Gamers looking to stream games using Google’s Stadia service will want a mobile broadband connection that supports minimum download speeds of 10Mbps, although you’ll want an even faster connection for the best experience. Google announced the broadband speed requirements at its Stadia launch event today, noting that 10Mbps speeds will allow gamers to play 720p games at 60fps rates and stereo sound.
For comparison, just streaming YouTube videos at 720p requires a 2.5 Mbps internet connection, so gamers are looking at four times that speed to run games on Stadia at the same resolution.
The majority of gamers will want to at least double the minimum 10Mbps requirement to play 1080p games. In addition to better screen resolutions, with download speeds of at least 20 Mbps, Stadia streamers will also benefit from HDR video. At this speed, you’ll also get the same 60 FPS refresh rates as before, but you’ll get an enhanced 5.1 surround sound audio experience rather than just stereo sound.
If you’re looking to game in 4K, you’ll want speeds of at least 35 Mbps. At this speed, gamers will be able to stream games in 4K resolution with support for HDR video. Like the 720p and 1080p levels, you’ll also get 60 FPS refresh, so you can keep up with the action. At this level you also get 5.1 surround sound.
“With Stadia, our goal is to make gaming more accessible to everyone,” Google Vice President Phil Harrison said at the event, according to a report on Tech Crunch. Most users – at least in the US – should be able to stream at least 1080p with the minimum speeds set by Google for Stadia. According to Ok sothe company behind the Speedtest.net app that measures the download and upload speeds of your home or mobile broadband connections, the average fixed broadband speed is 96.25 Mbps during the second and third quarters of last year.
Google originally launched Stadia at the Games Developer Conference earlier this year, partnering with AMD to handle graphics for its game streaming service. The service will be a challenger for other game streaming services, like Nvidia’s GeForce Now competitor. Stadia’s minimum internet speeds are lower than Nvidia’s requirements for GeForce Now. GeForce Now requires at least 15 Mbps – or 50% faster speeds – at 720p at 60 FPS and 25 Mbps for 1080p streaming.
Along with noting the minimum speeds, Google also announced that Stadia games can be played on desktops, laptops, and tablets through your device’s browser. If you want the action on an even bigger screen, you can also play games on your living room TV with the Chromecast Ultra. Gaming on phones will also be supported with a dedicated Stadia app, although this will be limited to Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a line of devices at first.