Gamers looking to stream games using Google’s Stadia service will want to have a mobile broadband connection that supports at the bare minimum 10 Mbps download speeds, though you’ll want an even faster connection for a better experience. Google announced the broadband speed requirements at its Stadia launch event today, noting that the 10 Mbps speeds will allow gamers to play 720p games with 60 frames-per-second rates and stereo audio.
For comparison, streaming just YouTube videos in 720p requires a 2.5 Mbps internet connection, so gamers are looking at four times this speeds to handle games on Stadia at the same resolution.
The majority of gamers will want at least double the 10 Mbps minimum requirement to play 1080p games. In addition to better screen resolutions, with at least 20 Mbps download speeds, Stadia streamers will also benefit from HDR video. At this speed, you’ll also get the same 60 FPS refresh rates from before, but you’ll get an improved 5.1 surround sound audio experience rather than just stereo audio.
If you’re looking to play in 4K, you’ll want at least 35 Mbps speeds. At this speed, gamers will be able to stream 4K resolution games with HDR video support. Like the 720p and 1080p tiers, you’ll also get 60 FPS refresh, which will allow you to 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 for everyone,” said Google VP Phil Harrison at the event, according to a report on TechCrunch. Most users — at least in the US — should be able to stream at least in 1080p with the minimum speeds outlined by Google for Stadia. According to Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest.net application that measures the upload and download 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 initially debuted Stadia at the Games Developer Conference earlier this year, partnering with AMD to handle the graphics for its game streaming service. The service will be a challenger to other game streaming services, like Nvidia’s competing GeForce Now. Stadia’s minimum internet speeds are lower than Nvidia’s requirements for GeForce Now. GeForce Now requires at least 15 Mbps — or 50 percent faster speeds — at 720p at 60 FPS and 25 Mbps for 1080p streaming.
In addition to noting the minimum speeds, Google also announced that Stadia games can be played on desktops, laptops, and tablets through the browser on your device. If you’re looking to take the action to an even larger screen, games can also be played on your living room television with the Chromecast Ultra. Gaming on phones will also be supported with a dedicated Stadia app, though this will be limited to Google’s line of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a devices at the beginning.