Google Stadia, the cloud-based game streaming service, requires a fast network to support the type of low-latency subscribers that subscribers expect. This makes mobile gaming questionable at best, but times are changing and mobile broadband speeds are evolving rapidly. In its most recent update, Google says that Stadia players can now stream their games on 4G and 5G networks, but only if they activate the experimental feature.
If you’re not already familiar with Google’s relatively new game service, it works like this: you sign up for an account, buy a game and then use supported hardware – a Chromecast and Stadia controller, for example – to get a high end game. The heavy processing takes place at the end of Google, not in the player, which means that they can launch titles like DOOM Eternal on their smartphones.
The only big and obvious limitation is that you must have an Internet connection fast enough to handle the game stream; otherwise, delay issues will ruin the game experience. Stadia was and technically still limited to playing over Wi-Fi, but the arrival of a new Experiment adds support for streaming mobile broadband games as well.
Google first revealed its intention to launch this experience in a community post published today. In what is almost a footnote in the post, Google notes that Stadia users can access the app on Android, tap their avatar, tap Experiments and switch to the new option entitled “Use mobile data”. With that enabled, the Stadia app will attempt to use your 4G or 5G connection to stream games, offering the best gaming portability outside of offline Switch games.
Whether this will be suitable for your gaming needs depends entirely on your device and the speed of your mobile connection. Slower connections will result in unplayable games, but the increasingly sophisticated mobile broadband technology has enabled staggered speeds that, in some cases, exceed what players can have at home.