Video games need a lot of processing power and can be very expensive. A gaming PC could cost a few thousand dollars, but surprisingly, the newest consoles only cost $300. But there is a cheap option that is slowly becoming more popular.
Game streaming enables players to play as though they have a console or gaming PC in front of them, even though they are housed in a national data center. For a small monthly charge, such services provide powerful gaming hardware; you only need a budget-friendly desktop, smartphone, or tablet device to play.
This article will explain how these services work, how much they cost, and which ones we’ve looked at best to help you understand.
What Is a Game Streaming Service?
Game streaming services allow you to play or watch video games on any device you use; you no longer have to wait for games to download to a PC or console. There are low-cost, easy-to-use options, whether you want to pay a monthly fee to access a whole library of games, buy new games one at a time, or use the games you already have.
If you want to play a game, you can stream it from a company whose servers have the proper hardware. You could also connect to a strong computer remotely through a client. The client only sends your video and audio inputs to the server so they can be shown to you in real-time.
How Do You Stream Games?
Streaming games on your device can be a breeze, and you will only need a fast internet connection to get the most out of these services. Your video game will buffer if your connection is poor.
Streaming video games require an internet connection with speeds of at least 5Mbps and up to 20Mbps, depending on the provider. There is no need for a cable connection, but it is recommended, as is 5GHz Wi-Fi. If a fiber connection is available where you live, you should use it for these services to keep up speed and reliability.
Milliseconds of input latency can make it feel like the game is happening in real-time when you play it online. Even if it’s too slow for competitive gaming, it makes almost all games playable. Every frame counts when you’re playing a multiplayer shooter or fighting game, so you should use something other than a streaming service.
What is the Best Game Streaming Platform?
Most services have Windows 10 clients, so even the most basic business laptop can be turned into a powerful gaming machine. Another benefit of PC clients is that they can connect to the network using Wi-Fi and Ethernet.
On Windows 10, you can use any game streaming service available to the public, either as a separate app or through a web browser. If you can’t wait for the Windows 10 client, you can try out the cloud gaming features of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in your browser.
Most streaming services let you play games on your phone. Except for PlayStation Now, every service has an app for Android. The iOS cloud gaming ecosystem is less stable because people have differing views about which services can work on Apple devices. The small screen will make it weird to play console or PC games.
Some services let you connect directly to your TV, but you need special equipment. With Google Stadia, you need a Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra to play games on your TV. Anyone with PS4 or PS5 can use PlayStation Now. If you have an Amazon Fire TV, you can use Amazon Luna.
What Else Do You Need?
Almost every game needs a gamepad. Stadia is best used with the Google Stadia Controller, but you can also use the Xbox Wireless Controller, the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4, and several Bluetooth controllers. Amazon Luna works with some Bluetooth gamepads, but the Luna Controller is the easiest way to play on that platform.
GeForce Now lets you use any wireless gamepad that works with XInput, but an Xbox Wireless Controller is recommended. With PlayStation Now, you can use the DualSense, DualShock 4, and Xbox controllers.
On the other hand, Shadow can be played with any controller that works with Windows 10, though it is still best to use a mouse and keyboard. Since you are using a direct connection to a Windows 10 computer, it is essential that you can use a mouse and keyboard.
Unlike the Shadow Android app, which can be used with touch input and an on-screen keyboard, a Windows computer needs a mouse and keyboard to work well.