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Amazon Luna: Everything you need to know about Amazon's cloud gaming service

Can Amazon conquer the cloud gaming market, too?
By
December 29, 2023
amazon luna game streaming service
Amazon

Cloud gaming might still be in its infancy, but major companies aren’t shying away from investing early in the future of gaming. Amazon Luna is the latest platform to join the fray, and with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Twitch behind it, Luna could very well take the cloud gaming crown.

After over a year of rumors, Luna was officially announced in September 2020. In March 2022, after a long invite-only testing period, the service officially went live for anyone in the US to check out. Later it was expanded to the UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. If you want to sign up for Amazon Luna, you can do so at the link below, or keep reading to learn more.

What is Amazon Luna?

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming platform powered by Amazon’s ubiquitous cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS). Like other cloud gaming platforms, it allows consumers to stream games instantly to a number of devices. This eliminates the need for downloads, updates, or even local storage, but requires a high-speed internet connection.

Like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming platform, Luna includes a Netflix-of-games-style catalog of games under a monthly subscription fee as part of Luna Plus. And like Amazon Prime Video, it also offers channels that unlock more content from a specific publisher for an extra monthly fee. Currently, there are five paid channels to check out.

Although Amazon Luna doesn’t require any specific hardware, the company released a dedicated controller for the service. Similar to the (now defunct) Google Stadia controller, it has a built-in Wi-Fi receiver to eliminate the middleman and reduce input latency. In online games where a few milliseconds are the difference between life and death, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

Unlike other cloud gaming services, Luna offers a kind of couch co-op experience in the cloud called Luna Couch. As long as the host is a paying subscriber, non-paying players can join their game and play along.

Is Amazon Luna worth it?

Amazon Luna logo

Amazon Luna is still in its early days, but we were cautiously optimistic after our testing. Gameplay was smooth, although not as smooth as Stadia was, and the game library is impressive, although not as impressive as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The user experience also left something to be desired, and the need for a persistent subscription will be off-putting for some.

At the end of the day, we had trouble seeing exactly where Luna would fit into the market. Game Pass Ultimate is a better overall deal for hardcore gamers, but it’s also more expensive. Stadia was a better choice for casual gamers, but now that it’s gone the way of the dodo, Amazon Luna may take its place.

Depending on where you live, you may not even have the option to try Amazon Luna. It’s only available in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. There has been no news of a worldwide release after more than three years since it was first announced.

Ultimately, whether or not Amazon Luna is worth it depends on you. If you want a taste of the future, it’s absolutely a respectable alternative to Xbox Cloud Gaming or other cloud gaming services. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it over any other service, but since it’s a simple subscription you can try and cancel at any time. There are also a few games included with an Amazon Prime subscription, so you might be able to get a taste without having to pay extra.

Amazon Luna Plus costs $9.99 a month.

Internet requirements and data usage

One nice thing about Amazon Luna is that it offers a variety of streaming options to cater to different speeds. Amazon recommends speeds of at least 10Mbps for 1080p streaming, or 35Mbps for 4K when it becomes available.

Data caps are also a concern for many customers and can lead to reduced speeds or a shockingly high bill at the end of the month. Gaming at 1080p can consume upwards of 10GB per hour, so use discretion if you don’t have an unlimited plan.

Thankfully, Amazon Luna has implemented an option to cap stream quality at 720p. This should alleviate data consumption woes faced by other cloud gaming services.

Device support

Currently, Luna supports Fire TV, PC, Mac, Android phones, iPhones, and iPads via web apps. PC and Mac users can access the platform either via the Chrome browser or the standalone application. There was previously a standalone PC/Mac app, but that was discontinued in June of 2023 in favor of the web app.

In December 2020, Amazon Luna added support for Android smartphones. They must be running on Android 9 or higher, and access the service on the Chrome web browser version 86 or above, with a download speed of at least 10Mbps.

Play games with your phone as a controller

If you have an Amazon Fire TV-based device or smart TV, you can download the Luna Controller app for iOS and Android, and use that app as a touch controller for gaming on your big-screen TV. This controller app is mainly for casual games that don’t need a real physical controller.

Twitch support

twitch luna
Amazon

In addition to Luna, Amazon also owns the popular Twitch streaming service, which is mostly for “Let’s Play” live gaming streams. Amazon Luna subscribers on their PC, Mac, or Amazon Fire tablets, and a webcam, can click on a broadcast button in the user interface to go live with their stream. Viewers can also see you with a camera feed that’s placed on top of the gameplay video stream. You can also go live on Twitch if you have a Fire TV smart television, and your smartphone can serve as your camera and microphone when you scan a QR code that’s placed on the screen.

How much is Amazon Luna?

Amazon Luna channels 2023

Amazon Luna doesn’t have a single price, and is instead broken into several libraries, called channels. Currently there are four different channels available. Here’s a look at all of them:

  • Luna Plus — This is the main gaming channel for the service. It costs $9.99 a month. This subscription includes unlimited access to a growing catalog of games and 1080p/60fps streaming on two devices simultaneously. As of 2023, the Retro and Family channels have been rolled into the main Luna Plus subscription, boosting the number of games to roughly 100.
  • Prime Gaming — Amazon Prime subscribers can access a select number of Luna games for free, which is certainly a nice additional perk for being a member.
  • Ubisoft Plus —  This channel features games developed and/or published by Ubisoft and includes both classic and its most recent games. It costs $17.99 per month. It includes the same 1080p/60 quality and unlimited gameplay, but only for one device. However, it features the ultimate edition of each game, with all DLC unlocked for certain titles. If you already pay for Ubisoft Plus on another platform, you can connect your Ubisoft account to access the Amazon Luna channel at no additional charge.
  • Jackbox Games — This channel features the many casual trivia games made by the Jackbox Games publisher. You can get it for $4.99 a month.

The Amazon Luna controller

Amazon Luna controller
Amazon

If you want to get the most out of a Luna subscription, you’ll also want to pick up an Amazon Luna controller. Amazon claims that using the official controller can reduce latency by 17 to 30 milliseconds when compared to standard Bluetooth controllers, which is huge for competitive multiplayer titles.

It does this by connecting directly to Amazon’s servers with a built-in Wi-Fi receiver with support for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks. This removes the middleman of your local PC or streaming device for inputs. Wired gameplay is also available with a USB-C cable, which unfortunately isn’t included in the box.

The Amazon Luna controller is similar to an Xbox controller, but with built-in Wi-Fi for reduced latency.

As for the controller’s design, it closely matches the layout of the hugely popular Xbox controller. It features a textured grip and the standard layout: four action buttons, two offset joysticks, a d-pad, two bumpers, and two triggers. There are also four buttons in the center for home, action, menu, and microphone control. On the bottom of the controller, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio.

The controller is powered by two replaceable AA batteries, which are included in the box. You need to use the Luna Controller mobile app to set it up, but once completed, you can switch between devices with ease.

The Amazon Luna controller normally costs $69.99 on its own, or $82.98 when bundled with a phone clip. At writing, buying a controller also comes with a free month of Amazon Luna Plus, which is a great way to try out some games right away. You can also get the controller bundled with a Fire TV stick for $109.98.  Click the button below to learn more.

Amazon Luna games

Amazon Luna games
Amazon

An Amazon Luna Plus subscription includes unlimited access to roughly 100 games from a variety of publishers. The list isn’t as impressive as Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming catalog, but it’s a solid start. The games are running on Windows machines, so theoretically, it should be easier to add games to Luna without ports.

However, these games cannot be purchased individually and require a persistent subscription to play. Games may also be removed from the service as time goes on, removing access for even paying subscribers. In this regard it’s similar to Xbox Game Pass, but without the option to buy a game once it’s removed.

Although you can get more games by subscribing to more channels, the base subscription to Amazon Luna Plus includes a wide variety of games. Here’s the full list of Amazon Luna Plus games as of January 2024:

Note: We’ve listed out all of the retro titles included in Capcom Arcade Stadium separately for full visibility.

  • 1941 Counter Attack
  • 1942
  • 1943
  • 1944 The Loop Master
  • 19XX The War Against Destiny
  • Alien Isolation
  • Amid Evil
  • Aragami
  • Arcade Paradise
  • Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Batora: Lost Haven
  • Battle Circuit
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Beach Buggy Racing 2
  • Bee Simulator
  • Bionic Commando
  • Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites
  • Bug Fables The Everlasting Sapling
  • Call of the Sea
  • Capcom Arcade Stadium
  • Captain Commando
  • Carrier Airwing
  • Castlevania Anniversary Collection
  • Chicken Police
  • Chorvs
  • Close to the Sun
  • Commando
  • Contra Aniversary Collection
  • Control Ultimate Edition
  • Cross Code
  • Cyberbots Fullmetal Madness
  • Death Squared
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Dirt 5
  • Dirt Rally 2.0
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Dragon’s Lair 2 Time Warp
  • Dusk
  • Dynasty Wars
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Earthworm Jim 2
  • ENCODYA
  • Endzone: A World Apart
  • Everspace
  • Final Fight
  • Forgotten Worlds
  • Fortnite
  • Freshly Frosted
  • Garfield Kart Furious Racing
  • Garfield Lasagna Party
  • Get Packed Couch Chaos
  • Ghostrunner Complete Edition
  • Ghosts’n Goblins
  • Ghouls’n Goblins
  • GigaWing
  • Grow Song of the Evertree
  • Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • Haven
  • Horizon Chase Turbo
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed
  • Inertial Drift: The Twilight Rivals Edition
  • Infinite Mini Golf
  • Inside My Radio
  • Kingdom Come Deliverance Royal Edition
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
  • Kitaria Fables
  • Kunai
  • Legendary Wings
  • LEGO DC Super-Villians
  • Lost Judgement
  • Lumines Remastered
  • Lumote
  • Martha is Dead
  • Max The Curse of Brotherhood
  • Mega Twins
  • Megaman 11
  • Megaman Legacy Collection
  • Metal Slug
  • Metal Slug X
  • Metro Exodus
  • Mighty Switch Force Collection
  • Monster Harvest
  • Monster Truck Championship
  • Mortal Shell
  • Moving Out
  • Narita Boy
  • Obduction
  • Okami HD
  • Once Upon a Jester
  • Orbital Bullet
  • Overcooked
  • Overcooked 2
  • Panzer Dragoon
  • Paper Beast Folded Edition
  • Perish
  • Pile Up
  • Pirate Ship Higemaru
  • Potion Permit
  • Powered Gear
  • Progear
  • Q.U.B.E 10th Anniversary
  • Q.U.B.E 2
  • R Type Dimensions Ex
  • Rad
  • Rescue Party: Live!
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Retro Classix: Breakthru
  • Retro Classix: Express Raider
  • Retro Classix: Super Real Darwin
  • Retro Classix: Wizard Fire
  • Ride 4
  • Riptide GP Renegade
  • River City Girls
  • Rogue Heroes
  • Sail Forth
  • Saints Row The Third Remastered
  • Samurai Warriors 5
  • Section Z
  • Senjo no Okami II
  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
  • Shantae Half Genie/Hero Ultimate Edition
  • Shantae Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut
  • Shock Troopers
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
  • Skatebird
  • Sonic Colors Ultimate
  • Sonic Mania Plus
  • Space Age
  • Space Otter Charlie
  • Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated
  • StarWars Pinball
  • Steamworld Dig 2
  • Steamworld Heist
  • Steamworld Quest Hand of Gilgamech
  • Steel Assault
  • Strange Horticulture
  • Street Fighter II
  • Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting
  • Strider
  • Strife Veteran Edition
  • Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo The Ultimate Championship
  • Tatakai no Banka
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Tetris Effect Connected
  • The Adventure Pals
  • The Falconeer
  • The Forgotten City
  • The King of Fighters ’97 Global Match
  • The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition
  • The Last Hero of Nostalgaia
  • The Legend of Heroes Trails from Zero
  • The Mummy Remastered
  • The Smurfs Mission Vileaf
  • The Wonderful 10 Remastered
  • Thymesia
  • Time on Frog Island
  • Toki
  • Tormented Souls
  • Tracks Toybox Edition
  • Trails of Cold Steel IV
  • Twinklestar Sprites
  • Twinsen’s Little Big Adventure Classic 2
  • ULTRAKILL
  • Valfaris
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 Complete Edition
  • Varth Operation Thunder Storm
  • Vengeful Guardian Moonrider
  • Vulgus
  • Warriors of Fate
  • Windjammers 2
  • Wobbledogs
  • Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap
  • Worms Crazy Golf
  • WRC Generations
  • Yakuza 3
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Youtubers Life OMG
  • Ys IX Monstrum Nox 
  • Ys VII Lacrimosa of Dana

This list will change over time, and you can gain access to more games by subscribing to more channels. For example, you can also access nearly the entire Ubisoft catalog via the Ubisoft Plus channel. You can even purchase Ubisoft games on Amazon Luna and have them tied to your Ubisoft account

Amazon is also developing first-party games under Amazon Game Studios. The studio’s first major title, a battle royale game called Crucible, had a disastrous launch and was ultimately put back into development before being canceled. The second title, an MMO called New World, managed to gain a lot of traction in the November 2021 early access period, but it’s not yet available on Amazon Luna. It is, however, included in GeForce Now.

What is the Amazon Luna release date?

Amazon Luna officially launched in the US on March 1, 2022. Just over a year later on March 22, 2023, the service was expanded to the UK, Germany, and Canada. In November 2023, the list grew to include Italy, France, and Spain,

Where is it available?

Amazon Luna is currently available in the United States, the UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. Sign up at the link below.

How does it stack up against alternatives?

Google Stadia controller with phone mounted

Amazon Luna is poised to take on the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now. Although it’s still too early for a definitive take on which is best, there are some key similarities and differences to take note of.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud) is the service that’s most similar to Luna. It also has a library of games locked behind a single subscription fee, but the games are a step above Luna’s offerings. They include all of Microsoft’s first-party titles from popular franchises like Halo and Gears of War. However, cloud support is currently limited to 720p quality and doesn’t include games you’ve purchased. It’s tied to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs more than twice as much as Luna Plus at $14.99 a month, but comes with a library of downloadable PC and Xbox games, too.

GeForce Now is more of a virtual machine service than a true cloud gaming platform, but it offers many of the same benefits. It allows you to play your existing game library from Steam or other stores on a powerful machine in the cloud. The free plan is limited to game sessions of just one hour, but the Priority plan bumps that up to $9.99 a month. There’s also an Ultimate plan that includes access to RTX 4080 GPUs, costing $100 for six months. Just keep in mind that you will need to buy all of your games separately, and not all the games you own will work with the service.

Other FAQs

Yes. Like Kindle devices, Amazon Luna displays advertisements while connecting to a game. However, they do not appear while the game is loading or during gameplay.

In theory, yes. However, more than 50 games were removed in early 2023, and only a few were added. Currently, Luna has roughly 100 games for the base Amazon Luna Plus subscription, plus many more with add-on channels like Ubisoft Plus.

Project Tempo was the codename for Amazon Luna while it was in development. Now that it’s been officially revealed, the codename has been dropped.

No, Amazon Luna is currently only available for early access in a few countries. We’ll update this article as soon as global availability expands.

While the main service is available separately from Amazon Prime, Prime members can check out a small selection of Luna games for no additional cost. This list rotates every month, much like Amazon Prime Gaming.