6 Cloud Gaming Services to Try in 2024
Want to get more out of your home internet?
Gone are the days of saving up money to buy a pricey gaming console. With cloud gaming, you can play all your favorite video games via the Internet without having to buy a console or download games to your computer, cell phone, or tablet. The only thing you need is a fast, reliable Internet connection.
Here, we’ll explain in depth what cloud gaming is and introduce you to six of the most popular platforms with free and paid subscriptions. Find it all in our guide to cloud gaming, below.
How Does Cloud Gaming Work?
Cloud gaming is a method of streaming video games—you can think of it as similar to video streaming. Unlike traditional gaming, which requires the player to buy a physical disc or download games onto a console, cloud gaming utilizes the Internet to enable players to live-stream games. Player inputs are processed and rendered through high-powered remote servers in real time, then streamed back to the device (like a phone, laptop, or tablet) instantly.
For access to any cloud gaming service, you will need a monthly or annual subscription to the platform, and a fast, reliable Internet connection so you can stream your games without interruptions. A minimum download speed of 10-20 Mbps is recommended. Low latency is also important, which means you’ll want to have plenty of bandwidth.
Optimum Internet offers various plans with speeds up to 8 Gig with symmetrical upload and download speeds for a seamless gaming experience. Keep reading to learn more about cloud gaming and discover a few of the best cloud gaming services.
Are Cloud Gaming Services Worth It?
If you’re an avid gamer, cloud gaming affords you the opportunity to play a range of titles without having to purchase separate consoles or download games onto your device. Many services also allow you to play games in real time, remotely, with other players—like your friend who lives on the other side of town, or a family member in a different country.
Cloud gaming also allows you to access your games on any device without losing your progress. And, most subscriptions offer member deals on specific titles, allowing players to enjoy certain games for a discounted price (or even free).
6 of the Best Cloud Gaming Services
There are a lot of different cloud gaming services to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and features. Discover six of the top cloud gaming platforms below.
1. Nvidia GeForce Now
GeForce NOW provides access to a wide selection of games, with around 1,500 titles available. Access to all of these titles requires a paid subscription; however, players can opt for a free membership to gain access to roughly 100 titles (with a one-hour time limit per gaming session).
One of the biggest benefits of GeForce NOW is that it allows users to integrate games previously downloaded from other game studios (such as Steam, Epic, and Ubisoft). In fact, it’s the only cloud gaming service on our list that supports games from different studios.
- Access to over 1,500 games
- Free GeForce Now plan available with 100+ free-to-play games
- Supports games from several developers
- Need to purchase the most popular games
- One-hour playtime limit on the free plan
Most Popular Games
- Guild Wars 2
- Cyberpunk 2077
- South Park: The Stick of Truth
- Payday 2
2. Xbox Game Pass
With Xbox Game Pass, players can access AAA titles (high-profile games from major studios) starting on the day they are released. This includes blockbuster games that keep the overall gaming experience fresh and always on the cutting edge.
The Xbox Game Pass library has titles from Xbox Game Studios, EA Play, Riot Games, and many other popular developers. Keep in mind that although the library consists of over 400 games, not all of them are available to play via streaming—there are some games you’ll need to download to your device.
- Day-one availability for new releases
- EA Play games included in library
- Many supported devices (Windows, Apple, Android phones and tablets, Xbox console, and smart TV)
- Less extensive game library than some competitors
- High monthly fee
- Download required for certain titles
Most Popular Games
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Forza Horizon 4
- Forza Horizon 5
- Sea of Thieves
3. PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Plus is a newer cloud gaming service that works on both PS4 and PS5 consoles, as well as PC. The platform’s library includes more than 800 titles, including classic PlayStation, PS2 and PS3 titles, as well as some PS4 games. Third-party games and newer PlayStation games, however, are not yet available in the cloud.
- Over 800 classic and newer PS games included with subscription
- Seven-day free trial
- Works on PS4 and PS5 consoles
- No third-party games available
- Newest PlayStation releases not available for streaming
- Runs only on Windows PCs and Playstation consoles—smartphone operating systems are not supported
Most Popular Games
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Infamous Second Son
- Destiny 2
- Rocket League
4. Amazon Luna
Stream your favorite games to your Internet-connected devices with Amazon Luna. This cloud gaming platform (included with an Amazon Prime account) runs on Amazon Web Services and allows users to play a wide range of titles for free. Additional games can be purchased from the Amazon Luna storefront.
Because of the platform’s vast library of both free and paid games, this platform is a great option for those who like to try out new games. Plus, when you play via Amazon Luna, you can stream gameplay directly to Twitch—no additional equipment or apps needed.
- Can stream on Twitch
- Can play some games with unsubscribed users
- Parental controls available
- Seven-day free trial for Luna+
- Supported in Windows PC, MAC, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, iPad, iPhone, Chromebooks, select Android phones, Samsung Smart TVs, and LG Smart TVs
- The Luna Controller is recommended for best gameplay
- Does not link with purchased Steam games
- Few AAA titles
Most Popular Games
- The Legend Of Heroes: Trails From Zero
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Devil May Cry 5
- Tetris Effect Connected
- Metro Exodus
Blacknut is a cloud gaming service designed for the whole family. With one subscription, you can create up to five separate accounts and activate PIN-protected kid-only accounts, preventing access to games with inappropriate content.
Like other cloud gaming services, games are instantly available for streaming. You can play through your Chrome or Safari browser or through apps installed on your mobile devices, computers, smart TVs, and tablets. Keep in mind that while Blacknut's game library has over 500 games, it lacks many popular and blockbuster titles.
- Simultaneous streaming on up to four screens
- Parental controls
- Up to five separate accounts per subscription
- Lacks many popular games
Most Popular Games
- For the King
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts
Though Shadow doesn’t offer any games of its own, the platform allows you to turn your device into a powerful and efficient computer for running games.
Shadow works like a rental computer inside a laptop, tablet, phone, PC, or smart TV. Simply download the app and connect to a Shadow server that gives you access to a PC to play games, edit videos, design web pages, code, and more. This is a great option for Mac users who want to play Windows-only games, as well as gamers who purchase titles from multiple platforms.
- Very low latency
- Can be used for purposes other than gaming
- 4K resolution
- No free trial
- Need to buy and install your own games
What To Consider Before Your Subscription
Although the accessibility of a cloud gaming service can help you enjoy high-quality games without having to invest in expensive hardware, you won’t get very far without a strong, reliable Internet connection. Optimum Internet offers plans with fast speeds and low latency, so you can play without lags or interruptions. Plus, we offer 24/7 support—so if an issue arises, we’ll work to get you back to your gaming right away.
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