Early this year of 2020, Nvidia has finally launched its full consumer version of GeForce Now. A cloud gaming service that can work on mobile, computer, and its shield platforms. The development and beta testing phases for this took around seven years. This gave Nvidia a chance to change its name for Nvidia Grid to its name now even the hardware specs and even strategy.
It has now officially arrived and if you are looking to learn more about this, our guide breaks everything down and tries to answer every question you might have.
What is GeForce Now?
Nvidia GeForce Now is a new cloud gaming service. Cloud gaming services allow gamers to play their favorite games that are hosted on the internet. These games will then be streamed via a remote Google Stadia, Project xCloud, Shadow or Playstation Now. It lets you play games with high graphics settings without the need of using a high-end PC. Controller or mouse codes go the other way. You will also experience 60 fps and 1080p quality with your streamed game.
This gaming service runs on servers in multiple locations globally letting its users access the one closest to them. Depending on which membership plan you purchase, games are run on the best Nvidia graphic cards around (RTX), so you’ll have the best experience whatever hardware you are using.
GeForce Now is not like most of its rivals as it does not sell you games or give you any access to its curated library of titles. What it does it links with your Steam, GOG, Origin, Ubisoft’s Uplay and other online accounts to play the games you already own or will purchase through these digital stores. But not all games are available though, some publishers such as Bethesda and Activision did not allow the use of their titles through the GeForce Now. No need to worry, there are still 1,000 plus games available.
Features of GeForce Now
Although it is not packed with features, there are still some nice perks to it. For example, if you are a Founder’s member you will get the RTX ON feature. This lets you play games that take advantage of the ray-tracing through Nvidia’s powerful 2080 graphics cards.
The GeForce now uses an Nvidia feature called the Nvidia highlights which will automatically save any exciting in-game moments. Once saved, you can easily select any of these highlight videos to share on different social channels, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more.
Founders can also get six-hour-long gameplay sessions before they will be logged out and log back to continue for a new session because they have priority access. For free tier members, they are limited to an hour-long gameplay session plus standard access. This means that the Founders will get to connect to the servers first if it has reached full capacity.
How does GeForce Now Work?
The Nvidia GeForce Now is like a smart TV or smart device that allows you to access several streaming services. However, it is far more than Netflix or Amazon Prime of games. GeForce Now does not sell games, you need to buy your games from other PC game stores, like Uplay, Battle.net, Epic, and Steam. But if you have already purchased your games from these stores, you can access and play them via the GeForce Now as well.
There are also more than 30 free-to-play games available on the platform and Nvidia said the will be adding more free-to-play games in the future.
What Devices does GeForce Now support?
GeForce Now supports quite a few devices. It is designed to work with a wide range of different hardware, This means that you can use it on almost any PC. You can use it specifically on Windows-based desktops and laptops so if you have dreames of your computer playing high-end PC games but just don’t have the specs, now you can enjoy them with GeForce Now.
You can also use it on the Nvidia shield and Mac desktops and laptops. It is also compatible with Android smartphones, almost any Android phone will work. The phone just needs to at least have 2GB of RAM, supports OpenGL ES 3.2, and run on Android 5.0 or later. You will also need a supported gamepad to use it.
Requirements Needed to Use GeForce Now Service
The requirements needed to use this service aren’t a long list but you still need to have the basics. First of all, you will need to have an internet connection for it to work. For 720p resolution with 30 fps frame rate, your connection speed needs to be at least 15Mbps. For a 1080p resolution with a 60fps frame rate, you will need a connection speed of at least 25Mbps.
You will also need to connect your device to an ethernet cable or you can play it using a wireless connection if you are connected to a 5GHz wireless router. This means that you may not be able to play games on GeForce Now on some public WiFi hotspots especially if the router is not 5GHz. If you don’t follow these requirements, the experience may not be as good.
That’s pretty much what is needed. If you are playing it on Windows, there are no software requirements or any hardware requirements. You don’t need to use any specific type of display and most of all, you don’t need a minimum of 16GB RAM.
For Android, there are some requirements needed as mentioned above. You need a device that has at least 2GB of RAM, and it should run on Android 5.0 or later and can support OpenGL ES 3.2 or later.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment?
Both yes and no. Of course, you will need a PC or an Android smartphone to use this service. It is also recommended that you have a 5GHz router but if not then it’s okay. Just check the other requirement needed above.
However, you do not need any specialized equipment that is meant for GeForce Now only. The service is designed to work with your existing hardware so you likely already have a controller that is compatible and a device to play games. Many are also 5GHz these days so probably most of the users are already set to play the service.
How to Set-up Nvidia GeForce Now
You will need a few things such as an Nvidia account, a controller or some form of peripheral for controlling the games, and of course, you need to sign up for a GeForce Now. To subscribe to a membership, just visit GeForce Now’s website today.
You’ll also need to have the Android app installed on your phone which we will be explaining below. The same goes for your PC, you need to install it on your computer and the steps will be explained below. Once you have everything in place, you can now start playing games right away.
How to Download Nvidia GeForce Now on PC or Mac
Downloading GeForce Now on your PC, Windows or Mac, is super easy. Simply follow the steps below:
- Register and sign up for a plan on Nvidia’s website. Just follow the step-by-step instruction to create an account. You will be required to fill in your name, birth date, and you also need to verify your email address.
- Next, download Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Install the app on your device. Install it on your Windows or Mac the same way you would install any software.
- Lastly, log-in using the Nvidia account details you just created.
After you logged in, you can now start playing any of the featured games offered. For you to be able to incorporate the games you already own, just search for that game on the search bar. Follow these steps until it takes you to the store where you purchased your game. Just do the same steps until you have integrated all your games to the library of the GeForce Now.
How to Start Using GeForce Now on PC
To start using it on your Windows or Mac, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Log-in to your account. Create one if you don’t own one. There is an in-app network test you can use to confirm your internet connection meets the GeForce Now requirements for the optimal gaming experience.
- Test your network. The in-app test will determine whether your network passed the requirements so you can start enjoying the game.
- Switch to your gaming mouse. You can either use a USB or a wireless gaming mouse. This will improve your mobility and response time when playing games.
- To start playing, find your game. Just search your game from the library. Click the play button to launch it from the GeForce Now servers. You will be asked to sign into the digital store to make sure that you own the game you will play.
You can enjoy playing your favorite game through Nvidia GeForce Now.
How to Get Nvidia GeForce Now For Your Android Devices
You can use GeForce on your Android phone, these are the steps you need to do to download it on your device:
- Using your android phone, go to the Google Play store for Nvidia GeForce Now. Click “Install”.
- Next, log-in using your GeForce Now account if you have one or hit “Join Today” to create an account. Then choose your subscription package.
- A log-in page will pop up, just enter your email, password, and confirm that you are not a robot or you can also log-in using your Facebook and Google account.
- Congratulations, you can now use GeForce Now. Just select where you would like to play it, for this please select the Android option by clicking the icon.
- This will return you to the Google Play page, just click “Open” to launch the app.
- Just log-in. You may be asked to re-enter the log-in information you sent on the website or use your Facebook or Google account to log in.
How to Start Using GeForce Now on Android
Now that you downloaded this on your Android device, enjoy the perks of GeForce Now. Start using it by following these:
- Before you start the app, make sure that your Android device meets the requirements needed that are mentioned above. For the best gaming experience, Nvidia recommends using a Bluetooth gaming pad such as NVIDIA SHIELD controller, Glap, Razer Raiju Mobile, Razer Junglecat, or a SteelSeries Stratus Duo and gamepad clip to attach your phone.
- Note: If you haven’t attached any gaming pad or wireless keyboard or mouse, you will not be able to play some games on the Android app.
- Configure your GeForce Now account on your PC. You need to set it up on your Windows or Mac as this will allow you to log in to digital stores with your physical keyboard and mouse. So when you launch a game on your Android device, your Nvidia account will already be connected to the digital game store. Aside from that, it is recommended you play your favorite games on your PC first. These games will appear in the My Library section and make them easy to jump into the Android app.
- Pick up where you left on your favorite game using your Android device. Once you have logged in your Nvidia account on your phone, quickly launch your favorite game from the My Library section or you can browse through the library of supported games. You can also simply search for the game you want to play. After you have played games on your Android device, they will appear in your My Library.
Do I Need a Console to Play Nvidia GeForce Now?
No, for Nvidia GeForce Now, you are not required to own a console. The platform will allow you to play PC games on a wide variety of devices. You can play games on your Windows or Mac computer, Android smartphone, and tablet. This makes gaming easier in general.
The reason behind this is because, just like any content streaming services, your WiFi connection is more important than your computer’s hardware. Just run it on macOS 10.10 or higher or a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or newer. You will also need a computer with at least 2GB of RAM, and one of the following CPUs: Intel Pentium G Series, QuadCore i3, i5, i7, or higher, or an AMD FX or newer.
How Much is GeForce Now?
The Nvidia GeForce Now comes in two available plans: free and Founders. The free version allows you to play games from your existing PC library or a free-to-play game for one hour at a time. With the free plan, you get standard access to their servers. If the servers are full, you will have to wait to play.
For the Founders plan, you will have priority access to the Nvidia servers. You’ll also be able to play your favorite game for six straight hours. The Founders plan is currently priced at $4.99 per month and has a validity of 12 months.
The Nvidia GeForce currently supports 400 games which include popular games like Witcher 3, Skyrim, Borderlands 3, and a lot more. You can also get access to over 30 free-to-play games including Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, and more. You can also search for the currently supported games here.
Benefits of Using Nvidia GeForce Now
Its main benefits are very clear, users can play just about any PC games anytime and anywhere and in any device. There may be some exceptions but those limitations are pretty minimal. You get to play all the available games you already own on your phone and PC. And if you choose to play the games on your phone, you have a wider selection of devices you can choose from.
Compared to Stadia which first only supported Pixel phones, with GeForce Now, you have options. You can use whatever device you want to play with. And that’s an excellent consumer-friendly option. Another benefit of this is that you don’t need to spend much on your PC rig. If you want to play high-end games with good graphics but you can’t afford a PC that is powerful enough, you can just use GeForce Now.
Any Downsides to Nvidia GeForce Now?
There are a few downsides for Nvidia GeForce Now. It is perfect like its competitions but the tech and the service work especially under optimal conditions. One of the downsides of GeForce Now is it is limited to some games. Although it has a vast array of available options, it still is missing out on games from some publishers like Activision Blizzard. Before its launch, the games were officially available through the services.
Activision Blizzard Games Are Not Available
However, after the launch, Activision Blizzard requested that their games be pulled out. This only means that there’s no more Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Call of Duty, or other games from the company on GeForce Now.
Timed Game Sessions
Another downside of the platform is its play session limits. With the Founder subscription, you are limited to six hours and if you reach this point you will need to log out and log back in to start a new play session. While this may not affect some people, for heavy games this is a disadvantage.
Its bigger downside is the free subscription. Free subscription only gets one-hour long play sessions, and this can be more constricting for some players. This makes it a lot more challenging to play any sort of MMO or any ongoing game.
If it’s a multiplayer game that has a longer content like raids that can take at least a couple of hours to finish and needs a group of players, using the free subscription isn’t exactly viable as you would have to stop every hour to log out. You also have to hope you can get back in immediately so that your group won’t have to wait for you. Case in point, pay for the Founders subscription if you are planning to use GeForce Now with an MMO or any MMO-like game.
Should I Get Nvidia GeForce Now?
Yes, it could be right for you. For most people actually but probably not right for everyone. If this is a question you are asking, then there are a few things you want to consider. Are you okay with its playing time limitations like the one-hour and six-hour play sessions? Are you okay if it lacks games from Activision Blizzard? Is it okay if it does not support iOS devices?
If you are not okay with these things, then GeForce Now may not be for you. You should consider its competitors that allow access to Overwatch and WoW and also support iOS devices. You also need to consider subscription costs as this might affect your experience. But you will gain a few things even if they are more expensive. With GeForce Now, you have an affordable monthly cost that will not destroy your budget.
For a cheaper price, you will get access to just any game you already purchased or will buy on your PC with GeForce Now. If you think ahead, the service will end up allowing you to play newer games that are not yet released. If you own an Android device, then this may be the right choice. GeForce Now supports a wide variety of Android devices.
But this is not recommended if you don’t have a 5GHz router and don’t have a strong internet connection. A fast connection is different from a strong one as even though your internet speed is really good, the connection strength could still be weak. A weak connection can most likely cause issues with any cloud gaming experience. All of these factors are worth pondering over.
Worth It At Its Price Point
In the end, GeForce Now is still a great gaming option if you have a strong, fast internet connection with the proper router and an extra $5 to spare monthly. If you’re looking for more alternatives, you can download games for free. Here are our guides on how to download Kickass Torrents games and how to download Skidrow games that you may want to check out.