Is Google Stadia worth it? With the Google Stadia release slowly being rolled out, everyone’s been talking about this new and innovative gaming technology. Now that the platforms initial release is complete, we only have one question on our mind: is Google Stadia worth it?
A new comer in the game subscription world but can it really dethrone Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus? Only time will tell.
Is Google Stadia worth it?
Google Stadia is a cloud service by Google that allows subscribers to purchase video games to stream to practically any screen. This negates the need for physical copies of games and allows games to be rendered on Googles remote servers using their processing power instead of your own devices. Games are then streamed to your screen while responding to the inputs of your controller.
Games can be played on a range of devices including your TV by using a Chromecast Ultra, on desktop computers or laptops with Google Chrome, or on supported smartphones and tablets. All HID class USB controllers can be used with Google Stadia, however the Stadia Controller made by Google is also available for purchase, which is the first controller ever to include built in Wi-Fi.
Initially released with no free option during November 2019, Google Stadia is a competitor to Nvidia’s GeForce Now service, Sony’s PlayStation Now service, as well as Microsoft’s Project xCloud, amongst others. As of April 8, 2020, Google Stadia’s free base service has been on offer in addition to a two month free trial of Google Stadia Pro.
The free Stadia Base service allows players to buy games individually while a Google Stadia Pro subscription offers unlimited access to the current library of games during the subscribed period. 4K/HDR/60fps and 5.1 surround sound is also only available with a Pro subscription, although you’ll need an internet connection speed at least 35mbps. Alternatively, the graphics quality can be sacrificed for lower internet speeds with 10mbps as the lowest recommended connection. Google also offers a simple internet speed test that you can use to test your connection before purchasing. That way you’ll know if your setup can take full advantage of Google Stadia Pro.
How much does Google Stadia cost? Is It Worth It?
A subscription to Google Stadia Pro costs $9.99 (£8.99) per month. Stadia Base is offered for free, although games need to be purchased individually, 1080p is the maximum resolution, and surround sound is not available. With Stadia Base you will get to keep your games forever once they’re purchased though.
What are the advantages of Google Stadia?
- Google Stadia may be the first technology that allows players to seamlessly hop into their favorite games at any time, on almost any screen in the world, with extremely high performance.
- The interface of Google Stadia is extremely simple and user friendly so anyone should be able to use it hassle free. You’ll be greeted with a personal home screen primarily displaying the games you’ve collected as well as the last game you played up front. The desktop version offers a party system to use with friends in addition to a system for in game screenshots while the mobile version has an activity feed with the latest news, videos and blog posts about Stadia.
- Waiting for downloads or updates is a thing of the past with Google Stadia since it’s all taken care of automatically on their servers. This is also true for hardware upgrades or replacement parts.
- The base service is free and Google has a two month free trial of Stadia Pro on offer so there’s no risk in giving it a try.
You’ll also receive discounts on the games purchased using a Google Stadia Pro subscription.
What are the disadvantages of Google Stadia?
- Google Stadia has had a history of being slow to introduce features that were expected much earlier. These features are gradually being added with high quality, although it will take some time for all of the upcoming features to be completed at this rate.
- Launching with only 12 games, Google Stadia began to expand their library from there. Although the game pool is increasing, it’s quite limited compared to alternative video game subscriptions.
- If you don’t have a fast internet connection, you’re not likely to get a smooth experience. Google Stadia has been known to consume over 56mbps at 60fps 4k resolution, and over 12mbps just at 720p. If your connection isn’t fast enough, the first thing to suffer will be the graphics quality, and then the frame rate.
- Due to the added connections needed in cloud gaming, Google Stadia still ends up having a higher ping than standard local PC gaming even on connections upwards of 100mbps. So, if you’re interested in competitive gaming, Google Stadia may not be for you.
How Is the Google Stadia Interface?
Google Stadia boasts of a simple interface that’s easy to navigate. Once you’re logged in, you can navigate Stadia without facing any system or navigation issues. If you’ve previously played a game, it’ll show you a resume screen with the last game you played and you can go from there.
The interface has a fairly futuristic feel to it because of the nature of Google Stadia. The fact that you can access the latest versions of your favorite video games on your browser is incredible!
When you’re on the page, you’ll be able to find Home and Store buttons very easily. Both pages are very simple and straightforward. As you scroll down, you will see all the games you’ve bought and you can start them quickly with only two clicks.
Your captures (screen recordings or screenshots) will be stored at the bottom of the page and on the Base plan, you can save up to 100 screenshots and video clips.
Users with the Pro plan will get up to 500, which is something you should keep in mind. I’m not sure what happens if you wish to increase this limit further.
On the Store page, you’ll find a grid that shows you all the available games you can buy at any time and they’ll be organized into categories. The first one is Stadia Pro Games, which can also be accessed by Base users, it’s just that Pro users get them for free.
Overall, the Google Stadia interface is super easy to navigate and it’s very pleasant to use. Especially when you compare it with the PlayStation store, for example, which is riddled with ads and where things don’t always make sense. Google Stadia’s interface also has an incredible feature that allows you to instantly retake the gameplay where you left off when you switch to another device.
Does Google Stadia Have a Good Controller?
The design of the Google Stadia controller is very similar to that of the Nintendo Switch Pro, with some elements of the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controller as well. However, the buttons are flat, which don’t provide a ton of travel and they don’t click much, and the triggers have very little resistance as well.
But if you’re one of those users, there’s good news for you! You’ll be able to use third-party controllers such as Xbox and PlayStation, among others, which is great. This means you’ll be able to replace the Google Stadia controller without too much trouble. You’ll also be able to use a keyboard and mouse, but latency will be a lot more noticeable in this case, so keep that in mind.
Overall, the Google Stadia controller is quire basic but it will feel good in your hands. It features all the buttons you need, plus a Google Assistant button, and a button for screenshots. It will charge via USB-C port, which you can also use to connect the controller to the computer or your mobile phone. Plus, you can use USB-C headphones as well!
So, to answer your question, is Google Stadia worth it, on the face of it at least, it looks like it is.
Is Stadia Pro Any Good?
As we’ve mentioned, if you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, you can claim games every month month to play for as long as you have an active Stadia Prop subscription. New games become available to claim every month. So in that sense it’s very much like the game pass or ps plus.
In our opinion it’s only really worth it if you will make use of the 4K, HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Those features make it worth while:
- Up to 4K resolution on TVs using Chromecast Ultra
- Up to 4K resolution on compatible PCs
- Beautiful High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals on supported TVs
- 5.1 surround sound on TVs connected to surround sound systems
What Games Can I play?
There are more than 30 games available for the Stadia. We’ve listed all the games below along with the date they were added and the price.
It’s important to note that Stadia Pro subscribers gain access to special discounts, which are not reflected below.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Stadia Ultimate Edition — $119
- Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle — $59.99 (November 19, 2020)
- Borderlands 3 — $59.99 (December 17, 2019)
- Borderlands 3 Deluxe Edition — $79.99
- Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe Edition — $99.99
- The Crew 2 – $49.99 or $15 with Stadia Pro discount
- The Crew 2 Deluxe Edition – $69.99, or $18 with Stadia Pro discount
- The Crew 2 Gold Edition – $99.99, or $27 with Stadia Pro discount
- The Crew 2 Season Pass: – $39.99, or $20 with Stadia Pro discount
- Darksiders Genesis — $39.99 (December 5, 2019)
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 — $49.99 (December 17, 2019)
- Destiny 2: (All expansions) — $49.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Destiny 2: Forsaken — $24.99
- Destiny 2: Shadowkeep — $34.99
- Doom Eternal Standard Edition + Rip and Tear Pack – $59.99
- DOOM Eternal Deluxe Edition + Rip and Tear Pack – $89.99
- Doom 64 – $4.99
- Farming Simulator 19 — $39.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Farming Simulator 19 Platinum Edition — $49.99
- Final Fantasy XV — $39.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Football Manager 2020 — $49.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Get Packed – $49.99 (April 28, 2020)
- GRID — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- GRID Ultimate Edition — $84.99
- GYLT — $29.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Jotun: Valhalla Edition — $14.99
- Just Dance 2020 — $49.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Lost Words: Beyond the Page – $14.99 (March 27, 2020)
- Kine — $19.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Metro Exodus — $39.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Metro Exodus Gold Edition — $64.99
- Monster Energy Supercross — $59.99 (February 4, 2020)
- Mortal Kombat 11 — $49.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Mortal Kombat 11 Premium Edition — $89.99
- NBA 2K20 — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- NBA 2K20 Digital Deluxe — $79.99
- NBA 2K20 Legend Edition — $99.99
- Octopath Traveler – $59.99 (April 28, 2020)
- Rage 2 — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Rage 2: Deluxe Edition — $79.99
- PUBG: Pioneer Edition — $39.99 (Free with Stadia Pro)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition — $79.99
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Edition — $99.99
- Rise of the Tomb Raider — $29.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Samurai Shodown — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Serious Sam Collection — $29.99 (March 3, 2020)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider — $59.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Spitlings — $14.99 (February 25, 2020)
- Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) – (April 1, 2020)
- Steamworld Dig — $9.99 (March 10, 2020)
- SteamWorld Dig 2 – (March 1, 2020)
- Steamworld Heist — $19.99 (March 10, 2020)
- SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamesh (March 1, 2020)
- Sundered: Eldritch Edition — $19.99
- Thumper — $19.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – $29.99 (March 17)
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of NY – $59.99 (March 17)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint — $59.99 (December 18, 2019)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition — $99.99
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Ultimate Edition — $119.99
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition — $19.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Trials Rising — $24.99 (November 19, 2019)
- Trials Rising – Digital Gold Edition — $29.99
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood — $29.99 (November 19, 2019)
Worth Buying? Save Money
If you don’t want to spend the initial outlay on the Stadia Controller you can go ahead and buy a cheaper alternative. I personally have used an existing Xbox Controller to good affect.
Here’s a few 3rd party controllers that are worth it. Hit the affiliate link to check them out.
Click here to see an excellent 3rd party Stadia controller. It’s made by the guys over at Gamesir.
Summary – Is Google Stadia Worth It
Although Google Stadia is lacking in the number of games compared to its competitors, the library is growing at a fast rate with some highly renowned inclusions and Google has been able to keep up its promises for release dates. Octopath Traveller, FIFA, Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom: Eternal are just some of the highly anticipated games coming soon.
Overall, for a cloud gaming service which is a brand new style of gaming, Google Stadia functions remarkably well and the free trial for the Pro version means you can try it risk free. After that you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether it’s worth it to you to stick with Google Stadia Pro and pay the monthly fee, or revert to Stadia Base for free.
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