It's been a long time since Google Stadia, its cloud gaming service, launched to the whole world, after being exclusive to those who bought a console bundle for months, it's finally been free to play since the middle of last year. This is probably a smart move, as it means that many people who have been in lockdown will have the opportunity to try something new at no additional cost. So suppose you want to try Stadia, how do you start with it?
Here's how to do it?
And you'll need a Google account, as Stadia will be associated with your Gmail address. It will also ask you if you sign up with a Buddy or Pro Pass, or if you have a Stadia console bundle that should speed up the process, but I don't have either, so you'll have to agree to the terms of service as usual.
And then choose an avatar, there's plenty to choose from, even if some are a bit generic - then you pick a name, you can use only letters and numbers, and they can only be up to 15 characters long.
Then you make your privacy settings, I personally put everything as private as possible, but each has its own, you can also sign up for email updates if you choose (you choose not to).
At the moment there is also a free trial of Stadio Pro, which you can decline - which is a satisfying surprise, as I'm sure most companies will chain you to the trial against your will if given the opportunity, however, if you choose to take it to beware entering payment information.
You can now start with any games available on Stadia. If you sign up for the Pro beta, many games will be available for free, and the platform will urge you to check them out. Currently, you can only play Stadia games on PC via Chrome browser.
If you have an Android phone, you may have more luck, as Stadia opens its doors to almost all modern Android phones running 6.0 or later. And if you play Stadia on Chrome, you can play with any console connected to your PC via Bluetooth.
If you want to cancel your Pro subscription, go to Stadia settings on Chrome, these settings are in the top-right drop-down menu. You can find it under Purchases & Subscriptions. You can also manage which performance option you want to use, lower it to 1080p or 720p if you need to save some bandwidth, or upscale it to 4K if you have a Pro.