You can now play Google Stadia on practically any Android phone

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service is still riddled with limitations, but one of the biggest hurdles to adoption may have just disappeared: you no longer need a specific Android phone to give it a try. Google is experimentally opening up support to any Android phone that can install the Stadia app, which means most devices with Android 6.0 or later should fit the bill. Now that Stadia is free to try and works on practically any Android phone, there’s little reason to hesitate.

To enable it, download and sign into the Stadia app, open settings, tap “Experiments,” and then toggle “Play on this device.” We’re curious if it will work on Android tablets as well. (I don’t have one to test during quarantine, sadly.)

And while you’re at it, why not try Google’s just-announced official touchscreen controls? Google says they’ll work for every game, and here’s what they look like as of V1:

Google’s following in the footsteps of Reddit user SmashShock, who hacked in touch controls.

When Stadia launched last November, it only supported Google’s Pixel phones, though it did add Samsung, Asus, and Razer devices on February 20th. Most of OnePlus’ modern devices are now supported as well. Here’s Google’s full list of officially supported devices, though they alone won’t guarantee a good experience: cloud gaming requires a fast, stable internet connection with a minimum of friction on your home network.

Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service, which has been struggling to get many major game publishers to allow their games to be streamed, will reportedly be trying a similar experiment soon, opening up beta support for more Android TV devices.

Both cloud gaming services are under pressure to convince gamers as soon as possible because all eyes are on Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen console announcements, one of which we’re watching at 4PM ET / 1PM PT today.

You can read about a couple additional updates for Stadia, and a $10 coupon towards a game purchase, in Google’s full blog post.

Comments

I haven’t thought very much of Stadia so far, but those consistent touchscreen controls sound pretty intuitive. Bonus points if a game can either use the standards or modify them …

So Stadia doesn’t work on iOS or iPadOS yet? I don’t really care about playing games on my phone, but it would be freaking awesome to play NBA 2K on my iPad Pros killer screen and with an Xbox controller connected.

When Stadia was announced, I thought that was the direction they were heading — eventually. Alas, COVID probably slowed things down quite a bit. I’ll patiently keep waiting for the future to arrive

(Also, I’ve tried out OneCast for both iPad and Mac several times. Each time, I give them a fair shake, but there’s still too much lag. It caused me to throw a post entry pass intended for LeBron right into the defenders hands, and not even his defender. LeBron was NOT HAPPY. And this is on Google Fiber!)

I wonder if Apple would allow this, or would they try to protect Apple Arcade. Xcloud works on the iPhone, but only for a single game and even that is thru a work-around. These services will never gain the success they want without the iOS users. Maybe Microsoft/Google/Sony etc should work out a way to give Apple a cut. Sadly this might be the only way to find success.

Covid? Come on man, please don’t give them credit they don’t deserve. There’s no reason it should not have been a day one feature.

Stadia not being on iOS or iPadOS is due to Apple.

Not only because of the way Apple manages their platform but also because Stadia uses VP9 right now, and unless Google and Apple work stuff out, Stadia may not be on Apple devices that use this until Stadia eventually moves to AV1.

Except that with an extension on Chrome you can force it to use H.264. That implies it’s an option. It could be Apple in another way, but it isn’t codecs.

So let’s give credit to apple for being shitty here. The whole reason Stadia is not on iOS is because of apple. They need to open up their platform to services like this

Stadia is a gaming marketplace. Do you really think apple is going to let a competing marketplace on their phone?

Not a chance. This is on Apple’s continued consumer hostility.

I can buy games on my iPhone, I just can’t play them on my iPhone. Get your facts straight. This isn’t because of it being a competing marketplace.

The whole reason Stadia is not on iOS is because of apple. Their walled garden don’t allow this

Got bad link in the last paragraph of the post:

You can read about a couple additional updates for Stadia, and a $10 coupon towards a game purchase, in Google’s full blog post.

This is true.

Obviously this is all stuff that should have been there day one, so it’s about friggin time, but if I can use this on my tablet then it might potentially be awesome. Being able to play genuine games on things like tablets would be one of the genuine advantages of a streaming service, after all. You would think that would be a no brainer.

Being able to play genuine games on things like tablets would be one of the genuine advantages of a streaming service, after all.

Yep, it absolutely is.

I’ve got about 50 hours in AS:O right now on Stadia. It is genuinely really good. I know people like to hate on Stadia but for me it is a great solution. I’m very curious about when xcloud launches. I really don’t want to buy another ugly box to sit in my living room.

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