To use Google Stadia on Mac, all you need is a Google account, the Google Chrome browser, and a good Internet connection. Google Stadia can be used on any Mac that meets the minimum system requirements for the service.
With the advancement of technology and hardware and with the increasing implementation of cloud services, it’s only natural for gaming to be affected as well. While downloading games on one’s computer is still the main method used for gaming, the popularity of game streaming services such as Google Stadia and GeForce Now has been on the rise for some time now, and it’s not difficult to see why considering the many advantages brought by this type of service.
Some of the users who stand to benefit the most from cloud-based gaming platforms are those that have Mac computers. While Mac machines undoubtedly have many strengths and ways they can effectively be used, gaming is widely considered to not be among them. While you can play many different games on Mac computers, it is no secret that those machines aren’t optimized for gaming and have many limitations in this regard.
Of course, Macs are simply not designed to be gaming computers but what if you own a Mac and want to play try out some new and interesting-looking gaming title without spending money on a dedicated gaming machine? Maybe the game you want to play doesn’t have a version for macOS or your Mac lacks the necessary hardware requirements to run said game (many new titles have very high system requirements that even powerful Mac configurations struggle to meet).
This is where the advantages of cloud-based gaming becomes apparent – services like Google Stadia and GeForce Now allow you to “remotely” play games that are running on an extremely powerful gaming server and what you are seeing on your computer screen is real-time gameplay streaming, the quality of which is only limited by the strength and speed of your Internet connection. In other words, a cloud-based gaming platform can allow you to play games that don’t have dedicated Mac versions and maybe even games that would otherwise be too resource-intensive to properly run on your machine.
What is Google Stadia?
Google Stadia is a cloud-based gaming service that allows users to remotely play any game from its library without having to download the game on their computer. Google Stadia streams the gameplay from its servers in real time and the user controls the gameplay remotely.
Currently, Google Stadia has two subscription levels – Stadia, which is free, and Stadia Pro, which costs $9,99 a month. The plain Stadia plan is free, but it limits your maximum resolution to 1080p whereas Stadia Pro goes up to 4K HDR. There’s also difference in the audio between the two plans – the Pro level gives you 5.1 surround stereo whereas the free plan still comes with stereo sound but not 5.1. Other than that, however, there isn’t much of a difference between the two plans.
Google Stadia Requirements for Mac
One thing we need to point out before you try Google Stadia on your Mac is that, though your machine may not need to meet the requirements for each of the games you will be playing over Stadia, the computer still needs to meet the system requirements for using the Stadia service itself. Those requirements are as follows:
- Memory:4 GB
- GPU:Intel HD 3000 (or better)
- CPU:Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (or better)
- Google Stadia File Size:1 GB
You can see the hardware specifications of your Mac by selecting the Apple Logo from the top-left and clicking on About This Mac – this will display a window with the specs of your Mac.
Another important thing to mention about Google Stadia is that it is not available in all countries, so you may or may not be able to use it depending on what country you are from. At the bottom of this article, you can find a list of the countries where Google Stadia is currently available.
Thirdly, as was pointed out, your Internet connection needs to be strong and stable to properly play games over Stadia. The minimum Internet speed required for properly using Stadia is 10 Mbps, but we recommend a faster connection if you realistically want to play games without lag and latency issues. For 4K HDR, the required Internet connection speed is 35 Mbps and the options Up to 4K and HDR need to be selected from the Performance Options of the service.
How to set up and use Google Stadia on Mac?
Setting up and starting to use Google Stadia is a very simple process that requires you to enter your Google account (or create one) from Google Chrome. Then you must go to the Google Stadia site and choose what game you want to play.
Here is a more detailed list of steps on how to use Google Stadia on your Mac computer:
- First, make sure that you have the Google Chrome browser installed on your computer. If you don’t have it, go to this page and download it from there.
- Enter Google Chrome and go here to sign in with your existing Google account or go here to create an account if you don’t have one.
- Once you are logged in to your Google account, go to the Google Stadia site and click on the Try Now button.
- Choose the subscription plan you prefer (Stadia or Stadia Pro) and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your subscription, providing whatever details may be required from you.
- Once you have subscribed to Google Stadia, you can start playing games but note that some (most) games on this service are paid, so you will have to purchase them before you can play them.
- Each month certain games on Google Stadia are offered for free to both users of the free and paid plan. If your subscription is paid (Pro), however, you get to keep those free games permanently.
- Regardless of whether you have a paid or free subscription, any game you purchase on Stadia stays yours on that platform.
Google Stadia controller
Google offers a dedicated Google Stadia controller that is optimized for gaming over Stadia and is required if you want to directly play games on your TV using the Stadia platform. However, on your Mac you can simply use your keyboard and maybe a USB mouse as most computer games are better played with a two-button mouse rather than with a trackpad.
Google Stadia for iOS
Just yesterday, the Google Stadia gaming service became available for the iOS system. Up until now, Apple’s restrictive policy concerning cloud-based gaming services made it impossible for Google to bring their Stadia platform to iPhones and iPads in the form of a dedicated app. However, it now seems that Google has found a way to circumvent this obstacle by developing a Safari web version for Stadia so that now iOS users can play games over Stadia via the Safari browser on their iPhones and iPads.
According to Google, the iOS/Safari version of Stadia is still in an early stage of its development so more features and improvements are yet to be introduced to it. Other than that, the experience is similar to that of using Stadia on Android devices with the main difference being that you’d have to use it from Safari and not from a dedicated app. However, you can add a shortcut icon for Safari Stadia to your Home Screen that launches like a regular app by going to the official Stadia site, tapping on the Share button, and selecting Add to Home Screen.
List of countries where Google Stadia is available
Here is the list of countries where the Stadia platform can be used. If you are not located in any of those countries, you could try to use a VPN service, but we suspect that doing this would make for a very laggy and latency-heavy gaming experience even if you are using the fastest and most stable VPN service that’s available on the VPN market, so we do not recommend this option. Alternatively, you can try the GeForce Now cloud gaming service if it is available in your country.
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic