Skip to main content

Everything we know about Netflix Gaming

We all used the term “the Netflix of gaming” before. Whether it was in reference to some future utopian service where every game could be streamed flawlessly to any device no matter where we were or in reference to services like Google Stadia, which tried, and ultimately failed, to make that service a reality. Life imitates art, as they say, and now Netflix has launched its own gaming service. As the original king of TV and movie streaming, Netflix is turning its attention toward the gaming crowd with a brand new service.

Netflix has been slowly inching toward gaming. Outside of producing its own shows based on hit gaming franchises, like The Witcher and Castlevania, there were rumblings of the streaming juggernaut tackling games proper for quite a while. As of November, they have finally started to roll out this new service, but gamers and Netflix subscribers alike are both reasonably confused as to what exactly this service is. If you’re a Netflix subscriber or are curious about becoming one and want to know all the details about what Netflix gaming really is, here’s everything we know.

Related Videos

Further reading

What is Netflix gaming?

Netflix Gaming promo showing mobile, tablet, and desktop menus.

If you haven’t been paying close attention, the announcement of a Netflix gaming service might seem like it came out of nowhere. In reality, however, Netflix has been teasing and ramping up to this service for years. Way back in 2019, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, made a statement claiming that Fortnite was a bigger threat to Netflix than HBO. Since 2019, plenty more streaming services have popped up to put even more pressure on the streaming service, so branching out into games appeared to get more focus.

The company published several mobile titles, such as Stranger Things 3: The Game, as well as new IP and even experimented with simple choose-your-own-adventure-style content on Netflix that only required a remote. It took Minecraft: Story Mode and integrated it on the service proper, plus made 14 interactive specials for Netflix, the most popular being 2018’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

In 2021, Netflix hired Mike Verdue, formerly of Facebook’s Oculus division and Senior Vice President at EA, to be its new Vice President of Game Development. It also made their first proper game studio acquisition. Night School Studio, developer of the cult hit Oxenfree and Afterparty, made sense for the service since its games are mostly narrative and choice-based. Between stand-alone mobile games and interactive experiences on its main service, the direction Netflix would go with gaming was murky at best.

Finally, in November, Netflix finally made its intentions clear. Its new Netflix games service launched, albeit with minimal content and ways to play.

How does Netflix gaming work?

Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash

So, how does Netflix gaming work exactly? First off, this service, at least for now, is included in your normal Netflix subscription. There’s no additional fee, separate subscription, or even adds or microtransactions in any game on the service to date.

The only hurdle you need to overcome in order to start gaming, so long as you have Netflix, of course, is the fact that it is currently only supported on Android devices. If you don’t have either an Android phone or tablet, you won’t be able to take advantage of Netflix gaming. You cannot connect a controller to your TV or play them in any way on PC, either. When you enter the Netflix app on your Android phone or tablet, you will see a row dedicated to games. Once you select a game, you are able to download and play it. Netflix does note that some games will require you to be connected to the internet to play, while others can be played offline anywhere.

It is possible that more devices will be supported in the future, but there’s no official mention of those plans as of now.

What can you play on Netflix gaming?

Two kids in a forest near a broken log.

The launch lineup of games for Netflix gaming is rather small and unimpressive. The service is launching with just five titles, all of which are mobile games. The full library includes:

  • Stranger Things: 1984
  • Stranger Things 3: The Game
  • Shooting Hoops
  • Card Blast
  • Teeter Up

Naturally, this library will grow over time, but Netflix hasn’t announced any kind of cadence for new games coming to the service. It has expressed interest in publishing games based on its IPs, so we can expect more licensed or tie-in games to its original programs at some point. Hopefully, that comes in the form of something other than more Stranger Things games, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Editors' Recommendations

The best iPhone games in 2023: 31 games you need to play right now
Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the iPhone 14 Plus.

When you have the best iPhone, you pretty much have infinite possibilities to keep you busy and entertained, no matter where you are. Sure, the iPhone may not be marketed as a gaming phone specifically, but it's pretty powerful — especially with the A16 Bionic in the latest iPhone 14 Pro.

But when the App Store has over a million apps, how are you supposed to find the best games to play? Don't worry, we're here to help! Since there are a ton of games out there — and not every game is a winner — it's definitely hard to find games that are worth your time and energy. Whether you're looking for a simple match-three, an MMORPG, a dungeon crawler, or even something to just relax with, here are the best iPhone games.

Read more
The best games on Netflix Games
Netflix Gaming promo showing mobile, tablet, and desktop menus.

Every joke possible has already been made about Netflix Games being -- or not being -- "the Netflix of games," so we won't waste your time trying to come up with another one. In the end, Netflix Games is doing its own thing rather than following the lead of other subscription services, and considering that nearly everyone has access to a Netflix account already, there's no barrier to entry for a huge audience to check out its library of games. All you need is a smartphone and the Netflix app, and you're all set.

While Netflix Games continues to build up their content, there already is enough there to induce some choice paralysis, especially if you've never heard of many of the games on offer. Just like the lineup of shows and movies on Netflix proper, not every game is of the same quality or will be to your taste. Rather than scrolling through the options and never settling on a choice like you do when trying to pick a movie, try out one of our picks for the best games on Netflix Games.

Read more
Nvidia kills off GameStream on Shield, points users to Steam
Nvidia Shield 16gb Android TV

Nvidia is discontinuing its GameStream service on its Shield and Shield TV streaming boxes (among the best streaming devices on the market). In an email sent to GameStream users, the company announced it would start rolling out an update in mid-February that removes GameStream from the Nvidia Games app.

GameStream has allowed Shield owners to stream games to their TV from their PC at up to 60 frames per second in 4K. Specifically, the app was designed with Steam's Big Picture interface in mind, allowing you to play Steam games with ease (dubbed "GameStream Ready"). Nvidia is pointing users to the Steam Link app available on the Shield TV, which functions in a similar way.

Read more