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The best Google Stadia alternatives: Where to go now that the service is dead
Google Stadia officially died on January 18, 2023. Thankfully, most of you will get refunds for hardware and game purchases, but there’s another issue to worry about. How will you enjoy all the benefits of cloud gaming? There are some excellent Google Stadia alternatives to consider, so let’s go through them and find out which service you should move to.
The best Google Stadia alternatives
None of these are really quite like Google Stadia, but some get pretty close.
Amazon Luna: The Amazon choice
Amazon Luna is likely one of the most similar cloud gaming services to Stadia because it also offers its own controller that can connect via Wi-Fi. It also supports Bluetooth, though, which is definitely an advantage for those who want to game on Windows, macOS, Android, Chromebooks, and more.
What’s different is the selection of games, though. The library isn’t as impressive as Stadia’s, only offering about 120 games. Another significant difference is that titles can’t simply be purchased separately. You have to subscribe to one of their plans. There are some free games for Prime subscribers, though. And if you are interested in high-end games, there’s a pricier Ubisoft Plus plan with titles like FarCry 6, Assassin’s Creed games, Watch Dogs, and more.
Check out our full review to learn more about Amazon Luna
NVIDIA GeForce Now: For the serious gamers
NVIDIA is better known for its GPUs, but it has also become an important cloud gaming service provider. The NVIDIA GeForce Now service offers one of the best game libraries, but that is mainly because it’s not the one providing the games. Instead, it will connect with other game stores like Steam, Epic Games Store, and others.
Instead of selling games, NVIDIA provides a way to play them on other platforms. This does mean you’ll have to buy your games separately. This could be a good thing, as NVIDIA GeForce Now has access to PC-quality games of the highest caliber. And the best part is that you can actually use it for free. The free plan only offers one-hour sessions and a “basic rig,” though. You can pay up to get better specs and longer sessions.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: For those with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
If you like native Xbox titles and don’t mind signing up for an Xbox GamePass Ultimate subscription, then Xbox Cloud Gaming might be among the best Google Stadia alternatives. The Xbox game catalog is ample and full of many titles that you already know and love. These include popular franchises like Halo, Fortnite, Assassin’s Creed, Flight Simulator, Battlefield, Batman, and many others.
The best part is you don’t necessarily need an Xbox console to take advantage of Xbox Cloud Gaming. Of course, GamePass Ultimate can be most taken advantage of if you do have one, though.
PlayStation Plus: Great for PS users, but limited device support
PlayStation Plus isn’t exactly a cloud gaming service. It’s more of a subscription for high-end gamers who want to be able to game many titles on their consoles. PlayStation Plus offers some older-generation titles for streaming, though. These include classic games from PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and even the PSP.
The collection of titles is massive. Sure, they are all older games, but we all know the gems PS classics hold.
Shadow: PC gaming on any device
Having access to PC-quality games on the cloud is great, but what if you could access an actual gaming PC on the cloud? Shadow Tech makes this possible by offering cloud PC access to a gaming computer. This not only makes it one of the best Stadia alternatives, but it might also be a great computer alternative!
The basic plan grants you access to a remote machine with an Intel XEON processor, GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, all powered by Windows 10. You can then pay extra to upgrade up to an RTX 3070 or AMD RDNA 2-based GPU. You can also get an AMD EPYC chip, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage.
More: AMD vs NVIDIA GPUs
Shadow isn’t cheap, though. It’s the priciest option on this list, starting at $29.99 a month. The cool thing about Shadow is that it’s a whole computer. You can use it for anything you want, including editing and other resource-intensive processes.
Steam Link: If you already have a powerful gaming PC
Serious gamers probably already have a powerful gaming PC. If you do, then you probably want to look into Steam Link. This service is offered by the game store Steam, and it offers a way to stream your Steam games straight from your personal PC. You can use it over Wi-Fi, data, or even tethered. It’s also available on many platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and others.
The service is free, but you need to purchase the games from Steam, separately. Additionally, you need a powerful computer that can run the games you want to stream, so this method has a high entrance price.
Google announced it was shutting down Stadia in 2022, and it did so on January 18, 2023.
You could continue playing the games you purchased until January 18, 2023, despite the Stadia store closing months earlier. The service is now completely unavailable.
Google will be refunding Stadia hardware purchased from the Google Store. Additionally, you’ll get your money back for all games and add-ons bought from the Stadia Store.
Google mentioned it killed Stadia because it didn’t receive the adoption the company expected.