Google's Stadia gaming service is finally free for anyone to play — here's how to get it

hlangley@businessinsider.com (Hugh Langley)
Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Reuters

  • Google's Stadia gaming service is now available free to anyone with a Gmail address, but they must have a supported device.
  • Google is also throwing in two free months of its Pro service, which usually costs a monthly fee.
  • The company is also defaulting all streams to 1080p to reduce the internet load, as more people stay home.
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Google has announced its Stadia gaming service is now free to anyone who signs up with a Gmail address.

Until now, users needed to subscribe to the $9.99-a-month Pro version of the service, which lets you stream games at 4K HDR and provides access to a selection of games. 

Stadia's free version – also known as Stadia Base – streams games at a maximum resolution of 1080p and at 60FPS, although users will have to purchase games individually.

However, games bought can be played on TVs over Chromecast Ultra, supported Android phones and tablets, or using the Chrome browser on a PC. Users can play using the official Stadia controller or a supported third-party controller such as the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller or the Xbox One gamepad.

But it still leaves a large number of devices, including iPhones, not supported. The full list of supported devices can be found here.

Google also announced it's giving new users two free months of Stadia Pro access, which will include access to nine titles – just remember to cancel when the two months are up, otherwise you'll be charged. Google said that any users already paying for Stadia Pro won't be charged for the next two months.

With an increased strain on internet usage due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company also announced that it will reduce the default resolution of the Pro tier from 4K to 1080p. "The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop won't notice a significant drop in gameplay quality, but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app," said Google.

Users can subscribe to Stadia on the official website.

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