6 best cloud gaming services

6 best cloud gaming services

6 best cloud gaming services

May 31, 2021

Likbez Technologies

Play without spending money to build a PC or console.
Photo by Artyom Kozoriz

Artyom Kozoriz

Lifehacker author, mechanical engineer

6 best cloud gaming services
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With the development of broadband Internet, the concept of cloud gaming became possible: the game runs on a powerful remote server, and you connect to it over the network from any device that can play streaming video. It can be an old computer, a weak laptop, a tablet or even a smartphone. The device transmits commands from the keyboard or gamepad to the server, and receives an image from the game.

Now you can no longer bother with assembling a gaming computer or buying a console. It is enough to choose one of the cloud services and play from any gadget that is at hand.

1. GFN.RU (GeForce NOW)

Screenshot: GFN.RU
  • Required connection: from 15 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: up to Full HD 60 fps.
  • Built-in game library: no.
  • Launching your games: yes.
  • Price: free / 999 cents per month.

One of the largest services that is officially available in Russia and the CIS through a local partner. With GFN you can run your games from Steam, EGS, Origin, Battle.net and other stores on any device. Supported computers and laptops with Windows and macOS, the Nvidia Shield TV set-top box, as well as smartphones and tablets on Android and iOS (however, iOS is still in beta status).

The basic GFN subscription allows you to play for free with a queue and a limit of no more than 1 hour per session. A premium subscription to the service gives priority when connecting to servers, increases the duration of continuous sessions up to 6 hours, and also adds support for RTX technology and various bonuses from publishers.

Go to website →

2. PlayStation Now

Screenshot: PlayStation Now
  • Required connection: from 5 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: up to Full HD 60 fps.
  • Built-in game library: 700 games.
  • Launching own games: no.
  • Price: $10 per month.

A Sony branded service that will allow you to plunge into the world of God War, The Last of Us, Uncharted and other PlayStation exclusives and not buy the console itself. You can play on Windows computers, as well as PlayStation 4 and 5. There is no need to pay separately for the games: they are included in the subscription price. The only thing you need is a Dualshock gamepad or any other XInput compatible gamepad. As a bonus for console owners, there is an option to download game files for local launch. This function is supported by about 300 games.

Officially, the service is not available in Russia. Therefore, to purchase a PlayStation Now subscription, you will have to create an account in the country where it is supported (USA, UK) and use gift certificates to replenish the balance.

Go to website →

3. Play key

Screenshot: Playkey
  • Required connection: from 10 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: up to Full HD 120 fps.
  • Built-in game library: included in the premium plan.
  • Launching your games: yes.
  • Price: from 60 cents per hour.

One of the very first Russian cloud gaming services, which continues to develop rapidly. Playkey supports Windows and macOS computers, but does not work on smartphones. It is offered to play previously purchased games on Steam, Origin, Battle.net and other platforms. Popular projects have already been uploaded to Playkey servers, but if some game is not available, you can always install it thanks to access to full-fledged launchers.

Payment in the service is hourly, which will be convenient for those who play from time to time. To save time, you can buy packages at a discount. There’s also an unlimited plan for 2,490 cents a month, which includes a free EA Play Pro subscription with access to Battlefield, FIFA, Need for Speed, and more than 100 games.

Go to website →

4. Vortex

Screenshot: Vortex
  • Required connection: from 10 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: HD 60 fps.
  • Built-in game library: yes.
  • Launching own games: no.
  • Price: from $10 per month.

A popular cloud service with a built-in catalog of games, some of which are available to subscribers for free. The rest will require a pre-purchased license. You can play both on computers with Windows and macOS, and on mobile devices with Android, including virtual reality helmets and TVs. There is no access to full-fledged launchers, so installing your own game will not work: you will have to be content with a library of optimized projects. By the way, it has all the popular games, and it is regularly updated.

Vortex provides three tariffs that differ in the quality of the broadcast, the amount of playing time and the number of games in the library. In the minimum version, this is a stream in HD, 50 hours per month and 78 games, in the maximum version – Full HD, 140 hours and 170 games.

Go to website →

5.xCloud

Screenshot: xCloud
  • Required connection: from 5 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: HD 60 fps.
  • Built-in game library: yes.
  • Launching own games: no.
  • Price: $15 per month.

A Microsoft branded service included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but currently in beta. It is currently available on Android devices, but should appear on Windows within a couple of months (along with an increase in quality to Full HD. You can play both on Wi-Fi and via mobile Internet in the Halo series, Forza and a hundred more games without buying them separately.

The service is currently region-restricted and requires a VPN to use it. However, the latter is needed only when starting the game, then you can turn it off to increase the connection speed.

Go to website →

6. Drova

Screenshot: Drova
  • Required connection: from 30 Mbps.
  • Video stream quality: up to Full HD 144 fps.
  • Built-in…


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