Google Stadia, once seen as the future of gaming, will be shut down by Google in January next year. It is a setback for the company’s expanding efforts beyond internet advertising. Stadia and other Alphabet projects like Loon & Makani are heading to the graveyard.
Learn about Google Stadia games, including why it was shut down, and explore alternative options.
Why is Google Closing Stadia?
Stadia was Google’s attempt to enter a new market and make more money, but it didn’t do well because only a few people used it. Stadia, the platform, couldn’t compete with gaming giants Microsoft and Sony. People only trusted Stadia a little because Google wasn’t fully committed to its new ventures. Stadia never had a chance. It was bound to happen.
The venture seemed promising when it started in November, but it still had many features that needed to be made available. That’s when things began to go wrong.
Despite launching without a free tier, Stadia introduced one six months after its initial release. They also made improvements, such as enabling the Stadia wireless controller to work with computers. These changes aimed to increase the number of people playing games on Stadia. Google tried to attract people by offering promotions, but more was needed. Unfortunately, Google decided to shut down Stadia on January 18, 2023.
Google Stadia Alternatives
After Google announced the end of Stadia, users began looking for alternative options that provide a similar or improved gaming experience compared to Google Stadia. The Stadia servers will be available for users until January 17, 2023. It gives you time to explore other options to replace Google Stadia.
Here are some great alternatives to Google Stadia:
1. Amazon Luna
Are you a member of Amazon Prime? Amazon Luna might be the right choice if you’re looking for an alternative to Google Stadia. Amazon Luna offers free game rotations for Prime members. It includes popular games like Lumines: Remastered, Far Cry 4, and Moving Out. In addition, Luna provides free-to-play retro classics and family games, including the newest games from Ubisoft.
Amazon Luna is compatible with many devices such as Mac, PC, Fire tablets, Fire TV, iOS, Chromebooks, and Androids. You can use Xbox and PlayStation controllers to play games on Amazon Luna, but the company also sells its controller to help reduce input lag.
Availability regions: United States (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).
If you want to enhance your cloud gaming experience, Shadow is the best solution. Shadow offers you a complete cloud PC instead of just shared resources. With this, you can play high-end games, edit films, and work on Excel spreadsheets. Shadow provides a better gaming experience for users because it avoids the common problem of poor game streaming performance during busy times. It is possible because every user has a PC.
However, all of this comes at a cost. You can subscribe for as low as $30 per month. If you want the Power package with 4K support and hardware-accelerated ray tracing, it will cost you up to $45 per month. Shadow has the advantage of being compatible with a wide range of systems. It includes Windows, Mac, Chrome, Android, iOS, and Quest VR devices. While the service may seem expensive, it is a good option for those who want to spend less than $1,000 on a gaming PC.
These are the available regions: Belgium, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, the US, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
3. PlayStation Now
PlayStation Now is a stable option among the alternatives to Google Stadia due to device limitations. PlayStation Now differs from other cloud gaming services because it can only be used on the PS4, PS5, and PC.
PlayStation Now is an older service, but it still functions effectively. Performance may differ based on your PC requirements. PS Now used to be priced at $20/month, but now it’s only $10/month. There are even more affordable options available if you purchase in larger quantities.
These regions are available: UK, Canada, US, Belgium, Austria, France, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.
4. Nvidia GeForce Now
NVIDIA’s GeForce Now is a top choice for cloud gaming. In addition to the games catalog, GeForce Now offers a free tier and the ability to play your own games. It works with platforms like Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect, and more. Not all games in these catalogs work with GeForce Now.
The free tier is great for beginners in cloud gaming or PC, allowing you to test the service for one hour at a time.
You can start with a subscription for just $10 per month. This subscription includes access to an RTX GPU, which lets you play games at 1080p and 60fps. You can enjoy gaming sessions of up to six hours at a time. The highest tier costs $20 per month. It gives you access to the company’s most powerful RTX 3080 GPU and lets you play games at 4K 120fps for up to eight hours.
Available in North America and Europe.
5. Vortex Cloud Gaming
Vortex is a famous rival to Google Stadia. It offers a streaming-only service at a low price. This service costs $9.99 per month, and it provides limited features. They say a VIP package with more services will be available soon.
The current plan supports gaming on Windows, macOS, Android PCs, and any platform that runs Google Chrome, unlike Google Stadia. Vortex offers a handy tool to modify the interface, allowing you to remap on-screen controls easily. Vortex has a drag-and-drop feature that lets you customize buttons in different combinations. However, each game still has a default layout.
Available regions include the US, Southern Asia, Central America, and Europe.
6. Xbox Cloud Gaming
Microsoft leads in cloud gaming. The company introduced a preview of the xCloud gaming service in 2019 and officially launched Xbox Cloud Gaming in the fall of 2020. Microsoft has been the top market leader for a long time and has consistently improved its service.
You can play all the games on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass library through the cloud with Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Subscribers can instantly access popular games.
The Xbox Cloud Gaming library has many popular games like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 4, Battlefield V, Skyrim, and more! In addition, the service allows you to play cloud games and use touch controls on specific titles.
These are the availability regions: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
How do you access Google Stadia alternatives from anywhere?
If you can’t access all the alternatives of Google Stadia everywhere, you’ll need to find another way to access them from anywhere in the world. To achieve that, subscribe to a trustworthy VPN service. A VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions on cloud platforms and protect you from DDoS attacks while gaming.
Using a VPN server may cause lag when accessing Google Stadia.
Here’s an easy way to access Google Stadia alternatives worldwide:
1. Sign in using your login information.
2. Connect to a VPN server with access to your preferred cloud gaming platform.
3. Have fun gaming on your favorite cloud platform!
We know that the news of Google Stadia shutting down can disappoint Stadia users. We’ve created a blog post listing alternative options to Google Stadia games. In the blog, you’ll find information about their unique features, pricing plans, and how to access them globally. We hope this guide helped you find an excellent alternative to Google Stadia now that it’s leaving for good!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is Google Stadia?
Stadia is a gaming service by Google that uses cloud technology. You can access Chromecast Ultra, Android TV, personal computers with Google Chrome or other Chromium-based browsers, Chromebooks and tablets with Chrome OS, and supported Android smartphones with the latest Chrome browser and Stadia app.
Is Google Stadia dead?
No, but Google Stadia is closing down only three years after its launch on January 18, 2023.
What will happen if Google shuts down Stadia?
Google will refund you if you bought Stadia hardware or games/add-on content from the Google Store. Google wants the payments done by mid-January.
Can I get a refund for the Stadia games?
Google has promised to refund players who bought a Stadia controller and any additional content or games.
Can I sell my Stadia games?
No, you cannot sell your Stadia games. However, Google has mentioned that they will provide refunds for Stadia games, although they have yet to share the specifics.
Which is better: Stadia or GeForce Now?
Both options perform well, so it depends on your preferred playing location. GeForce Now is great for playing on a small PC screen, but Stadia performs better on a larger 4K TV in the living room.
How do I get a Stadia controller refund?
Google has promised to provide returns for the Stadia controller and games, but they still need to share the details. But one thing is certain: you won’t have to return your hardware purchases for a refund.