Among the most famous and storied services is GeForce Now, a solution that provides dedicated servers for gamers to launch their favorite titles from different devices. The next few lines will explore the features, costs, pros and cons of such technology, focusing on the most common questions.
In recent years, more and more digital services dedicated to gaming are becoming available; users with a good Internet connection can benefit from innovative tools for video gaming, almost completely eliminating the usually expensive hardware section that needs to be updated periodically.
GeForce Now: what it is
In order for the potential of the GeForce Now service to be best understood, it is appropriate to give a definition of it. This term is used to identify that game streaming service that takes advantage of the Nvidia cloud to provide gamers with real-time cloud gaming. The service allows users to connect to the cloud directly from their desktop, laptop, Mac, iPhone, Android, iPad or Shield TV.
By linking your Nvidia account, you will be able to access your subscription plan and launch video games purchased from within popular digital stores, verifying that they are on the list of titles compatible with GeForce Now.
GeForce Now: how much does it cost
Those who subscribe to GeForce Now can rely on three different pricing plans: Free, Premium and RTX.
Free: as is easy to deduce from the name of the subscription package, this allows for free registration and limited features of the service. Specifically, you will benefit from cloud gaming based on a GeForce GTX 1060 and a gaming session lasting up to onehour.
Premium: Those who subscribe with the medium plan, i.e., Premium, will have to invest 9.99 euros per month and can benefit from a virtualized RTX 2060-based video card with Ray Tracing and priority access to available servers. Maximum gaming sessions extend to a duration of 6 hours, with 1080P video resolution at 60FPS.
RTX: Users who subscribe to the GeForce Now RTX 3080 version will be able to enjoy a virtualized RTX 3080 video card, with Ray Tracing and to gaming sessions that can extend up to 8 hours. The service in question makes available a maximum resolution at 4K 60FPS or a 1444P resolution at 120 FPS. The subscription cost is 19.99 euros per month.
As expensive as subscription plans may seem, those with no special needs will enjoy the free version.
GeForce Now: compatible devices
Gamers who want to access GeForce Now services will first need to check their devices for compatibility. Currently, there are really a lot of products that can be used to play GeForce Now games, and in the future Smart TVs with an internal Shield capable of cloud gaming will surely be implemented.
In order not to run into compatibility problems, the following devices should be considered for playing with this service: Mac, Android devices, Laptop, Desktop PC, Android TV, LG TV, and SHIELD TV.
As it is easy to deduce from the list, the service can be accessed from both mobile and fixed operating systems, this also implies verification of minimum requirements to be supported.
Windows PC: Windows PC owners who want to use GeForce Now will need to have a 64 Bit Windows 7 or later operating system; in fact, 32 Bit versions are not supported. Consideration must also be given to the power of the processor, which must not be less than a Dual core X86 with 2.0 GHz or higher. There is a need to install at least 4GB of RAM and a video card that supports DirectX 11.
PC Mac: Apple’s home operating system is compatible with GeForce Now from OS version 10.11 onward, with which you can also access the Free subscription plan.
Android: to connect from the Android operating system you must have a device with at least 1 GB RAM, an OS 5.0 or higher, and support for OpenGL ES3.2 libraries or higher.
TV: In case you want to play your titles via smart TV, you would need to consider the brand. One can opt for SHIELD TV, Android TV, and LG TV; respectively, they require an HDMI-compatible cable, OS 5.0 or higher, and a 2021/2022 model with LG TV browser.
There is no shadow of a doubt that in the coming months GeForce Now may already be integrated into the applications of all smart TVs by default. The Samsung company has already launched products compatible with Xbox Cloud and GeForce Now on the market.
GeForce Now: network connection
Using a cloud gaming service such as GeForce Now puts users in the position of commanding themselves whether their network connection is sufficient to support good quality screen images.
The minimum requirements to play on this platform depend on the subscription plan you choose, as you can imagine the free package limits the computing power and therefore you will not need a super-performing connection, while to support the quality of an RTX 3080 in live streaming, you will affect resources considerably.
Those who want to achieve a maximum resolution in 720P with a maximum frame rate of 60FPS will need a 15Mbps connection. While those who want to take advantage of a maximum 1080P resolution at 60FPS will need a 25Mbps connection.
However, not everyone can have high-performance connections; in fact, Nvidia has come up with custom settings to adjust performance and data usage in real time. Specifically, GeForce Now provides four settings: balanced, competitive, saving and personalized.
Balanced: using this import will allow you to benefit from the full length of bandwidth and get the best quality the service can offer, matching it with an enjoyable gaming experience even in the most concussive game conditions. This setting has the highest possible consumption and is about 10 GB of data in an hour of play. With future graphic improvement, an increase in gigabytes is not ruled out.
Competitive: Competitive mode identifies an auto-leveling system that is responsible for balancing the available streaming settings with the best possible graphical performance, while also optimizing latency. From a data consumption point of view, this setting allows live streaming with about 6 GB in an hour, which, depending on the fluctuation of the connection, can be greatly reduced.
Saving: as it is easy to deduce, the data saving setting was introduced for users who have a particularly slow internet connection; in fact, the system will take care of minimizing consumption while trying to maintain a good quality of screen images. The average estimated consumption is about 4 GB for one hour of play, but even then lower values can be found with very slow Internet networks.
Customized: those who are fond of customization will find this setting the ideal solution. With this dedicated section, users can individually decide which settings to optimize, ensuring a better gaming experience according to the needs of the moment. You can change the maximum bit rate, frame rate, resolution, disable or enable VSync , and the auto-fit function based on the connection available. A versatile solution for sure, but not suitable for those who want to log on and play immediately afterwards.
GeForce Now: compatible controllers
As much as it is possible to play with any mouse and keyboard with the GeForce Now service, it is clear that most gamers prefer to connect their own controller to enhance the gaming experience. There are several devices compatible with this service; it will not be difficult to connect one’s DualShock 4 or Xbox controller to Nvidia’s platform.
For the complete list, it is advisable to take a look at the official GeForce Now page by clicking here. The most modern PS5 controllers are present, as much as Logitech Gamepads, which can be purchased very cheaply in recent years.
Nvidia has given a lot of attention to controller compatibility since in both Bluetooth and wired USB versions, it is trying to ensure maximum versatility in order to be able to play anywhere you want without annoying issues.
Several pads not on the official list will still work with GeForce Now, just implement a dedicated driver.
GeForce Now: features
Noting what the costs and requirements are to make the best use of GeForce Now, it is interesting to analyze the features that define such a cloud gaming service.
One of the most important features of GeForce Now lies in its stability during live streaming. Thanks to Nvidia’s servers, even 4k resolutions can be best exploited without any drop in frame rate. As trivial a specification as it may seem, it is essential for such a service to provide players with stability and a constant, low ping.
Default frame rate
One of the most interesting specifications of this service is to be found in the ability to choose the most suitable resolution for your Internet connection. The two paid plans, Premium and RTX, with a resolution in 1080P and 4K, respectively, allow you to choose what is the best resolution for the way you play, as well as the speed of your Internet network.
The premium plan guarantees up to 60 FPS, while the RTX plan goes as high as 120 FPS, absolute high values for those who do not want to miss a single frame during the most concussive gaming sessions.
Ease of use
Among the secrets of GeForce Now is definitely its ease of use. Although not everyone is fully familiar with this cloud gaming service, there is no denying that it is extremely easy to start. Simply download Nvidia’s official application or software and link your accounts from the major platforms, getting a list of all the games you have purchased over the years. Simply start the game and take advantage of the servers provided by Nvidia according to the subscription plan chosen. In a few seconds you can start the game and almost completely eliminate the hardware.
Multiple subscription plans
A feature not to be underestimated in GeForce Now is certainly that of the diversification of subscription plans. Until a few years ago, it was unthinkable that such an effective cloud gaming service could have a free plan, which although it limits gaming sessions to one hour, still allows for excellent performance. Certainly the two plans with a monthly cost offer greater versatility and more computational power, but you will be able to choose without too many constraints according to your needs.
Low system resources
It should be emphasized that the service offered by Nvidia is particularly valued for minimum system requirements. Currently, most gamers can start a game from their mobile or fixed device without fearing that it is incompatible or insufficient. The hardware needed is extremely basic and allows everyone to benefit from the service.
Specification that places GeForce Now as an even more ductile solution than Microsoft‘s proposed cloud gaming is to be found in the customization of settings. Just like an installation on one’s desktop PC, GeForce Now also has settings that can be customized and adapted to the player’s needs. And it is this specification that makes Nvidia’s service unique at present.
GeForce Now: advantages
The great success of GeForce Now over the years, a service marketed now as far back as October 1, 2015, is mainly due to the many advantages it introduces over other cloud gaming platforms. Those that stand out the most include: cost, stability, versatility, latency, and upgrade.
Cost: One of the most significant benefits of GeForce Now lies in its ability to run even in the free mode. Those who want to experiment with the service, even with some limitations, can do so by signing up for the platform and using the software or their own web browser to play the titles they have purchased over the years. The subscription packages, although in the monthly versions may not be affordable for everyone, with the six-month plans of 29.99 euros and 99.99 euros for Premium and RTX plan respectively, are also extremely advantageous.
Stability: as highlighted in the features, GeForce Now is among the most stable digital platforms for those who want to experience cloud-based gaming. Even the slowest connections have no annoying on-screen artifacts or sudden unmotivated crashes. Gaming sessions are enjoyable and you will not notice the difference with a desktop PC or console.
Platform versatility: the strength of GeForce Now is definitely the versatility of the implemented platforms. It will not be difficult to connect your Steam or Epic Games account to access the list of compatible games, launching the desired title in seconds without even installing it again. Over time, Nvidia is adding more and more partners to provide gamers with maximum customization.
Latency: one of the most common issues when playing with a cloud gaming service is that of excessive latency. GeForce Now from this point of view surprises, as it provides a service that has extremely low latency, especially if you use a wired controller connected to your device. Gamers will not experience that unpleasant feeling of lag in command output, but they will have an experience very similar to what can be obtained from a desktop PC and a local installation.
Nvidia certainly needs no introduction as a company; for years it has been committed to producing video cards and software that can meet the needs of gamers. It can be inferred that the update section of GeForce Now is also constantly evolving, periodically adding new titles compatible with the platform. Not all commercially available games are currently available, but with the support of major partners, particularly resource-intensive video games can be launched in the cloud.
GeForce Now: disadvantages
As with most cloud gaming services, GeForce Now also has critical points, which can be identified mainly in: connection and resolution.
Connection: as much as a 25 Mbps Internet network can guarantee very good FullHD at 60 FPS, it is important to note that it is essential to equip oneself with a much better performing digital infrastructure in order not to present during gaming sessions. It is not conceivable that within a home setting no one is using the same Internet line, a condition that may also affect the quality of live streaming screen images.
For smooth and unimpeded 1080P, it is advisable to rely on a connection of at least 50 Mbps, while for higher resolutions, such as 1444P and 4K, a fiber optic of at least 100-200 Mbps is appropriate. In addition to download and upload speed, it is advisable to rely on a provider that also guarantees a very low ping (latency), so as not to affect the response of commands during the game.
Full HD in the medium plan: weak point, which has prompted several criticisms of the GeForce Now service is the Premium subscription plan. As much as this offers an RTX video card and 6 hours of gaming per session, it limits the resolution to only 1080P at 60FPS. As much as this resolution is more than enough to enjoy triple-A titles, it is undeniable that at least 1444P resolution is expected from a GeForce RTX.
GeForce Now: games available
One of the questions gamers ask most about GeForce Now is: but what games are available on this service? In fact, the strength of GeForce Now lies precisely in its constant updating, since it does not have its own library but relies on libraries from other major stores. In fact, GeForce Now is a tool to which one can link one’s accounts: Steam, GOG, Origin, Epic Games, Ubisoft Connect and many others to take advantage of titles purchased over the years.
You will not even have to install purchased video games over time, if they are on Nvidia’s list then they can be played directly in the cloud. In case you need to check if your games are present within thelist compiled by Nvidia, just log on to the official GeForce Now page, or click directly here. The titles are listed in alphabetical order, or you can initiate a manual search by taking advantage of the command bar in the center of the page, where it says Game Search.
GeForce Now: platforms
It is clear from the above paragraph that it is the platforms used that are the real stars of GeForce Now, in addition to the service developed by Nvidia. In order for you to make the best use of the potential of GeForce Now, it is essential that you have the accounts of the most popular platforms, so that you can purchase video games and be able to start them in cloud gaming with Nvidia.
The best-known platforms are definitely Steam and Epic Games, which requireregistration on the official site and confirmation with a security code. these two digital stores are also the most supported by GeForce Now and guarantee a larger number of titles and extremely well-curated, even in customization.
GeForce Now: how to buy games
As for the purchase of games, the GeForce Now service is completely unrelated to that process. In fact, the platform is only a means to launch games purchased on other digital platforms. The moment you purchase a title, for example on Steam, then you will be able to start that video game on GeForce Now, taking into account its compatibility, of course; the latter verifiable in the list of games previously reported.
GeForce Now: how to install a game
When using GeForce Now, you do not have to download or install the purchased title, but you must have this done by the software on the platform where the transaction was made. In case the game was purchased on Steam, you will need to download it from that platform and install it, and then connect the account to GeForce Now and start it in cloud gaming. Nvidia’s service will ask you to verify the data you have in order to start the video game; depending on the platform you choose, a different checking procedure will be initiated.
GeForce Now Vs Gamestream
One of the most common mistakes of people using Nvidia services is to confuse GeForce Now with Gamestream, both of which are developed by the same company. When you start GeForce Now you are using a PC game streaming service directly from NVIDIA’s cloud-based data centers. This condition allows games to be started from any supported device .
With the Gamestream service, on the other hand, you can stream your PC games to your SHIELD device, but only access them from your PC equipped with a GTX or RTX video card.
GeForce Now: on Android
One of the most common applications of GeForce Now is on smartphones running Android. Currently, several compatible pads are commercially available that also provide an optimal gaming experience on one’s mobile device. In addition to verifying that one’s Android system has an OS version 5.0 or later, the type of connectivity used is very important. It is recommended that you connect your smartphone to a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network for the best experience.
GeForce Now: futurability
One of the most discussed topics by the community concerns the futurity that the GeForce Now service may have in the coming years. As much as not everyone is familiar with such a tool for video gaming, since 2015 such a service has been constantly improving and offers a very high level of cloud gaming.
Although currently when we think of cloud gaming we are projecting ourselves to the Microsoft world with the XboxGame Pass and the Xbox cloud, it is undeniable that a service like GeForce Now will appeal primarily to those who love the PC world.
As much as Microsoft’s PC Game Pass is also available, it is not comparable to GeForce Now, as the latter allows all major stores to be aggregated and all games purchased over time to be merged into a single interface. With the free plan, it will not be necessary to purchase video games, but you will be able to start those you have already purchased by taking advantage of Nvidia’s servers. In the future projection, then, GeForce Now will not be an alternative to other cloud gaming services, but will be the ideal solution for PC gamers who want to take advantage of the Internet connection instead of their hardware.
GeForce Now: conclusions
Cloud gaming has been on the rise in recent years, a condition due not only to faster and faster Internet connections, but also to services that offer excellent performance at low cost, just like GeForce Now. This service is an excellent resource for those who have purchased many games on multiple platforms and want to use them with a single interface.