Stadia, Google's cloud gaming service, has made its way to iOS a little more than a year after its initial launch. That means anyone with an iPhone or iPad can now subscriber to Stadia for access to AAA gaming.
Because of rules Apple has in place for cloud gaming services, Google has followed the lead of Nvidia and its GeForce Now service by allowing users to access its streaming library through mobile Safari. Microsoft's xCloud will launch in a similar fashion next year.
When going to Stadia's website, iPhone and iPad users must click on the share icon and tap the "add to home screen" button. This will create a container on a user's homepage that will immediately direct them to Stadia's website via Safari.
At the moment, Stadia has two free games available for users, Destiny 2 and Bomberman R. That means that users can jump in on some gameplay without having to pay for a Stadia subscription, which costs $9.99 a month. But really, most users jumping into Stadia will likely be doing so to get in on newer AAA titles without having to spend money on a beefy gaming PC.
At the moment, Cyberpunk 2077 is the game that's bringing both consoles and PCs to its knees. Unless running on the most high-end hardware, Cyberpunk 2077 struggles to perform.
But Stadia, with its powerful servers, is able to stream Cyberpunk 2077 to users at excellent framerates. Dominic L of The Sixth Axis wrote in an article that he believes graphically taxing games like Cyberpunk 2077 make the best case for a Stadia membership.
There will be some odd quirks when using Stadia on iOS devices — mainly that screens will become cluttered with app icons for individual games. While Apple allows users to open Netflix and browse its catalogue siloed from the rest of iOS, Apple feels that each game title needs its own app, at least for games that aren't part of Apple Arcade. If you want to play both Destiny 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 on your iPhone, Stadia will have to create an individual icon for each.
Demand to play Cyberpunk 2077 was so high that Google had to shut down a promotion that offered a free Stadia controller and Chromcast Ultra to anyone who pre-ordered the game.
Because Stadia is a streaming service, it relies heavily on a quality internet connection. Playing wired through Ethernet will deliver the best results. For mobile users, it's best to play on a fast 5GHz connection. Also, it's probably best to also play with a Bluetooth controller, like a PS4 or Xbox One controller. Playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla via touchscreen would likely be a chore.
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Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.