Cloud gaming creates a new space in which every gamer can play any game at maximum settings, without FPS drops, lags, or stutters. All you need to do is have a good Internet connection and a subscription to one of the gaming services. If you need to quickly earn money for gaming – try legacy of dead free play.
Table of Contents
How cloud gaming works
Game developers and computer component manufacturers have been competing with gamers for many years in the exciting discipline of “run the game at maximum speed.” Before the advent of mining and the rise in prices of video cards and processors, players had at least some chance, if not of winning, then at least of a draw. After prices for computer hardware and consoles have skyrocketed, very few can afford to buy powerful and modern equipment. Games, at the same time, are becoming more and more demanding on the hardware component. Top AAA projects, such as Far Cry 6, RDR 2, Cyberpunk 2077, etc., are simply not designed to be played on a weak PC; some of them cannot even be installed.
This situation required an answer – and it was given. Cloud services remove all restrictions. You can play on an old computer, laptop, tablet, or phone running IOS or Android. All work on the graphics and physics of the game world will be taken over by a remote server. In essence, the user gets access to a very powerful computer, the only difference being that it is not located at his home, but in the IT company’s data center (so-called cloud streaming occurs).
Strengths and weaknesses of playing in the cloud
All companies advertise their cloud gaming as an impeccable service with no downsides, equally suitable for fans of RTS, shooters, arcades, RPGs, etc. In practice, the picture is a little different. Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of playing in the cloud and understand who it’s suitable for and who it’s not.
- no need to spend money on buying a powerful computer or console, the server owner will also pay for electricity;
- all games come without installation or downloading, they do not need to be purchased, which means you can safely evaluate any new product without fear of losing time and money;
- you can play on one device, save, and start from the same place on another;
- restrictions on hardware, operating systems, and platforms are minimal;
- there is no need to regularly upgrade your PC or update your console; there are no components that could break;
- and most importantly, the ability to play at maximum graphics settings, which at home can only be handled by an RTX 3090-level card.
- an insignificant minus – cloud gaming is very demanding on the quality of the Internet, the provider must provide at least 10 Mbit/sec without disconnects and lags. Naturally, you need an unlimited tariff; with intensive gaming, using up 150 gigabytes in a month will not be difficult;
- the second drawback mainly affects those who prefer shooters, fighting games, racing, and any other games in which response time is critical. If data transfer delays of 10-20 milliseconds are practically unnoticeable, with larger ones the user may not have time to react to changes in the game and other characters for whom everything works in real time will gain an advantage.
Now that we have a general understanding of how cloud gaming works, let’s take a look at the 5 largest services, understand what they offer, and determine the best options for gamers.
1. GFN (NVIDIA GeForce NOW)
NVIDIA GeForce NOW delivers a rich gaming experience with little input lag but requires a strong internet connection for smooth gaming. While most cloud services have their own library of games, GeForce NOW offers integration through digital platforms such as Steam, Origin, Battle.net, Epic, Uplay, etc. A huge advantage of GeForce NOW is that users keep their purchased games even if they stop using the service.
PLAYKEY.net is a cloud gaming service developed by Russian IT specialists. The platform uses Nvidia Grid technology; the company’s servers are located in Europe and Russia. Playkey collaborates with many gaming giants such as Ubisoft, Namco, Bethesda, WarGaming, and Epic Games.
A new service on the market, the gaming collection includes hits for PC and PS4. The platform’s data center is located in Moscow; if communication problems arise for residents of other regions, company employees recommend connecting via VPN in Moscow or the Moscow Region. Despite the relatively small selection of games and not the most outstanding graphics settings, 4Cloud is gaining popularity among Russian gamers due to the low cost of subscription.
4. PlayStation Now
The PlayStation Now service is designed for fans of games released for this console; in fact, there are no others in the platform’s assortment. The biggest benefit of signing up for PlayStation Now is that it will give you access to a huge range of games, including those that were released on PS2 and PS3. The main drawback of the service is limited cross-platform compatibility; you won’t be able to play on a phone, tablet, or Apple device. Officially, PlayStation Now does not work in Russia; you will have to use proxy servers to create an account.
The Polish cloud gaming service Vortex is mediocre in terms of performance and features, and given the price of a monthly subscription, it is completely inferior to most competitors. There are not very many people willing to deal with frequent freezes and spontaneous decreases in resolution, even for $9.99. The only advantage of this platform is that it is well-optimized for playing on mobile devices.
Cloud gaming is the future of the gaming industry; very soon it will become as commonplace as car sharing or online cinemas. While this has not yet happened, many platforms are at the beta testing stage and all of them will be actively developing and adapting to their users. However, the favorites of this race are already visible. The most versatile service with an affordable subscription price is GeForce Now. Cloud games xCloud are the choice of those for whom gaming on mobile devices is a priority. Well, fans of exclusive Sony PS releases don’t have much to think about; PlayStation Now is tailored specifically for them.