How Google Stadia Is Fully Entertaining Me During Quarantine As A Casual Gamer
First, I want to start off by thanking the Google Stadia Team for creating and launching the free version of Google Stadia in 2020, along with a two month FREE Google Stadia PRO subscription, during quarantine and a global pandemic. That was absolutely an unexpected gift, and if no one is thanking you directly for it — let me be the first to directly thank you. Google Stadia is fully entertaining me during quarantine as a casual gamer, and I am grateful.
Back in 2019, when Google Stadia was launched, I was immediately excited for the future of gaming. Specifically, I was really excited about taking a AAA HD game on the go without having to haul around a console system. I do not know about you, but personally, I am emotionally over paying for expensive hardware to play a AAA HD game in the era of cloud computing and mobile devices. It is just so unnecessary, and Google Stadia proves that.
After watching the initial launch of Google Stadia in 2019, I became fully aware that this was a new, in-flight, and iterative project. It was also the future of gaming. It was just unfair to compare Google Stadia FULLY to mature and legacy console systems such as: Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, PC, etc. at that time (and still today). It was obvious that Google Stadia was just getting off the ground, was highly differentiated, and was not fully built out in regards to: features, functions, capabilities, library of games, etc. Personally, I can fully appreciate and understand that circumstance having worked on iterative agile projects before. The vision Google Stadia sold was nothing short of a grand vision that I absolutely wanted to buy into, AND wanted in my life. It spoke directly to my inner teen casual video gamer soul, and I decided I was just going to wait it out until the launch of the FREE version of Google Stadia later on that year or in 2020. This would mean no Google Stadia Founder’s Edition for me — sadly. Well, fast forward to 2020, and Google Stadia launched the FREE version of Google Stadia — and I officially made Google Stadia a part of my life, and I am never turning back.
To get started with playing games on Google Stadia via my phone and my laptop, I purchased the following items:
NOTE: I did not purchase a Chromecast Ultra, because I do not intend to play Google Stadia on a TV at this time, but maybe in the future.
Before the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) officially arrived, I took the following 6 pre-actions:
- I setup my Google Stadia account, created a Google Stadia User Name, and selected an avatar.
- I downloaded the Google Stadia Play Store app on my android phone.
- I tested that I could access and sign into my newly created Google Stadia account on www.stadia.com via the Google Chrome Browser.
- I activated the 2 months of FREE Google Stadia PRO, and claimed about ten free games or so at the time.
- I subscribed to a public Xfinity Public WiFi Hotspot for high speed internet access in my area.
- I ensured my phone was fully charged.
While waiting for my new Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) to arrive, I decided I was going to try to play Google Stadia via PC keyboard controls since this was an option as well with Google Stadia. I was immediately blown away at how detailed and realistic the graphics were, and how quickly I went from account setup to playing a game.
The game I chose first to play was: GYLT The Game. The graphics were the first thing I noticed. They were crisp, they loaded seamlessly, everything ran smoothly. The only hiccup on my end, was learning how to play games via PC keyboard, because I believe the last game I played via PC was most likely DOOM from 1993…it had been a while — to say the least. However, learning new PC keyboard controls did not stop me, because for about a full week, I really DID enjoy my time playing GYLT The Game via Google Stadia on the PC. But, after a week, I WAS starting to get tired of PC gaming keyboard controls.
Thankfully by then, my Google Stadia Controller (Just Black), The Claw Accessory, and my Amazon Basic 1FT USB-C to USB-C Red Cable all arrived (NOTE: Amazon Basic 1FT USB-C to USB-C Red Cable not pictured below):
Receiving my new Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) was — by far — one of the main highlights during quarantine. It meant a new way to entertain myself that just was not there before. And honestly — who does not need that right now in their life?
To get started, I decided that I wanted to test out playing Google Stadia with the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) via my laptop instead of my phone. This was because I knew the mobile device setup just required more instructions to read, and I was ultra excited to get started right away — so I figured just plugging in a controller to a laptop device was the fastest way to go.
So I unpacked the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black), and took out the USB to USB-C cable that came with it, and plugged it into my laptop. Immediately, the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) turned on, and started to pair / install drivers. I opened up my Google Chrome Browser, and I headed on over to www.stadia.com , where I logged into my account, and started my game play.
Before I had received my Google Stadia Controller (Just Black), I had also started to play an indie game I had never heard of before called: SteamWorld Dig 2. And after playing this game for a week, it was easily turning out to be one of my favorite games. If you do not know about the game: SteamWorld Dig 2, it is a fun puzzler game that reminds me a little bit of dungeon puzzles / mazes from the Legend of Zelda game series that meets the Mega Man series as a 2D side scroller.
All I have to say is that using the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black) was an absolute game changer [pun intended], because the game play on SteamWorld Dig 2 was just substantially easier and smoother. It made the game play more authentic and more pleasurable. Again, the graphics were really smooth, and the game play was seamless on this Xfinity Wifi Hotspot that I was using. Only on one day did I encounter a game lag issue, which I raised to Google Stadia, and they promptly looked into / triaged. After the one day [night] issue, I never encountered the issue again. And I will just say this: Google Stadia has phenomenal customer service.
When it came to SteamWorld Dig 2, this was the first game where I moved between playing on my laptop and playing on my phone. Playing on my phone was also a seamless experience. The Claw Accessory and the Amazon Basics 1FT USB-C to USB-C Red Cable made playing Google Stadia on my phone a great experience. The Google Stadia mobile app had some feature differences from the website version of Google Stadia, but again, Google Stadia is new, in-flight, and an iterative project. I just understand that some features might roll out via website first before moving to an app and vice versa until there is parity between the two (if applicable to the requirements). This did not stop me — at all — from having a good and entertaining time on Google Stadia as a casual gamer during quarantine.
As time went on [a.k.a. when I beat SteamWorld Dig 2] I was done playing the FREE Google Stadia PRO Games, and decided that I was going to purchase one of my all time favorite games: Mortal Kombat 11 [MK11][~$60.00 USD]. To be transparent, I have been playing Mortal Kombat since MK1, and if I really wanted to test and fully validate Google Stadia, then a fighting game [hear me: MK 11] in my mind was the true test on gaming speed and real time game play graphics.
And again — Google Stadia did NOT disappointment me. I played against online MK11 players, I did some MK11 story mode fighting, I did some MK11 fighting tutorials, I performed some MK11 fatalities, I explored the MK11 Krypt, I did some MK11 tower battles, and I continued to validate that I am really just NO GOOD at MK11 fighting button combos. I also played MK11 on my phone after playing it on my laptop with the Google Stadia Controller (Just Black), and that was ALSO a seamless experience just like when I played SteamWorld Dig 2 on my phone. It fully passed my test! The whole experience was smooth, enjoyable, and I was excited to have MK11 now officially be a part of my Google Stadia growing library of games.
So what else is there to know about Google Stadia? Well — if you are looking for a break down of Google Stadia and “What Is Google Stadia?”, there is this video you can watch and share:
If you are looking for “What other games are good to play or are up and coming?” — I am personally getting excited about these up and coming indie games to be released on the Google Stadia gaming platform:
All this to say: THIS is how Google Stadia is fully entertaining me during quarantine as a casual gamer — and I am never turning back!
Article Disclaimer Note: Views are my own and not of my employer. I was not compensated, endorsed, or sponsored in any way for this article except for being a part of the Medium Partner Program.