I’ve played more games in the cloud than on a dedicated PC or console since late 2019. During this time, I’ve traded in the common limitations of native gaming for an untethered, more versatile experience. These are the six reasons I prefer cloud gaming platforms like NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW over PCs and consoles.
Instant Access to Games
Waiting on downloads and updates is one of the most frustrating aspects of gaming, especially for players with little time to waste. When it comes to the cloud, however, these hurdles largely don’t exist. Services like GeForce NOW, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Google Stadia host and stream games directly from servers, meaning that from the moment a game shows up in my library, I can play it instantly with no added wait times.
Game updates are also delivered automatically as soon as they’re available; I never boot up my machine just to find a list of titles that need a patch. That said, there have been a couple of times when a game on GeForce NOW briefly goes down, but these have been few and far between for me.
— Zach Laidlaw (@ztlaidlaw) May 28, 2022
Whether it’s a console tethered to a TV or an expensive GPU plugged directly into a PC, both are considered stationary gaming options that would require some hassle to move. With cloud gaming, however, nearly every screen I own is a potential gaming rig.
I can play games at my desktop after a day at work, relax on the couch in front of a TV on the weekends, and I can even indulge in a game or two on my phone before bed. This level of power and versatility can only be found in a game system designed to coalesce with a range of device form factors.
Cloud platforms are also great for traveling and vacationing. Whereas it’s a pain to lug a console or gaming PC from one place to the next, cloud gaming requires no special hardware. With a stable Wi-Fi connection, my trusty phone, tablet, and laptop can all be my gaming rig at a moment’s notice.
Unlimited Game Storage
The more graphically intensive games become, the more storage space they require. This has been apparent with titles like 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare taking up an absurd 231GB of space. Add in a few more entries just like this, and a PC or console SSD will fill up fast.
These limitations don’t apply to cloud gamers. Every supported game on any given service lives in a publicly shared server, and players who own a license to these games can simply click on one in their library and dive in. As a result, I have unbridled access to my entire library without having to install/uninstall games, manage multiple SSDs, or worry about running low on storage.
Unlimited Cloud Saves
Saving and backing up game data can get messy on a PC. While services like Steam Cloud do a decent job, they can sometimes fail, causing irreparable loss (if your games support this feature at all). You could set up your own backup solution, but these are tedious at best. Luckily, cloud platforms shine here, as well.
In addition to unlimited game storage, cloud gamers get unlimited cloud saves for all of their game data. Not only does this ensure the latest save files are always available on all of my devices–regardless of which screen I use–services like GeForce NOW even add cloud save capabilities to titles that don’t natively support them, like Kena: Bridge of Spirits on the Epic Games Store. As a result, my game save data is always up-to-date, backed up, and ready for my next foray.
GeForce RTX 3080 Power Without the Hassle
NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the most sought-after GPUs on the planet. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously hard to find, and even if you can get one on Amazon, they come with quite a few snags. For starters, they draw up to 320 watts of power (RIP your electricity bill), they generate enough heat to fry an egg, and they must be kept cool for optimal performance. In short, they’re expensive to buy, pricey to maintain, and generally a hassle to use.
Or, as is the case with GeForce NOW, you can sidestep all of these inconveniences and get the power of a GeForce RTX 3080 streamed to your devices via the cloud. For $19.99 a month, GeForce NOW’s RTX 3080 tier delivers high performance graphics, stability, and ray tracing to not just my computer, but to my phone, tablet, and TV, too. Even better, I don’t have to worry about powering it, cooling it, or maintaining it — NVIDIA handles all of that stuff for me, leaving me with nothing to do but enjoy my games.
No More Upgrades
Gaming hardware is expensive enough on its own. The cost balloons even further when you consider the time, money, and effort it takes to maintain that hardware and to eventually upgrade it once it ages out. For decades, it has been commonplace to rush out and buy the latest and greatest GPUs and consoles the moment they hit the market, but things don’t have to be that way.
Just like NVIDIA maintains the RTX 3080 I use to stream games to my devices, the company will also upgrade my rig when the time is right. That means sometime in the not-too-distant future, I’ll get a 40 series GPU without having to physically find one, buy it, swap it out on my desktop, and maintain it. NVIDIA does all the heavy lifting so I can enjoy the best performance while saving tons of money and alleviating any headaches I’d incur trying to buy a new GPU outright.
How to Get Started on Geforce NOW
There are quite a few cloud gaming platforms out there to choose from, but there’s only one I consider to be the best. GeForce NOW offers the most games (1,300 free and paid titles from places like Steam, Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect), the highest performance, and the most expansive regional coverage when compared to Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
How well it performs for you may vary based on your location and Wi-Fi connection, but there’s only one way to know for sure. Try GeForce NOW for free with the basic tier, or unlock even more power and features with the Priority tier for $9.99 per month or RTX 3080 tier for $19.99 per month.