Stadia: Everything you need to know about Google's cloud gaming service

Stadia and Verizon
(Image credit: Android Central)

The world of gaming is changing, thanks in part to cloud gaming platforms like Google Stadia. Rather than coming to market with another console or PC competitor, Google employed its powerful cloud-streaming tech to allow anyone with a fast internet connection to play AAA games on their phones, tablets, Chromebooks, Macbooks, and other underpowered devices. While we were big fans of Stadia at first, the service slowly declined with game releases until Google announced its eventual end.

Stadia: How it works

A presentation of the devices Stadia can run on

(Image credit: Android Central)

Stadia was the name of Google's game streaming service. Similar to NVIDIA GeForce Now and Amazon Luna, it was a platform that allowed you to play video games on virtually any device by streaming games that are hosted on cloud servers. You didn't download any games; instead, you streamed them directly to your devices, so long as your internet was fast enough to support Stadia.

The benefit of Stadia was that you didn't need an expensive PC or powerful next-gen console to play new games with beautiful graphics and high framerates. Instead, you could play on the devices you owned already. There's a huge list of Stadia-compatible phones and devices, including iPhones, MacBooks, Chromebooks, Chrome OS tablets, and Android TV or Google TV devices for televisions.

Unlike GeForce Now, which lets you stream games you purchased on Steam, Stadia ports needed to be purchased or could be accessed through the changing Stadia Pro subscription service.

Stadia: Plans and global availability

Screenshot of available Stadia Pro games

(Image credit: Android Central)

Stadia did not require a subscription to use it like any other gaming library. However, a Stadia Pro membership gave certain perks that were worth it for better performance and quantity of games.

The first difference when comparing Stadia versus Stadia Pro was the quality of the game stream. The free Stadia tier only offered a 1080p stream with stereo sound, though you can at least hit 60 FPS. Stadia Pro unlocks the option to stream games at 1440p and up to 4K quality with 60 frames per second (FPS), plus generate 5.1 surround sound audio. Google had also stated that it would eventually bring 8K gaming at 120 FPS to Pro members before it was shut down.

The second difference was that Stadia Pro members received access to a catalog of games that were added to the library for free. Unlike other gaming memberships that limit free games to a two-week or one-month window, Pro games could all be added at once. Although, games were removed from Stadia Pro after a certain period of time. Canceling your subscription would lose access to all claimed Stadia Pro games, but renewing would regain the games and save data in your library.

Finally, Stadia Pro gave access to exclusive discounts on select game purchases in the Stadia store.

Regardless of the free or paid tier, players could only stream Stadia games in countries where the service was available. Below are the 22 countries where Google offered the service:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

While Stadia was available in Puerto Rico and Alaska, it's worth noting that it was not available to residents of Hawaii or Guam. The Stadia controller couldn't be bought in The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, or Slovakia. The Stadia controller, official Google TV or Android TV device, or Chromecast Ultra did still work in those countries if purchased from a European country where and when it was available.

Stadia: Reviews, history, and recent news

Stadia controller and monitor

(Image credit: Android Central)

We've been following the development of Stadia for a long time (since its beta-testing days when it was known as Project Stream), and at GDC 2019, we were able to go hands-on with Stadia for the first time. While that experience was limited to just one game (Assassin's Creed Odyssey), we came away cautiously optimistic. Then, at Google I/O 2019, we were allowed to use the official Stadia controller, which we loved.

Google shipped the first Stadia Founder's Edition bundles out in November 2019, and our own Russell Holly wrote our first Stadia review. During his time with Stadia, Russell loved the controller. He opined that the service worked like magic — not having to wait for games to download and update is an exciting proposition for the future for gaming. Unfortunately, the overall Stadia experience felt incomplete, with missing features and lacking compatibility for non-Google devices. We then reviewed Google Stadia three months later and found that not enough had changed. It still felt like an expensive beta.

In hindsight, we know from various reports that this was an avoidable problem. The Stadia leadership team was reportedly pressured to launch the platform early, even though the developers thought it should remain in beta until they could fully deliver the cloud gaming concept. So instead, Stadia launched, and the execs tried to compensate for missing features by spending tens of millions of dollars per game to get exclusives like Red Dead Redemption 2 on the platform.

Stadia has seriously evolved since its premature launch. It now has a much larger library of games, with more AAA launch titles and regular sales, so you don't feel like you're always paying extra for old games. In fact, in our most recent Stadia 2021 review, we praised the service for realizing its potential as a "legitimate gaming platform," which streams games at consistently high quality if you have fast internet.

Unfortunately, that review was almost immediately followed by the news that Stadia Games and Entertainment, Google's first-party development studio for exclusive games, was shutting down. According to Bloomberg sources, SG&E had been working on games "that could only work on a cloud platform" with AI-driven mechanics, including a prototype "cross between a Google Assistant and a Tamagotchi pet" for interacting with smart NPC creatures.

Since then, the buzz around Stadia has only gotten worse. We learned that Stadia leadership praised its development teams' "great progress" one week before shutting them down; that Google had trouble patching game-breaking bugs out of Journey to the Savage Planet because it had fired or reassigned the SG&E developers; and that Stadia is facing a class-action lawsuit for not delivering on marketing promises to stream some of its games in 4K.

Our most recent Stadia status report was tentatively optimistic, thanks to the news that over 100 new Stadia games would arrive in 2021. But it was hard not to be pessimistic about Stadia's chances when Google leadership didn't seem invested in the service's longevity.

Google had consistently added more games to the Stadia catalog throughout 2021, with a small number of games taking advantage of Stadia exclusive features like Crowd Choice, Crowd Play, State Share, and Stream Connect. The company even started experimenting with free, timed trials of certain games.

Despite the welcomed additions, Google had also started to lend its Stadia technology to other companies to use for their own games, without requiring the Stadia ecosystem. The first widely public example came in late 2021 with AT&T Wireless users being able to stream and play Batman: Arkham Knight, a game not available on Stadia, by logging into their AT&T accounts. AT&T would add Control Ultimate Edition to the list in May 2022. Google had seemingly kickstarted its backup plan for when the Stadia platform was not worth supporting beyond its tech.

The following was confirmed further after a report revealed that Google was in talks with game studios and non-gaming companies to leverage the Stadia tech, known as Google Stream at the time, and "deprioritize" the Stadia platform. Gaming studios in the talks included Capcom to stream playable game demos from its website, and Destiny developer Bungie, which was "exploring a streaming platform of its own." The talks with the latter had reportedly reached "considerable" headway, but it is currently unknown how Sony's acquisition of Bungie would affect plans.

Google had reached a deal with Peloton, an exercise equipment company known for its internet-connected treadmills and bicycles, to provide the backend to support streaming games directly to Peloton's bicycles. The first of the games was unveiled and ran a closed demo in 2021. The company also supports the Resident Evil Village cloud demo playable from Capcom's website unveiled in June 2022.

The report also revealed that Google had deprioritized the Stadia platform for consumers, and would instead focus on the backend technology and securing more white-label deals, similar to the AT&T and Peloton deals. While the company did not directly address the report, it tweeted, "If you hear one thing, hear this: The Stadia team is working really hard on a great future for Stadia and cloud gaming," and said that more than 100 games would be coming to Stadia in 2022 alongside other "goodness" that it could not reveal yet.

Google officially revealed its business-to-business (B2B) service for white-label partners in early 2022 called Immersive Stream for Games. Previously known as Google Stream, the service offers Stadia's backend tech for partners to stream their own games directly to players, or potentially a streaming service in itself without being tied to the Stadia ecosystem. The company is still focusing on Stadia though, and simultaneously announced the Low Change Porting initiative that would help developers port Unreal Engine and Unity games to Stadia.

The company spent the majority of 2022 adding new Stadia features, bringing the service to more devices, and announced it was coming to Mexico. Although it was struggling with its promise to deliver 100 games to the platform for the year with a little over half launched by the end of September.

Google then announced at the end of September 2022 it would be shutting down Stadia on Jan, 18, 2023. Stadia vice president Phil Harrison said that the platform had not "gained the traction with users that we expected," and would be refunding all hardware and software purchases related to Stadia.

Stadia: Is Stadia shutting down?

Stadia logo

(Image credit: Android Central)

Ever since the news was released about Stadia Games and Entertainment shutting down and that studio head Jade Raymond was leaving the company without even releasing or announcing a game, the question quickly became whether this meant Google would shut down Stadia entirely. Not to mention what this all means for Stadia customers who purchased games on its platform. Considering Google regularly kills some of its most high-profile projects, these fears aren't unwarranted.

While Google continued to host third-party games from studios like Ubisoft and independent developers, it finally announced the end of Stadia on Sept. 29, 2022 by closing its games store from future purchases immediately. Players are still able to play their purchased Stadia games and access Stadia Pro titles until its shuts down on Jan. 18, 2023.

What happens to my games and save data if Stadia shuts down?

Stadia's TOS did not say one way or the other during the life of the platform, except to say that your purchases were permanently tied to your Google account.

Google revealed that players would be refunded all of their game purchases from the Stadia store when it announced it would discontinue the service. That means players would lose access to all of their games when the service ended on Jan. 18, 2023. Users could still play and access Stadia games and Stadia Pro titles until then, but will not be able to transfer the license ownership to another platform.

According to the Stadia Help Center FAQ, Google will also be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases such as the Stadia controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages that were purchased from the Google Store with "most hardware purchases" not needed to be returned. Although, Stadia Pro subscriptions would not be refunded.

Google announced it would start processing refunds in November 2022. The refunds will start with games, add-on content, in-game currency, and subscriptions fees other than Stadia Pro purchased through the Stadia Store. The company said it is still processing to refund Google Store hardware purchases, but expects the majority of refunds to be done by Jan. 18.

As for save data, whether or not you can transfer your campaign to another version of the game on Steam, GOG, or elsewhere varies from game to game. Bungie, for example, supports cloud-based cross-saves for Destiny 2, and Ubisoft+ gives you cloud save access. But you'll need to set up an account with that specific developer.

While game saves cannot be individually downloaded, players can get all of their Stadia data in one package through Google Takeout. This includes save data, screenshots, and video clips taken. It is possible to transfer a Stadia save to a PC or console version, but requires knowing where to import the save file and if the game supports cross-platform saves for consoles.

For example, CD Projekt RED gave a detailed explanation on how to transfer Cyberpunk 2077 Stadia saves to the PC version. The save files could then be used with consoles through cross-save, but requires owning multiple copies of the game. Other studios have been offering free game keys for other platforms to Stadia players with proof of purchase, such as the Embr and Figment developers.

Although, not every game will continue on after the servers shut down. The developer behind Stadia exclusive multiplayer game Outcasters announced it will not be ported to other platforms, while other exclusives Hello Engineer and Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle remain to be seen.

Can I use my Stadia controller with other platforms?

Yes, it's helpful to know what else you can do with your Stadia controller. It's compatible with Steam, Epic, Origin, EA Desktop, or Xbox Cloud Gaming for Android. However, it only works if you connect it to your PC via a USB-C to USB-A cable or your phone with a USB-C to USB-C cable. The Stadia controller was updated to connect wirelessly to devices, but this functionality only worked for Stadia.

Once it's plugged in, you'll need to make sure the service recognizes it. For example, you also need to enable Big Picture Mode in Steam settings to let the Steam client detect the controller. Then, you'll need to choose a controller configuration or map buttons to the controller for it to work.

While the Stadia controller generally worked for other platforms, the Stadia-specific buttons (Google Assistant and Share button) did not work for their intended purpose. Also, users reported that the rumble feature didn't work for non-Stadia games.

Stadia: Supported devices

Chromecast Ultra lying on a wood table

(Image credit: Android Central)

Stadia had grown significantly since its launch, expanding to a wider range of phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and televisions. Even if your device isn't on the official list of supported Stadia devices, there were several ways to get around that and still use the service. 

How to play Stadia on a TV

A Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller were required to play on television at launch. The Ultra is no longer sold by itself. However, it was still included in the Stadia Premiere Edition, and then replaced by Play and Watch with Google TV Package. It included a Chromecast with Google TV and a Stadia controller. Google also allowed more Android TV and Google TV devices to support Stadia in mid-2021. Here is the full list of officially supported Android TV devices and other hardware so far:

  • Chromecast Ultra
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • DirecTV Stream Device
  • Hisense Android Smart TVs (U7G, U8G, U9G)
  • LG webOS Smart TVs (2020 or later model year)
  • MagentaTV One
  • Nokia Streaming Box 8000
  • Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro
  • Onn FHD Streaming Stick and UHD Streaming Device
  • Panasonic JX800 series (Europe)
  • Philips Android TVs from 2019 (7304 and higher) and 2020 (8505 and higher)
  • Philips 4K TVs from 2021 and 2022
  • Philips 7-series Google TV
  • Samsung Smart TVs (2022 or later model year)
  • Sharp Aquos (EQ, EP, EL, EN series) (Europe)
  • Sony Bravia (Z9J, A90J, A80J, X95J, X92, X91J, X90J, X85J, X80J, X900H, X9000H)
  • Strong Leap-S1 Android TV box
  • TCL 5-Series and 6-Series (with Google TV)
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Verizon Stream TV, Stream TV Soundbar, and Stream TV Soundbar Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi Box 3 and Mi Box 4

The Google Home app had to be downloaded and used to set up your Chromecast Ultra on your TV. Then, the iOS or Android Stadia app was required on the phone and users signed in with a Google account (not a G Suite or Google for Education account). The app allowed users to pair the Stadia controller to the Chromecast Ultra and launch games on the TV.

For Chromecast with Google TV and Android TV devices, the Stadia app from the Google Play store and Google account was required to sign in to launch games directly on the TV.

A compatible Bluetooth, PlayStation, Stadia, and Xbox controller could have been paired natively with some officially supported Android TV devices. Google allowed most controllers to work with Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast with Google TV, or any Android TV device through the Phone Link option in the mobile Stadia app. An Android or iOS smartphone was also used as a controller to play games on the TV with a virtual touch gamepad.

The dedicated Stadia app can be downloaded on unsupported Android TV televisions and boxes not on the list to play games. However, you will have to enable the "Experiments" tab within the settings menu on the Stadia app for it to work. Google warns it is not optimized for unofficial devices and may run into issues when playing games.

Some televisions that do not run Android software can also support Stadia without another streaming device necessary. LG said at the beginning of 2021 that some its upcoming models would support Stadia by the end of the year, and a native app was delivered in December for LG Smart TVs running webOS 5.0 and webOS 6.0. Samsung unveiled at the start of 2022 that its new lineup of Smart TVs and Smart Monitor Series would offer Stadia and other streaming gaming services as part of a "Samsung Gaming Hub" interface, and started rolling it out halfway through the year.

Razer Kishi

(Image credit: Russell Holly / Android Central)

Which Android phones and tablets support Stadia?

Stadia was officially supported on the following mobile devices:

  • Pixel 2, 2XL, 3, 3XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5, 5a, 6, 6 Pro, 6a
  • Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S22
  • Samsung Note 8, 9, 10, 10+, 20, 20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, S6, S7, S7+, S8, A, A7
  • OnePlus 5, 6, 7, 7 Pro, 7 Pro 5G, 8, 8 Pro
  • OnePlus 5T, 6T, 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G, 8T
  • OnePlus Nord, N10 5G, N100
  • Asus ROG Phones
  • Razer Phone, Razer Phone II
  • LG V50 ThinQ, V50S ThinQ, V60 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ, Wing

A Google account (not compatible with G Suite or Google for Education accounts) with an active Stadia account (activated when signing up for free or purchasing Premier Edition, or through Buddy Pass invitation) and the Stadia app downloaded on your smartphone were all required for mobile cloud gaming.

If your Android phone isn't on this list, you still might be able to use it. Our list shows phones that Google developers have successfully tested Stadia on without any bugs, but they may not have tried your new phone yet. Download the Stadia app, go to the Settings, select "Experiments," then turn on "Play on this device." This will lift any device restrictions and let you use the service whenever you like.

However, keep in mind that your phone may have been kept off the list for a reason, and you should start by playing some free Stadia games first to see if it works before you subscribe or buy anything.

Does Stadia work on iOS?

While there is a Stadia iOS app before the service was shut down, it was only there to help you access games you own on your television; you could not play games throughit, courtesy of Apple's long-standing policy blocking gaming apps that could compete with its App Store or Apple Arcade. However, Google used a legal workaround that let iPhone and iPad users play Stadia games using their Safari or Chrome web browser.

Stadia on iOS required version 14.3 or later alongside a Stadia account and at least one game in the library. From that point, players went to stadia.com on their iPhone or iPad with a prompt saying you could play in the web browser.  A web app shortcut  could also be created to make things easier by tapping the share button in Safari and selecting "Add to Home Screen." The Stadia controller and some Bluetooth controllers were supported; unlike Android phones, wired controllers could not be used for Stadia on iOS.

How to play Stadia on a computer

Stadia on a Mac or PC was the easiest method to getting started with Stadia before its closure. Players went to Stadia.com in a Chrome browser, signed in with their Google account, and then bought games or an Stadia Pro subscription. A controller or keyboard and mouse could be used, and there were no hardware requirements like you get with most PC games.

For Chromebook users, Stadia was especially easy to access! Stadia came pre-installed on new Chromebooks, though it was technically a web app rather than the Android app. Some Chromebooks even came with three months of free Stadia Pro subscription. Most of the devices have minimal RAM, storage, or graphical power, and made Stadia the only way to play graphically demanding games on them.

Stadia: Best controllers and accessories

The controller used for Stadia

(Image credit: Android Central)

Stadia was pretty unique in that you didn't need many accessories to use it. It had worked with popular models from other consoles like the Dualshock 4, Xbox One, and Switch Pro controllers. Players could also have used their smartphones as controllers to play on TV, and some Stadia games featured direct touch controls when playing on Android mobile devices.

We had collected some of the best Stadia accessories for die-hard Stadia fans who wanted to make their cloud gaming as seamless as possible. Some of the accessories included controllers, low-latency headphones, phone grip or stand, travel case, or even a faster router.

The actual Stadia controller made by Google was one of the best Stadia controllers. It was incredibly comfortable to grip for extended play sessions, was available in three colors (Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi), and featured two tricks specific for Stadia — Share and Google Assistant buttons.

The Share button had let you share 4K gameplay directly to YouTube, while the Google Assistant button accesses the controller's built-in microphone and allows you to issue voice commands as you would with any other Assistant-enabled device. Keep in mind that this feature only works when the controller is connected to a Chromecast, not to other Stadia-compatible devices. The Stadia controller also has an audio jack and a USB-C port that can be used for charging or USB-C headphones.

Wireless controllers are great in most circumstances but can be awkward to use for playing on mobile, especially if you're on the move. The most natural Android Stadia experience was using the Razer Kishi when the service was still available. It's a wired controller that slides around your Android phone, so the left and right halves sit on either side of the phone, making it look like a tiny Nintendo Switch. Just check that you have a Razer Kishi-compatible phone before you buy it.

Stadia: Best games, free games, and subscriptions

Cyberpunk 2077 Stadia Aiming Gun Web Browser

(Image credit: Android Central)

When Stadia launched, it had a minimal library of games, most of which were a couple of years old. As time passed, it added more backlist games but very few launch titles. Publishers like Ubisoft had brought their new games directly to Stadia alongside console and PC launches.

Some Stadia games had even outperformed its console counterparts. Our Cyberpunk 2077 for Stadia review claimed the Stadia port dodged all the notorious problems that caused the game to be removed from sale on the Playstation store. In fact, people have enjoyed the Cyberpunk Stadia port so much that Google's servers became overwhelmed. Other popular annual titles like NBA 2K21 and Madden NFL 21 were also hitting Stadia's storefront on day one.

See our list of every game available on Google Stadia, which we had updated regularly before the shut down announcement. Then, check our picks for the best games on Google Stadia overall. 

Stadia Pro was Google's subscription service to build one's library and other options when it was available. It was a $10/month subscription that gave access to better game streaming quality, plus a bunch of free Stadia Pro games. The service had offered around 50 games to claim including popular titles like Control Ultimate Edition, Mafia III: Definitive Edition, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Saints Row IV: Re-Elected.

In addition to standalone titles and Stadia Pro, Google Stadia had also supported select game subscription services. Ubisoft+ on Stadia gave access to the publisher's games on the service, including new games like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and all associated DLC.

We had high hopes for Google's Stadia Games and Entertainment, its first-party game development studio after it began acquiring gaming studios like Typhoon Studios. Unfortunately, Google shuttered its development studio without releasing any exclusives, so future Stadia exclusives will only come from third-party deals. After the closure, two completely exclusive games released on the platform in 2021 with Pixeljunk Raiders and Hello Engineer, and were the final exclusive games when Stadia shut down.

Stadia: Data usage and internet requirements

The internet speeds that Google recommends for using Stadia

(Image credit: Google)

Since Stadia was entirely internet-based, you needed a good connection to play. The better your speed, the better your experience will be. Google had even offered and official Stadia speed test to check, though is now defunct.

At the bare minimum, Google recommended speeds of 10 Mbps. This enabled 720p at 60 FPS with stereo audio. At 20 Mbps, things wereamped up to 1080p, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound. Proper surround sound was only possible if your TV supported HDMI eARC connections and was hooked up to the proper AV receiver. At 32 Mbps, a 1440p resolution was possible with a Stadia Pro subscription.

Google recommended having a connection of at least 35 Mbps for 4K access. It required a 4K TV using a Chromecast Ultra or compatible Android TV device, or through on stadia.com if your computer supports VP9 hardware decoding. An ethernet connection was necessary for consistent speeds.

Google estimated that 4K gaming uses up to 20 GB/hour, 1440p resolution with up to 14.4 GB/hour, while 1080p gaming can burn through up to 12.6 GB/hour. If you had a monthly data usage limit of one terabyte, you will use up half of it with just 25 hours of 4K gaming — less than one hour per day on average.

Stadia: Exclusive features

Hitman 3 State Share Library

(Image credit: Google)

Designed in the era of Let's Plays, YouTube streamers, and social media, Stadia had a couple of specific, exciting tools that made it easier to share your gaming moments with others.

The Stadia controller's Share button was able to instantly save screenshots or video clips that you could be downloaded or uploaded to YouTube. It was conveinent compared to other consoles that made you jump through hoops to get your saved footage online.

Google introduced a feature designed specifically for streamers called Crowd Play. If a YouTuber is live streaming themselves playing a game, they could allow their audience to instantly jump in the game with them via Stadia by clicking a button on the video. Another planned feature was a button that allowed you to instantly jump in the game and start playing in as little as five seconds while watching a trailer for a game like Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The feature was not implemented due to Stadia's closure, and Crowd Play never left closed beta while only supporting a limited list of games.

YouTube streamers could also use the Crowd Choice feature to allow the audience to make decisions for them via poll if the game allows it. The viewers could pick narrative choices in Baldur's Gate 3 or choose what team the streamer should be on in Dead by Daylight.

Another exclusive feature was Stream Connect, which shows teammates' screens in your view within real-time as you played. Up to three players' screens could be shown at once, though Stream Connect did not work with other players on other platforms if the title supports cross-play. All players had to be on Stadia for the split-screen feature to work.

The most dynamic feature on Stadia was called State Share. It allowed you to capture specific gameplay moments, then sends a clickable link to your friends or followers that instantly transports them to where you were in the game, with the same difficulty settings, loadout, and other details. You could share a secret level with friends or put yourself in an impossible situation and challenge others to survive it.

The first Stadia game with State Share was Hitman 3, but expanded to the first two Hitman titles among others. Over 20 games had supported one of the four Stadia exclusive features by the end of 2021.

Stadia: Competitors

Amazon Luna

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Stadia had grown past some frustrating shortcomings and become a legitimate gaming platform until its end. But there is still an increasing number of excellent gaming services still around today. Here are its strongest rivals to consider as an alternative.

Amazon Luna is only available in the U.S., but Amazon Luna vs. Google Stadia was a legitimate battle between two tech giants just diving into the gaming industry. Luna offers different subscriptions, each with its own bundle of games, but its main channel, Luna+, has more than 100 games and costs less per month than Stadia Pro (about 30-50 games). On the flip side, it only streams in 1080p, and you can't buy any games before they're removed, making it unclear what'll happen to your save data. It's available on PC, Mac, (via web app) some Android and iOS phones, any Fire TV device, Fire tablets, and Chromebooks.

Nvidia GeForce Now vs. Google Stadia is a fight between two full-fledged cloud gaming platforms. GeForce Now is a service you can access for free, in that you can stream games you own on Steam without having to repurchase them if the publisher made them available on Nvidia's service. Its monthly price is cheaper but often "sells out," forcing you to pay for six months upfront. It also has a more extensive library of compatible games but only hits a 2K resolution maximum unless you pay for the RTX 3080 membership, which offers up to 1440p resolution at 120 FPS at $100 for six months.

Finally, you have Xbox Game Pass Streaming vs Google Stadia. Although it originally launched on Xbox, Game Pass can be streamed on your Android phone or tablet, PC web browser, iOS browser, and Xbox consoles. It costs more than Stadia as only a per month subscription and offers over 100 games in its library, including popular Microsoft titles like Halo: Master Chief Collection, Gears 5, and Forza Horizon 4.