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The day has come, Google has finally opened up their Linux-powered game streaming service Stadia. They're giving you two free months of Pro too, so you can try it with the Pro games without paying a penny.

Announced on the Google Blog, they mentioned the current trying times with social distancing and how difficult it can all be. Since a lot of people are stuck at home they're giving gamers in "14 countries free access to Stadia for two months". When in, you will instantly be able to play these games that you can claim free with Pro:

  • Destiny 2: The Collection
  • GRID
  • Gylt
  • SteamWorld Dig 2
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
  • Serious Sam Collection
  • Spitlings
  • Stacks on Stacks (on Stacks)
  • Thumper

Do keep in mind, that to continue playing them you need to keep up the Pro subscription which can be cancelled at any time. I've tested the cancellation procedure, and there's no issues with it. Takes a few clicks and it's automatic. You can buy games too at any time, to keep them. Google also run special discounts for Pro subscriptions. If you stop your Pro, you can re-subscribe any time and then get back access to previously claimed games too.

To acccess Stadia: make sure you have a Chromium/Chrome browser and then you need to go to Stadia.com to sign up, and then you should be able to just get going. If you have a gmail account, you shouldn't need to create anything extra. However, Google said that it may take up to 48 hours for this opening to be available everywhere.

Apart from that, there's not much else special you need. It works with mouse and keyboard plus it's worked with my Steam Controller, and the Logitech F310 is fine too. As long as it's picked up as an input type in your browser, it should work. You don't need their own Stadia controller.

If you want a few extra helpful features, you can also try out the Stadia+ extension, which is open source.

As a reminder, there's been a lot of updates around Stadia lately. In short: Google has promised at least 120 games on it this year, they've opened dedicated studios to work on Stadia games, Typhoon Studios has joined them to work on Stadia games, Splash Damage are working on an exclusive game for Stadia and more. You can see a recent round-up we did here.

I'm definitely keen to see what more people think of it, after having a great experience with it personally. I regularly play The Division 2 (video on YouTube) and Assassins Creed both on my Linux desktop and my Chromecast without issues.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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74 comments
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Liam Dawe 9 April 2020 at 1:15 am UTC
scaine
drlambThere are a lot of variables that contribute to one's experiences. 1000Mbps Up/Down Fiber here for context.

That's all the context I need to not bother reading about your experience! That's... not normal. I consider myself very lucky to have a Virgin fibre connection - 100Mb down and 20Mb. That's usually about 9Mb/sec downloads and 2Mb/sec uploads. Usually plenty and way faster than any of the older ADSL connections out there, which make up the vast majority of rural UK.

You have a connection that's typically 11 times faster at downloads, and roughtly 50 times faster for uploads. Lucky you!
For reference I can play perfectly fine on a crap laptop, with Ubuntu on wireless where it gets about 30-50mbps. It doesn't need a super fast connection, that mainly helps for 4K.
pete910 9 April 2020 at 8:13 am UTC
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drlamb
mirv-- ha, nevermind, just opened up. And....wow, such input lag! The "framerate" was fine, but there's simply no possible way to play any game with that kind of input lag.

pete910I would'nt bother, it's shit for FPS like I expected, it's worse than a damn console !


Just tried D2 , it's shocking the lag and not just input either.

Credits where it's due for what they've managed but sorry, despite what some will tell you it's a loooooooooong way of for first person shooters. I deal for things like Stellaris ect.

There are a lot of variables that contribute to one's experiences. 1000Mbps Up/Down Fiber here for context.

I don't play D2 on Stadia but I've had no issues playing through Doom Eternal on Nightmare (Turn off view smoothing). It's entirely playable and nowhere near "shit." I can tell it's not local but everyone else I've shown stadia to hasn't been able to tell when I just hand them a controller and say "play."


I've enjoyed playing Metro Exodus, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Doom all on Stadia during the recent lock down. I'll continue to use Stadia until it no longer provides me access to games I otherwise wouldn't be able to play.


My thoughts on Stadia from here:
Spoiler, click me
I will likely renew my Pro subscription. While I remain a hardware enthusiast there are some games that I want to play that aren't available for my platform (Desktop Linux) that are available for Stadia.

Take Metro Exodus for example. We have yet to see if we'll get a Linux binary release on Steam next Saturday. I've previously praised 4A games for releasing the previous Metro games and their remasters on Linux but now it remains to be seen if Exodus will follow suit. I wonder what effect Epic's meddling had on those chances. Either way, I'm able to avoid the controversy and enjoy the game on Stadia (after Cranking the controller sensitivity).

Another example is Red Dead Redemption II. If I wanted to play this game in 2020 my options are: PS4/Xbox/Windows and Stadia. I don't own a console and I don't use Windows. Dual booting Windows for a game is not optimal and it's clear Rockstar doesn't care about desktop Linux judging by the proton reports. Hypothetically I could use another service like Geforce Now (RDR2 isn't on GFN) but those services don't appeal to me at all. I don't use Windows at home or work for a reason. Why would I want to rent a Windows instance in the cloud? That's aside for my views of Nvidia and their support of Open Source.

It feels like Google took Valve's initial effort of the Steam Machine and foundational mesa/vulkan work and narrowed its scope to a single AMD SKU and paired it with with some interesting technology...and Google's advertising money.

I imagine the Witcher 3 would have released for Stadia had it been around at the time, see Cyberpunk 2077. Desktop Linux isn't an attractive target, Google's shiny new thing is. We've already seen AAA titles release for Stadia that aren't available via steam. (NBA2K20, Metro Exodus, Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption, Trials Rising, Thumper, Monster Motocross, Ghost Recon, Attack on Titan 2, Rage 2, Borderlands 3, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Dragon Ball Z, Darksiders Genesis, Final Fantasy, Football Manager (Developers have stated desktop Linux isn't attractive/worth it), Just Dance, Mortal Combat, Wolfenstein: Young blood ).

I wish Valve would advertise the hell out of the Steam Linux runtime and perhaps incentivize developers to bring their Stadia releases to Steam, should Google allow it. I'd croak if Google/Valve announced a steam native/proton supported partnership for certain games. Either way, Steam remains my platform of choice but I cannot help but feel some solace in supporting a platform (Stadia) that also helps move Linux gaming forward, further proving its viability as a gaming platform. Stadia works. Game Streaming Works. Linux Gaming Works.


Native Linux Release > Supported Proton Release > Stadia > Unsupported/Non-legal tweaks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for my experiences with Stadia it's been a dream. I'm not able to enjoy 4K HDR gaming on my desktop pc in the other room running Linux but yet I'm able to in my bedroom via just a Chromecast ultra and a controller. Magic.

I'll gladly continue to accept the games Google gives away and only buy games that Interest me that I cannot play on another platform.

Games I've purchased on Stadia:

Red Dead Redemption 2
Trials Rising (Good Stupid Fun)



That being said I'm not blind to the shortcomings. It's a game by game basis but crossplay makes or breaks a game to me. I'd love to play borderlands 3 with my brother but that's currently not possible as his internet isn't strong enough for Stadia and cross play isn't supported in that game. Come on gearbox.

Edit: What will be especially disheartening is seeing previously supported Linux titles come "back" to Stadia. Rust and Rocket League come to mind as two possibilities.

Yeah, because giga bit fibre so common where I am (UK) .....

You're also comparing a MMO to a single player.

Internet speed will play a part obviously, I would except it been a speed issue if it was saturating my connection which it wasn't , not even half. Not tried doom eternal I will give that a go later being a single player game that may hold up better.

Please try D2 for a comparison with doom.



scaine
drlambThere are a lot of variables that contribute to one's experiences. 1000Mbps Up/Down Fiber here for context.

That's all the context I need to not bother reading about your experience! That's... not normal. I consider myself very lucky to have a Virgin fibre connection - 100Mb down and 20Mb. That's usually about 9Mb/sec downloads and 2Mb/sec uploads. Usually plenty and way faster than any of the older ADSL connections out there, which make up the vast majority of rural UK.

You have a connection that's typically 11 times faster at downloads, and roughtly 50 times faster for uploads. Lucky you!

Agreed, if gigabit speeds are what you need that's the majority of the population out of the equation
pete910 9 April 2020 at 8:13 am UTC
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Liam Dawe
scaine
drlambThere are a lot of variables that contribute to one's experiences. 1000Mbps Up/Down Fiber here for context.

That's all the context I need to not bother reading about your experience! That's... not normal. I consider myself very lucky to have a Virgin fibre connection - 100Mb down and 20Mb. That's usually about 9Mb/sec downloads and 2Mb/sec uploads. Usually plenty and way faster than any of the older ADSL connections out there, which make up the vast majority of rural UK.

You have a connection that's typically 11 times faster at downloads, and roughtly 50 times faster for uploads. Lucky you!
For reference I can play perfectly fine on a crap laptop, with Ubuntu on wireless where it gets about 30-50mbps. It doesn't need a super fast connection, that mainly helps for 4K.

Tried D2 yet ?
wintermute 9 April 2020 at 8:22 am UTC
scaineI consider myself very lucky to have a Virgin fibre connection - 100Mb down and 20Mb. That's usually about 9Mb/sec downloads and 2Mb/sec uploads.

I'm on a similar connection in Cambridge and my latency is fine. On the other hand my girlfriend, on the same connection, got essentially a slideshow when she first tried it. There are things you can try, such as the Stadia+ extension so you can choose your encoding method (although that seems to be broken right now) or a VAAPI-enabled Chromium.
mirv 9 April 2020 at 8:47 am UTC
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So when I first gave it a go (Serious Sam), it was a case of move the mouse and see the screen reaction some seconds later. I don't exactly have a bad connection either.

Playing it later and the problem appears to be resolved...for now. But even so, I can tell the odd hiccup in response, and it's just enough that a first person shooter wouldn't work for me. Not one like Serious Sam, and I suspect not Doom Eternal either.
Assuming the input latency was consistent (which it's not), then anything with a controller I would be perfectly fine with. Just not a twitch shooter.

-- edit: video encoding really isn't a problem, even on my aging machine, it's really just the input latency.


Last edited by mirv on 9 April 2020 at 8:48 am UTC
Xpander 9 April 2020 at 9:05 am UTC
so its 14 countries only? where the F is the list of countries?...

managed to get this far:


then:


thanks for letting me know...
says a lot.


Last edited by Xpander on 9 April 2020 at 9:12 am UTC
Ehvis 9 April 2020 at 9:50 am UTC
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Xpanderso its 14 countries only? where the F is the list of countries?...

I thought it might have been the countries that Stadia has released in, but that's purely a guess.

I signed up through the android app.

First opinions:
- defaults to 1080p, which looks quite bad on a 1440p screen. Installed Stadia+ to get 4K.
- Can't get the games/stadia/chromium to vsync so I get tearing.
- So far a consistent latency of 29-30 ms (as reported by Stadia+), which is pretty damn good.
- Edit: also, what on earth did they bind the menu to that is usually bound to ESC? Only managed to get there from the controller.

Anyway, need to solve the vsync thing first before I try more


Last edited by Ehvis on 9 April 2020 at 9:55 am UTC
Xpander 9 April 2020 at 10:01 am UTC
Ehvis
Xpanderso its 14 countries only? where the F is the list of countries?...

I thought it might have been the countries that Stadia has released in, but that's purely a guess.

I signed up through the android app.

yeah through android app it says the app is not available for your country...
its stupid that it just says "something went wrong" on the browser then. its like windows errors.
SystemShock 9 April 2020 at 10:27 am UTC
Hi, maybe i got that all wrong but i don't think that this is the free "1080p only" "Stadia-Base-Version" we're all waiting for.
It's only Stadia-Pro free for 2 Months.
After that it'll cost again 9,99.

pls correct me if im wrong...
Ehvis 9 April 2020 at 10:34 am UTC
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SystemShockHi, maybe i got that all wrong but i don't think that this is the free "1080p only" "Stadia-Base-Version" we're all waiting for.
It's only Stadia-Pro free for 2 Months.
After that it'll cost again 9,99.

pls correct me if im wrong...

Correct. But if you don't pay after two months, you'll effectively have base left as you'll still be able to access your bought games. And I highly doubt they would close the store to you after that, but current former pro owners could confirm that.
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