Google launches Stadia free tier with two months of Pro starting today

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,732   +663
Staff member

On Wednesday, Google finally rolled out the free version of its Stadia game-streaming service. All players need is a Gmail address and a compatible controller or keyboard and mouse. To celebrate the launch, it is offering two months of the Pro tier for free. If you are already a Stadia Pro subscriber, don't feel left out. As part of the promotion, Google will not charge existing members for the next two months.

You don't need an invite code anymore to open a Stadia account, but you will need to sign up for the free tier through the Google Stadia app for Android and iOS. Just hit "Get Started" and follow the prompts. When it asks for an invite code, tap "Continue without a code."

Once in, it will ask you to set up your account information, such as your user name and avatar. After that, you will automatically be enrolled in Pro. After the promo period, your subscription will automatically renew at $10 per month, but you can opt-out at any time.

This two-month trial will be a perfect time to try out the service as well as give April's free games a whirl. There are currently nine freebies to play.

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

It is worth noting that once you switch back to the free tier, you will no longer have access to any of the free games, even if you have already claimed them during your Pro trial. However, you will keep any of the games purchased during your subscription, even if you downgrade to the basic service. You should also note that the perks of Stadia Pro like 4K gaming and Dolby 5.1 Surround will be downgraded to 1080p and stereo sound when switching to Stadia Free.

Speaking of which, Google mentioned that due to the increased traffic during the stay-at-home orders, it is switching Pro accounts to 1080p streaming by default. The switch is not a restriction, mind you, just a change to the Stadia settings. Users who wish to continue in 4K need only change the setting back via the Stadia app.

The free tier is not available in all regions. Google states that it has planned a staggered rollout over the next 48 hours in 14 countries. Users in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland can begin signing up within the next couple of days.

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Posts: 4,084   +4,196
Stadia has received mostly lukewarm or negative reviews.

What's really telling is that even during a time of lockdown/quarantine and nothing to do at home, they still can't make any real gains.

Until we have broadband without data caps and their library is composed of brand new games, there's absolutely no reason to buy one of these at all.


Posts: 663   +563
I prefer how GeforceNow does cloud gaming. It's like leasing a remote gaming PC that launches into Steam Big picture mode or whatever the game is on, such as epicgames. Google is trying to do an Apple and lock you into their ecosystem.
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Posts: 308   +49
Oh cool, I can try out the service to see how it runs on my 144Hz 21:9 monitor, and probably puke at the result.

Oh wait, we still have to buy the (non-free) games on the service, don't we? Nevermind!