 1

As April kicks off, Google Stadia has added a couple of new games, has hints of another pretty big release in the pipeline, and has unfortunately confirmed a delay for Deliver Us The Moon.

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Stadia Stories March 30

Ever eager to organize the world’s information, Google will soon be offering a way to sort through today’s cloud gaming services to figure which games can be played where, with an aggregator starting on Chromebooks.

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Stadia Stories March 25

It was a quiet week for Stadia with just one new game released, but there’s some fun in the pipeline with April’s Stadia Pro lineup having been revealed and Far Cry 6 offering up a free-to-play weekend.

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Stadia Stories March 18

Google had some impactful announcements regarding Stadia this week, but there was more going on. Two new games arrived on the platform, a couple of others were announced, and Rainbow Six Siege is hosting a free weekend on Stadia too.

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Stadia Stories March 15

Risk of Rain 2 gets an hour-long free trial on Stadia, no account required

Google Stadia debuted its completely free game trials last year, and the feature is expanding. As Google opens up free Stadia trials to all developers, Risk of Rain 2 is opening up its own hour-long trial.

Google is officially unveiling “Immersive Stream for Games,” the service to let companies offer Stadia-powered game streaming directly to their customers.

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One of the biggest problems facing Google Stadia since its debut has been getting new customers on board, and this week Google is announcing a new initiative to put its product in front of players. Soon, Google Stadia will have a public-facing store that will let anyone see what Stadia has to offer.

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Google has unveiled it’s latest efforts to make it easier for companies – including Steel Wool Studios, developers of Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach – to port Windows games to Stadia.

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Stadia Stories March 11

While no new games were actually released on Stadia this week, Google did give a bit of hope for the future, with the reveal of six new titles coming as soon as next week, and Orcs Must Die 3 announced another big expansion too.

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Stadia Stories March 10

Stadia has had a rough run so far, related in large part to a lack of compelling games in its library. Now, it seems Google is ready to remove a roadblock to bringing games to Stadia, with support for “unmodified” Windows titles on the cloud gaming platform.

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Stadia Stories March 9

In one of the more exciting additions to its library in quite some time, Google has today announced that Stadia will be adding Cities: Skylines, Overcooked, and Golf With Your Friends starting in April 2022.

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Stadia Stories March 7

The latest update to the Stadia app for Android points to Google’s game streaming service gaining motion controls, a revamped touch gamepad, and more.

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Stadia Stories March 4

Alongside three new games coming to Stadia this week, Google confirmed four titles in the pipeline including Deliver Us the Moon, which comes out next month.

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Stadia Stories March 1

Valve has officially released its PC gaming-focused portable handheld this week, and the flexible machine has garnered a fair bit of praise for its performance on local games. However, if you were hoping to play cloud games from Google Stadia and similar services on the Steam Deck, it seems you’re in for a rude surprise.

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March 2022 will bring five games to Stadia Pro in a decrease from the previous drop.

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Stadia Stories February 25

Google’s Stadia platform didn’t debut any new games this week, but it did get the major Destiny 2 Witch Queen expansion, as well as some other big game updates.

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Stadia Stories February 22

Google for Games hosting Developer Summit 2022 in March w/ Play Games for PC, Stadia sessions 

Google for Games today announced its 2022 Developer Summit is set for March 15, which is a week before the Game Developers Conference. It covers how to build using the company’s various gaming platforms and cloud tools, as well as advertising.

Stadia Stories February 21

Google’s efforts in the cloud gaming space with Stadia started off with shooting for the stars, but quickly turned to the company shooting itself in the foot with missed expectations. The ideas Stadia had, though, remain pretty great, and now Amazon Luna is adopting one of them with a “Play on Luna” button appearing on Twitch.

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Stadia Stories February 18

Google is adding another game to Stadia’s collection of free demos, with Chorus now offering a free trial on the platform. Here’s what else happened this week on Stadia.

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Stadia Stories February 11

Google Stadia is preparing a bunch of new games to come to the service, and next weekend the platform is offering up the fun Jackbox Party Pack 7 for free.

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Stadia Stories February 4

Following a recent report of Google’s shift in focus away from the “consumer” side of Stadia, Google has promised gamers that a “great future” is still ahead for the streaming service.

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Stadia’s start to 2022 has been without a goal, but that’s finally changing this week as Google has officially committed to bringing at least 100 new games to Stadia by the end of the year.

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