Google Stadia is just a few days from its official release, with the gaming public pretty evenly split between anxious excitement and awaiting its complete failure. It’s been a divisive launch for a number of reasons, but for most gamers it’s the question of latency and how it will impact the game streaming service. Google has tried to quash these arguments, even saying that Stadia would eventually feature negative latency thanks to predictive algorithms. However, on the eve of release they’re encouraging new players to use a wired connection, saying it “can make a big difference”.
The notice arrived in Google Stadia buyers’ inboxes today alongside a few other tips for how to best experience the service and its games. Stadia is an exclusively streaming experience, with games running on powerful servers far from the player’s home. Video from that gaming session is then sent over the internet to their TV or device. Inputs from controllers are also sent across the open web, which is where the biggest hurdles lie for the platform. Can it send 4K, 60fps video streams fast enough and can the inputs be received, translated into game action, and sent back in a timely manner? Some services have handled it decently well, but issues have always been present, leading to further skepticism.
For Stadia, the wired connection recommendation was first on Google’s list. “Connect your Google Chromecast Ultra to your router with an Ethernet cable. A wired connection between Chromecast and your router can make a big difference when playing games on your TV. If you don’t have that option, set up your wireless router in the same room as your Chromecast, but keep them at least a foot away from one another.”
It went on to provide more tips such as using 5Ghz for wireless connections, keeping everything in the same room if possible, and setting your TV to Game Mode to eliminate even more latency. Google also points out how other users can impact the experience, saying “for the best performance, don’t stream movies or music to other devices in other parts of the house while playing games on Stadia. It can slow things down.”
It’s a solid list, and those who follow it will surely have a better experience with their Stadia and the games it streams. However, questions still certainly linger over the platform, especially if the best experience requires a wired connection to the newest version of Google’s popular Chromecast device. Will they be able to get latency low enough for the average gamer to accept it? Find out in the coming weeks.