Skip to main content

Everything to know about Amazon’s game streaming service Luna

Amazon dropped a surprise reveal of Luna, its cloud gaming service, which has been in the works for several years.

However, Amazon left many details about Luna out of the initial reveal, leaving many to wonder how the service will work and how it compares to others. Here are all the details that you need to know about Luna.

What is Luna?

Luna is a cloud-based gaming platform, meaning gamers will stream as they play rather than downloading a title. Games played on Luna run on Amazon’s own servers, which the company says lets players jump between devices seamlessly.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

How does Luna work?

The service is supported by Amazon Web Services, which hosts nearly 50% of all web traffic, including Netflix. This means Luna is backed by a company that has proven streaming, though streaming video like Netflix is still much easier than an interactive game.

Luna plays the PC versions of each title, streamed in 1080p 60 frames per second, with some titles available to stream at 4K 60 fps. An internet connection speed of 10Mbps is required for 1080p, and 35Mbps is needed for 4K.

As for gameplay, there are no achievements or trophies, but those will perhaps be implemented down the line, Amazon representatives confirmed in a press Q&A. Ubisoft’s Uplay achievements will be compatible with the publisher’s titles played via Luna.

How do Luna subscriptions work?

Luna offers libraries of titles and dubbed channels that players can pick and choose from. Luna+, which includes more than 50 games across genres for $6 a month, is the sole channel available at launch. There is also a seven-day free trial.

The $6 Luna+ subscription price will not change during the early access period, and Amazon did not confirm if there will be any changes post-launch.

A second channel from Ubisoft will add another collection of more than 50 titles from the publisher. The Ubisoft channel will include games from its back catalog and upcoming releases. There’s no word yet on how much the Ubisoft channel will cost, but Amazon did confirm that players can subscribe only to this offering without signing up for Luna+.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

An Amazon rep confirmed in an email that Luna can run two simultaneous streams, so the primary owner and a secondary player can each play different games at the same time. This includes two streams of Luna+ titles or one stream of a Luna+ game and an Ubisoft game. However, players will be unable to stream more than one Ubisoft game at a time.

Both libraries will expand over time, and more channels will be added in the future. The channels will focus on developers and publishers, but there is potential for genre-specific and other types of channels.

Luna does not require an Amazon Prime membership. While there are no plans for this to change, there may be potential benefits for Prime members.

The team at Luna also said there are no plans for exclusives or individually-purchased games. One goal, however, is to create lasting partnerships to avoid games entering and leaving the services or gaming channels.

How will Luna work with Twitch?

Luna will feature heavy Twitch integration, which is also owned by Amazon. Players browsing through games on Luna can see Twitch streams for those titles. On Twitch, Luna subscribers can jump into the game a streamer is playing if offered on the cloud platform.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Where can I play Luna?

During early access, Luna will be available through televisions via Amazon Fire TV products, computers via Chrome or Safari, and iPhone and iPad via Chrome or Safari. Compatibility with Android will be coming in the next few months. The iOS compatibility is one of the key selling points of Luna, as neither Google Stadia nor Xbox cloud streaming is supported due to Apple’s App Store policies. Amazon circumvents the App Store by allowing Luna to run in a mobile browser.

Those interested in Luna can sign up for early access now, with the first wave opening up in October.

Is there a Luna controller?

Luna can be played with many third-party controllers, including the PlayStation’s DualShock 4, Xbox’s wireless controller, and a keyboard and mouse. However, to take advantage of Luna’s full capabilities, players can purchase a Luna controller for $50. It has Alexa built-in, providing players with the ability to control certain functions with their voices, such as starting up a game.

The Luna controller also directly connects to Amazon’s servers, which the company claims will improve latency up to 30 milliseconds over a third-party controller linking to the device that is being used. The controller uses two AA batteries, and up to four controllers can be used for local play.

Like the $6 price for the Luna+ channel, the $50 price of the Luna controller might change once early access has concluded. Currently, Amazon’s own listing for the Luna controller denotes $50 as a $20 discount for early access, although Amazon has not confirmed if the Luna controller will be priced at $70 once early access concludes.

Luna Controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Caswell
Professional video producer and writer, gaming enthusiast, and streamer! twitch.tv/greatbritom
Netflix may bring its gaming service to TVs, with iPhones serving as controllers
The Netflix Games section.

Netflix is working on a feature that will bring its games to smart TVs and allow players to use their iPhone as a controller, reports from Bloomberg and MacRumors' Steve Moser said on Wednesday.

The move would take Netflix’s gaming service beyond only smartphones and tablets, giving subscribers more ways to play. And for iPhone owners, it also eliminates the need to buy a dedicated controller, making it more likely that people would give its games a go.

Read more
Amazon repeats its Lost Ark playbook to bring another international MMO to the West
A cloaked character stares out at a village in Throne and Liberty.

Amazon Games announced today that it will publish NCSoft's fantasy MMORPG Throne and Liberty in North America, South America, Europe, and Japan. This cements a unique niche that Amazon Games has found for itself as a publisher: bringing Asian MMOs to the west.
[NCing] THRONE AND LIBERTY - Official Trailer | Work in Progress | 엔씨소프트
Throne and Liberty is an ambitious MMO in development that includes fast-paced action combat, features large-scale PvE and PvP battles, and lets players transform into different creatures and control the environment during battles. The game has been in development for several years, but we didn't know if it'd get a Western release until now. With Amazon's backing, Throne and Liberty will now come out for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X in the West with full cross-play support.

While MMO fans will be happy at this announcement, this also demonstrates that Amazon Games has found a niche for itself as a game publisher by bringing Eastern MMOs to the West. For years, Amazon struggled to gain solid footing as a game developer and publisher, with multiple games canceled and titles like Crucible failing to gain traction. While MMOs aren't as popular as they used to be, Amazon has found a successful niche in trying to make the genre thrive again. It released New World to somewhat positive success, but really found a hit with the release of Lost Ark in February 2022.
Now, it's backing Bandai Namco's Blue Protocol and NCSoft's Throne and Liberty in hopes of repeating this success. Amazon Games Vice Preisident Christoph Hartmann explained what makes these kinds of games appealing in a press release.
"Publishing games that live and grow over time remains a critical piece of our strategy, and delivering games of the highest quality from the world’s most talented developers is one of the cornerstones of our business," Hartmann writes. "The last year has taught us a great deal about publishing and managing a successful live-service game on a global scale, and we’re ready to bring Throne and Liberty players an incredible experience at launch."
It remains to be seen if either of those games will reach Lost Ark's level of success and if Amazon Games plans to do this with even more Eastern MMOs. Outside of the MMO space, Amazon Games will also be publishing the next Tomb Raider game. 

Read more
The best game-streaming services for 2023
A Nintendo Switch connected to the internet.

Streaming is the newest way we consume media, and while it has caught on across film, TV, and music, it still has some catching up to do in the video game space. Still, there are some video game streaming services that have made significant strides toward ubiquity such as Xbox Game Pass, PS Plus, and even some on PC. Other services like Google Stadia haven't garnered the same amount of success, failing to capture an audience before eventually shuttering.

While there certainly are fewer popular game streaming services than before, there's a handful you'll want to be aware of depending on what you're looking for. With that in mind, these are the best video game streaming services for 2023.
Xbox Game Pass (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC*)
Xbox Game Pass Walkthrough

Read more