How to watch The Game Awards 2021 — live stream it today

The Game Awards 2021
(Image credit: The Game Awards)

Update: Our The Game Awards 2021 live blog is up and running. Check it out to see the winners as they are announced!

It's nearly time for The Game Awards 2021 to celebrate the best video games of the past 12 months. While 2021 has become known as the year of delays, there are still plenty of quality titles vying for a little black statute this year.

Of course, The Game Awards are about more than just looking back at the past year in gaming, they also offer a tantalizing glimpse into the future. New trailers for upcoming releases as well as some exclusive reveals of brand new games have been confirmed. It’s the perfect event to close out another stellar year for video games. 

Host and organizer Geoff Keighley is already promising that The Game Awards 2021 will showcase up to 50 games, several of which will be completely new titles, so you don't want to miss the live-streamed show. Here’s how to watch The Game Awards 2021. 

How to watch The Game Awards 2021 

The Game Awards 2021 will take place Thursday, December 9 from 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. For folks in the UK, that means a very late night as The Game Awards 2021 will kick off at 1 a.m. GMT on Friday, December 10. The show will run for roughly three hours total.

From its very first year, The Game Awards has forgone broadcasting on a traditional television network in favor of online streaming. Unsurprisingly, this approach won’t be changing in 2021. 

This year’s Game Awards will be streamed live on just about every video hosting platform you’d expect. YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook etc. will all be hosting a stream of the swanky awards show. 

If you fancy a slightly non-traditional Game Awards watching experience, the show will also be live-streamed inside Axial Tilt. This is the Game Awards first-ever metaverse experience and has been billed as an "interactive world that serves as a hub for programming and events". Viewers will be able to watch the show live, simultaneously play to win exclusive prizes, and even walk a virtual red carpet from 7 p.m. ET. 

Who’s nominated at The Game Awards 2021 

Deathloop screenshot

(Image credit: Arkane Studios)

There are 30 total categories at The Game Awards this year, ranging from the most coveted prize, Game of the Year, to the more niche awards such as Best Esports Coach and Best Community Support. You can read the full list of nominees on the Game Awards website. 

Game of the Year is the biggest prize of the night. It's sort of the video game equivalent of Best Picture at the Oscars or Album of the Year at the Grammys. There are six video games nominated this year: Deathloop, It Takes Two, Metroid Dread, Psychonauts 2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Resident Evil Village.

We reviewed every single one of the nominees over the course of 2021 and can confirm it’s a pretty strong crop of games. Although, it was fairly surprising that heavy hitters such as Returnal and Forza Horizon 5 didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, all the games nominated for the industry’s biggest prize deserve their spot on the list. 

If you want to have your say the winner there is still time to vote on The Game Award website. These votes will be tallied along with votes from a panel of experts to determine the overall victor on the night.

What to expect at The Game Awards 2021 

Hogwarts Legacy screenshot

(Image credit: WB Games)

The Game Awards 2021 will be hosted, as always, by Geoff Keighley and will return to the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles this year after a pandemic-forced virtual event last year. Expect some of the biggest names in gaming to be in attendance, and plenty of all-star guests as well. 

There’s no denying that the actual awards part of the show is only half the appeal of The Game Awards. Many gamers only tune in for the reveals and new trailers, and 2021 promises to deliver in a big way on this front. 

In an interview with Epic Games’, Keighley claimed that this year's show will feature as many as 50 games, some of which aren’t expected to release until 2023. The likes of Hogwarts Legacy, Horizon Forbidden West and Avowed have all been tipped to appear, but expect at least a few brand new games to be announced as well. 

Keighley also confirmed that The Game Awards will feature trailers for things that aren’t strictly games, including television series and movies based on gaming franchises. Could we get our first look at the upcoming The Last of Us HBO show?

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.