Google Stadia's price confounded many in its early days, with talks of hardware you'll need and won't need and different subscription models floating around shortly after release. Over the last year, we've seen how the Google Stadia price works, though and even a few deals and discounts hitting the game streaming service in the meantime as well.
Things can get a little complex when working out the Google Stadia price system, but we're breaking it down right here, as well as showing you how to cut some of those costs.
What is the Google Stadia price?
If you're looking to stream games to your phone, PC or Mac and pay for each game you stream, the Google Stadia service itself is free. However, the Google Stadia Pro subscription offers access to a free game library with new titles added monthly for as long as your membership is active. The Stadia Pro subscription costs $9.99/£8.99 a month.
If you want to play on your TV, you'll need to pick up some specialized hardware (though note you don't need this gear if you're just playing on mobile or your laptop). The Google Stadia controller and a Chromecast Ultra are required to stream games to the big screen, with the controller sitting at $69.99 / £59 and the Chromecast available for around the same price.
However, to add another level of confusion over the Google Stadia price, you can grab both of these items in the Stadia Premiere Edition bundle. At $99.99 / £89.99 it's a hell of a lot cheaper than picking up both the controller and Chromecast Ultra separately and you'll usually find discounts on a Stadia Pro membership when you sign up as well.
- Google Stadia Pro subscription: $9.99/£8.99 a month
- Google Stadia controller: $69.99 / £59 at Google
- Stadia Premiere Edition bundle: $99.99 / £89.99 at Google
What do I need to use Google Stadia?
The basic Google Stadia experience doesn't require a subscription; players can purchase games as they please through their Google Chromecast, mobile device, or laptop and stream them as and when. The Stadia Pro subscription, however, is the main product. Patrons receive Google Stadia sales discounts on the games they want to purchase as well as up to 4K resolution with 5.1 surround sound options on those games. Members will also enjoy free games in a model similar to that of Xbox Games Pass and PlayStation Plus, all included in the Google Stadia price.
To play your Google Stadia games on your TV, you will need a Chromecast Ultra, which is the only model Google will be supporting with Stadia.
If you are looking to play Google Stadia games on your TV, you'll also need a Google Stadia controller. The proprietary handset will provide you access to all the integrated Google sharing options that have been built into the Stadia experience, and is the only controller the Chromecast will recognize.
It may well be worth picking up this controller, as it's full of unique tech that makes streaming your games far more worthwhile. The controller communicates directly with the server that you're running your game from, dramatically reducing lag and other speed headaches many are worrying about as gaming takes a cloud-based leap.
That said, if you're keen to get playing on your laptop or mobile device, any bluetooth or USB controller can be used to dive into your favorite games. That means your DualShock 4 and Xbox controller can be used to play Google Stadia. Check out our top deals for these controllers below and pick up a bargain to get ready for Stadia.
If you want to keep your Google Stadia price down on PC, it may be worth checking out a more budget controller. On PC and mobile, Google Stadia will work with any generic USB or wireless controller, so this is an excellent way to save some cash in preparation for launch day. Our top pick is the Logitech F310 GamePad, available for $22 at Walmart in the US, or £23.99 at Currys in the UK - it doesn't look like much but it'll get the job done for half the price.
What is Google Stadia?
Google marked its entrance into the gaming market with Google Stadia in 201. The cloud gaming service allows players to stream the latest games to their Chromecast, Google mobile device, or computer on a subscription basis. Google Stadia requires no high price overhead in the form of a physical console, though you will need to pick up a Google Chromecast Ultra to play on your TV.
Google Stadia on mobile
Google has increased the range of phones that its Stadia service will run on over the course of the last year. Initially limited to the Google Pixel range, you'll find a range of compatible devices from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, Razer, LG and Asus today. Here's the full list of supported models as of Feb 2021.
- Pixel 2, 2XL, 3, 3XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5
- Samsung S8, S8+, S8 Active, Note 8
- Samsung S9, S9+, Note 9
- Samsung S10, S10+, Note 10, Note 10+
- Samsung S20, S20+, S20 Ultra
- 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 Phone, ROG Phone II, ROG Phone III
- Razer Phone, Razer Phone II
- LG V50 ThinQ, V50S ThinQ, V60 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ, Wing
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What internet speeds do I need to run Google Stadia?
At the very bottom of the quality scale, you'll need 10Mbps to start thinking about playing Google Stadia. You'll be able to stream at 720p with stereo sound. Many homes across the US and UK can already achieve this speed, so let's start talking about what you need for the best experience.
Once you get up to over 20Mbps you can start streaming in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound - a decent gaming experience if you're at the mid-low range of internet connectivity. At 30Mbps you're privy to 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR and surround sound. That's a lot to pack into those 30Mbps, and it's an achievable speed for most.
Google Stadia is a gamble for many, if you don't like the sound of a cloud-based gaming library or if you're not sure your internet is stable enough why not check out our collection of cheap PS4 bundles, or the best prices on Xbox One. If you still want that option to game on the go, these Nintendo Switch bundles might be what you're after.