Google Stadia review

Google Stadia highlights

  • Free or $9.99/mo.
  • Features multi-device gaming
  • Sign up now

Google Stadia review

Google’s much anticipated, new, cloud-based gaming platform, Google Stadia, launched on November 19, 2019, to high demand. Abandoning the traditional console, Google Stadia renders games through a remote server and streams them back to you via a Chrome browser. With Google Stadia being one of the newest game streaming launches on the market, our information is based on what we know so far. 

Stadia might appeal to you if you want to avoid expensive hardware and clutter. And what’s better, Google plans to release a free version of the platform, Google Stadia Base, in 2020

A comparison of Google Stadia packages

Google Stadia permits you to stream games, so you don’t have to rely on storage devices. 

Stadia BaseStadia Pro
Monthly priceFree$9.99/mo.
Free trial lengthNoneNone
Resolution1080p4K
Frame rate60 FPS60 FPS
Sound qualityStereo5.1 Surround

How much is Google Stadia Pro compared to competitors?

Google Stadia Pro serves as a subscription-based service like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold and features many of the same games. The Google Stadia Pro price for a subscription matches both competitors at $9.99/mo. However, Google Stadia Pro provides two additional advantages: no hardware costs and the ability to play on multiple devices. It’s a great option if you don’t want to download games. 

Google will begin offering Stadia Pro free trials and family sharing after launch in 2020.

Is Google Stadia the right gaming service for you?

Google Stadia Pro comes with exclusive discounts and one free game a month. It includes an impressive set of features, such as 4K/HDR streaming capability and 5.1 surround sound. The service provides several high-quality gaming options across multiple devices. You can play selections on your smartphone that previously were only available on your TV via a console.

User experience

Stadia’s interface is sleek and pleasing to the eye. The top left-hand corner of the screen displays the status of your network connection. You can access a menu that leads to your profile via the right-hand side of your screen. This is also where you’ll go to tweak the settings for your audio, connection and controller. Above the menu, you’ll see your user profile’s avatar, status and online name. Below this set of options, you’ll find your friend list. 

Device compatibility

As of right now, your wireless controller will only work with a Chromecast Ultra plugged into a TV. Nonetheless, Google Stadia is compatible with an impressive list of devices

  • Desktops and laptops
  • Mac – Requires MacOS X 10.9 or higher
  • PC – Requires Windows 7 or higher
  • Phones – Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 3a 
  • Tablets – Requires Google Chrome
  • TV – Requires HDMI Port

Google Stadia Pro features

Google Stadia isn’t at the point where you can play anywhere. It currently requires Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet, but it does provide a few competitive gaming features. 

Use multiple devices 

The platform currently operates on your TV with the use of a Stadia controller and a Chromecast Ultra streaming device. If you play on other devices, like your smartphone or tablet, you’ll need a USB-C cable. Nonetheless, Stadia is a work-in-progress—the company ultimately plans to permit players to sync up with any controller and device

No downloads

You’ll never have to wait for a download. As a streaming-based platform, you’ll have instant access to games on any screen. 

Discounts and savings

With your Stadia Pro subscription, you’ll receive exclusive discounts and one free game a month. Among the free selections available with Stadia Pro is Destiny 2, along with its add-ons. This includes Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion and annual pass. 

What to play on Google Stadia Pro

Google is in the process of creating more of its own games. Ultimately, the company plans to provide a selection of Google Stadia games across several categories, including fighter, first-person shooter, puzzle, racing, RPG and sports. 

Google Stadia Pro currently features big-name titles like Final Fantasy XVMortal Combat 11 and Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s scheduled to have Cyberpunk 2077 once it’s released in 2020. 

So far, the horror adventure game, Gyltis Stadia’s only exclusive release. 

If you appreciate 4K resolution, popular AAA brand titles and have a great internet connection, you’ll enjoy Stadia Pro. Likewise, if you would prefer to stream your games over downloading, you’ll be very happy.

The takeaway

Without expensive hardware, Google Stadia Pro serves as an affordable alternative gaming solution. It includes exclusive deals and an elevated 4K experience without the need for excessive downloads. 

Zack Kulm

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of soda.com. He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.