Google Stadia’s latest experiment adds support for gaming on 5G

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 28, 2020, 6:59 pm CDT
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Google Stadia’s latest experiment adds support for gaming on 5G

Google Stadia, the cloud-based game streaming service, requires a fast network to support the type of low-latency gameplay subscribers expect. This makes gaming over cellular networks questionable at best, but times are changing and mobile broadband speeds are quickly evolving. In its latest update, Google says that Stadia players can now stream their game over 4G and 5G networks, but only if they enable the experimental feature.

In case you’re somehow still unfamiliar with Google’s relatively new gaming service, it works like this: you sign up for an account, purchase a game, and then use supported hardware — a Chromecast and Stadia controller, for example — to play a high-end game. The heavy processing takes place on Google’s end, not the player’s, meaning they can fire up titles like DOOM Eternal on their smartphone.

The one big, obvious limitation is that you must have a sufficiently fast Internet connection to handle the game streaming, otherwise, lag issues will ruin the game experience. Stadia has been and technically still is limited to playing over WiFi, but the arrival of a new Experiment adds support for mobile broadband game streaming, too.

Google first revealed intentions to launch this Experiment in a community post published today. In what is nearly a footnote in the post, Google notes that Stadia users can head into the app on Android, tap their avatar, tap Experiments, and then toggle on the new option titled, “Use Mobile Data.” With this turned on, the Stadia app will attempt to use your 4G or 5G connection to stream games, offering the best game portability outside of offline Switch gaming.

Whether this will be suitable for your gaming needs depends entirely on your device and the mobile connection speed. Slower connections will result in unplayable games, but increasingly sophisticated mobile broadband technology has enabled blistering speeds that, in some cases, exceed what players may have at home.

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