Is Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming worth it. How to geforce now

Games are better than ever now, featuring great open worlds, realistic AI and gameplay that will keep you running for hundreds of hours, but what if you don’t have a computer that can run them?

Is Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming worth it?

GeForce Now RTX 3080

Nvidia’s GeForce Now is a cloud streaming service that targets the current market weakness: hardware availability and pricing. You basically pay a subscription fee to be able to use Nvidia’s “Superpod” computers to stream games from your library instead of having a physical GPU on your home computer. The company recently announced the RTX 3080 tier for lower latency and ray tracing performance. We’ll cover how it works, potential downsides, and the price. The technology is very exciting, but can it replace a real GPU during a great shortage? Let’s find out!

How does it work?

Utilizing “Superpods” with 1,000 GPUs in each (if you choose the top tier RTX 3080), Nvidia uses cloud streaming to allow you access to game libraries (such as Steam, Epic games, etc.). You can play on different devices as well. Old Apple Macbook? Sure, it works. How about an old broken computer with a 5-year-old GPU? This is fine too. Even your browser can be a powerful computer now! It is essentially “Hardware as a Service” as opposed to software as a service like what we are used to with Netflix et al.

GeForce Now RTX 3080 prices

What are your options? Nvidia offers a free entry-level tier that limits you to one-hour sessions and basic hardware. You can upgrade to the Priority tier which will cost $ 49.99 for six months. Thanks to this, you get extended sessions lasting six hours and more powerful hardware at the RTX 2080 level. You can achieve a maximum of around 1080p, 60fps. The new RTX 3080 tier will cost $ 99 for six months, but will upgrade to 1440p 120fps on most devices. With Nvidia Shield you’ll even be able to do 4K with HDR! Eight-hour sessions are also intended for long-distance players.

You should be able to connect the DualShock 4 to your phone wirelessly via Bluetooth. Because that’s what I did personally and it worked well. It also means the DualSense controller should work fine as it can also connect to Android devices.

What is Nvidia GeForce Now?

Nvidia GeForce Now is a cloud gaming service that lets you play games hosted on remote services and streamed over the internet to one of the supported devices – like Google Stadia, Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass, Shadow, or PlayStation Now.

All the controller (or mouse) codes go the other way, while you get gameplay video back up to 1080p 60fps (it will be expanded to 1440p 120fps soon).

It works with over 20 data centers located around the world, and you have access to the closest one. And, depending on the membership plan you choose, the games run on the best Nvidia (RTX) graphics cards available, so they’ll look their best no matter what hardware specs at your end.

Unlike most of its rivals, GeForce Now does not sell games or provide access to its own curated library of titles. Instead, it connects to your Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, or Uplay online accounts to play games you already own or purchase through these digital storefronts.

Not all games are available – some publishers block most of their titles from being used through GeForce Now – but there are still thousands of them out there.

Nvidia GeForce Now compatible devices

Nvidia GeForce Now can be played through Shield TV’s proprietary set-top boxes. You can also get it through the desktop apps for Google PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks.

Any Android device with 2GB of RAM and sports Android 5.0 is compatible, but you’ll need a separate controller.

This also applies to Android TVs that are not Shield TVs, but as the app is currently only in beta, Nvidia does not guarantee the performance or availability of all features.

Only the LG U + UHD TV with Android, only available in Korea, is officially compatible (except Shield).

There is also support for iOS devices via the Safari browser. Just load to the new page.

Yes. There are a few. GeForce NOW isn’t perfect. Just like Stadia is not perfect. As with Stadia, the technology is working and the service is working. Especially under optimal conditions.

Why Would You Pick GeForce NOW?

GeForce NOW is unique to the cloud gaming world because it allows you to play games you already own. You can link your Steam, Epic Games Store, or Ubisoft Connect account to GeForce NOW and access 1,000+ games in the cloud. This includes many free games, but unlike competing services, the GeForce NOW game library doesn’t change with a premium membership.

Instead, the NVIDIA streaming service offers several different levels that correspond to different levels of performance and fidelity. The free tier offers up to 1080p at 60fps and the session length is limited to an hour. You only get standard access to the servers, so you may run into queues, but this is ideal for testing the service before purchasing.

GeForce NOW offer


There are two premium tiers: Priority and RTX 3080. The Priority tier sticks to 1080p at 60fps, but adds ray tracing, session length up to six hours, and priority server access to reduce queues. You can access it for $ 9.99 per month or $ 49.99 for six months of access.

The latest level promises performance equal to the high-quality NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics card (of which there are very few at the moment). It doesn’t actually use the RTX 3080 graphics card, but rather a server that provides similar performance. You get 1440p gaming at up to 120fps on a PC or Mac, or 4K HDR gaming via NVIDIA Shield (or compatible TV). This comes with a session of up to eight hours and access to top-tier servers, all for $ 99.99 for a six-month subscription (no monthly plan available at the moment).

How to Play GeForce NOW

NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service is currently available in the US and most European countries, although game availability may vary by region. Some regions like Australia are served with partner services like Pentanet.

GeForce NOW is available through dedicated applications for Windows and macOS (available from NVIDIA’s website), on Android devices and Android TV using the Google Play app, on smart TVs such as LG and Samsung models in their respective app stores and a set-top box using the NVIDIA Shield TV. It is also possible to use Chrome, Safari for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Microsoft Edge with the web application at

Geforce NOW availability


To play 1440p high definition you need a monitor that supports that resolution and the same goes for 120fps games. In terms of controls, you can use most keyboards and mice, Xbox controllers (including Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series), Sony DualShock 4 (PS4), DualSense (PS5) controllers, and some Logitech and SteelSeries gamepads.

Nvidia GeForce Now can be played through Shield TV’s proprietary set-top boxes. You can also get it through the desktop apps for Google PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks.

How much does Nvidia GeForce Now cost?

Such an impressive cloud-based game streaming service must be quite expensive, right? Evil.

The service was free during the closed beta, and Nvidia kept this theme in full with a free plan along with a premium, but still budget-friendly, priority plan (formerly known as the founding plan) and the ultimate RTX 3080.

The Free plan

The free plan is limited to 1-hour broadcasts, and while you can disconnect and reconnect immediately, you’ll need to queue to regain access.

You’ll still be able to play RTX games like Metro Exodus, but you won’t be able to turn on RTX if you’re on the free plan.

The Priority plan

The Priority plan, which costs £ 8.99 / $ 9.99 a month after increasing from the initial Founders plan £ 4.99 / $ 4.99, offers access to six-hour streaming sessions along with support for the RTX 20 series in compatible games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro Exodus with priority access to the service during peak hours.

It’s worth noting that if you signed up for the Early Bird Founders plan, you’ll still pay a discount of £ 4.99 / $ 4.99 per month through Nvidia’s Founders for Life benefit – only new subscribers pay a higher fee. However, this does not apply to an upgrade to the top-end RTX 3080.

The RTX 3080 plan

The RTX 3080 tier is the newest (and most exclusive) tier of GeForce Now, offering the best possible gaming in the cloud. The highlight, of course, is the exclusive access to servers with top-end RTX 3080 GPUs that enable ray tracing and the aforementioned increased 1440p / 4K resolution, but there are other benefits as well, including longer, 8-hour gaming sessions.

It’s now available in the US and Europe, but unlike other tiers, it’s only available in six-month servings for £ 89.99 / $ 99.99 apiece.

Whichever plan you choose, go to the GeForce Now website to sign up and download the client for your chosen platform.

GeForce Now requirements

Nvidia GeForce Now requires the following for use on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS:

  • Minimum 10 Mb / s, 20 Mb / s ([e-mail protection]), 50 Mb / s ([e-mail protection]) over Ethernet or 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
  • Any computer running Windows 7 (64-bit) or higher, 4 GB of RAM, dual-core X86 2.0 GHz or higher, and any graphics processor that supports DirectX 11.
  • Any Mac with macOS 10.10 or later.
  • Any Nvidia Shield TV
  • Any phone running Android 5.0 or higher, 2 GB RAM or higher. The Bluetooth controller is also highly recommended.
  • iPhone or iPad with access to Safari

For other great cloud streaming services check out our pick of the best game streaming services.

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Just like Stadia as it stands, you have a ton of options. So if you prefer to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, you can. And that’s a great consumer-friendly option. However, keep in mind that as long as you meet the Android requirements above, your device will continue to function.

What gamepads work with GeForce NOW?

That’s a fairly broad question as it depends on where you are playing. If you are playing on PC, any gamepad supported by that PC should work. IE Xbox One controller, Steam controller etc.

If you’re playing on Android phones, the list is probably a bit shorter. With Android phones, you can officially use the Razer Junglecat, Razer Kishi, SHIELD Controller, Razer Raiju Mobile, Glap, SteelSeries XL, SteelSeries Stratus Duo, DualShock 4, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One Controllers. Of course, just to name a few. Because there are now many others that are working.

NVIDIA’s FAQ page says you’ll need to use a USB OTG cable with the DualShock 4 if you’re playing on your phone. However, this is not true. And if you dig a little deeper and go to the support page, you’ll see both wired and bluetooth speech is on it.

You should be able to connect the DualShock 4 to your phone wirelessly via Bluetooth. Because that’s what I did personally and it worked well. It also means the DualSense controller should work fine as it can also connect to Android devices.

Optionally, you can also connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your device, which should work for games that require a keyboard and mouse to play.

What games are available on GeForce NOW?

This is a very comprehensive list, so not all of them will be listed here. The short answer is most games.

GeForce NOW supports a wide variety of games via Steam, Uplay, and other PC launchers. This is how he gains access to the games. Downloads from games you already have in your existing library.

Moreover, this should also answer any questions you may have regarding costs. You don’t pay NVIDIA directly for game titles. But it won’t let you access games you didn’t buy. So if you want to play this, you have to purchase through Steam or elsewhere.

When it comes to accessing games from Steam, some games will not appear or appear in the GeForce NOW Android app. However, when you log into your Steam account via the GeForce NOW app, you can select one of the displayed titles, then simply go back to your Steam library and select any game you want.

This is because NVIDIA simply accesses your Steam account using Steam’s remote play feature. As for games from other launchers, you can play titles like The Division 2, Fortnite, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and more.

Some of the newest games were added on July 8, including Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, Black Skylands, Swords Of Legends Online, Call To Arms, Crowfall, GRAVEN, Ironcast, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, Rayman: Raving Rabids, and Kroniki Wushu.

Recent Games:

As of October 7, some of NVIDIA’s newest games on this platform include Far Cry 6, which launched on October 7, as well as Aragami 2, which launched in mid-September, King’s Bounty II, and a few more.

More Recent Games:

Some of the newer games that joined GeForce NOW launched in late October include New World, Disciples: Liberation, ELYON, Riders Republic, Rise of The Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration, Sword And Fairy 7, The Forgotten City, Legend of Keepers and Urbaniec.

Newer games added on November 18, including Combat Mission Cold War and The Last Stand: Aftermath, are both new on November 16. In November, Bright Memory: Infinite, Jurassic World Evolution 2, Epic Chef, Age Of Darkness: Final Stand, and Recipe for Disaster were also added, just to name a few.

Newest Games:

The latest games to appear on the site are a few from this month and last month. Games like Chorus, Icarus, The Crackpet Show, Inscryption, SCARF, EVE Online, Ready Or Not, Fly Corp, and Rainbow Six Extraction.

Is there first-party content?

No. You won’t find any content of your own on GeForce NOW, as it is not a platform by itself. Not in the way Stadia is technically a new platform. GeForce NOW is just a ship that allows you to access games you already own from other stores.

If author content is available on this store, it may be available through GeForce NOW. Borderlands 3 is a good example of this. Currently only available on the Epic Games Store. You can play GeForce NOW.

So, approximately there are first-party exclusive products. But not like PlayStation 4 or Epic Games Store they are exclusive.

Do you mind if you don’t have iOS support? If you disagree with these things, GeForce NOW may not be for you. Something similar to GeForce NOW that would allow access to games like Overwatch and WoW and support iOS would be Shadow.

How GeForce Now fits into the stream-iverse

The catch, of course, is that GeForce Now is still the most bulky cloud gaming option on the market. Admittedly, the service is also the most flexible and independent of the store.

So before I move on to the best parts of Nvidia’s new “GeForce Now 3080” option – its higher performance, higher peak resolution, and higher maximum FPS – I should be setting the stage for the service and comparing it to its peers, so stick with me.

To add a game to your GeForce Now library, manually search for it, then “add to library”. You’ll have to buy it elsewhere. Nvidia GeForce just checks to see if you’ve paid for it – although it conveniently downloads the save file from the cloud save feature of these storefront.

Use the Steam Library Scanning feature in GeForce Now to automatically accumulate games purchased through Steam. This does not work with EGS, Ubisoft Connect, or EA Origin. (Artifact? Does it work in GeForce Now? Huh.)

Enter something like “free-to-play” and GeForce will give you the gameplay without the purchase.

Most cloud gaming services require one way or another to rely on their store ecosystems. You can only play games on Google Stadia if you buy the versions that are exclusive to those games (or get access to giveaways through the Stadia Pro subscription service). If you want to stream Xbox Game Streaming games, you’ll need to pay for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and you can only stream approximately 200 games as selected by the service – unlike additional Xbox games that you purchase individually. And Amazon Luna offers a variety of “channels”, each with individual costs and unique content, that you can choose from and arrange in the same way as with video streaming subscription services.

The cost of GeForce Now, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the games you can buy or borrow, everything to do with the Nvidia hardware you rent in the cloud. In some ways, GeForce Now is just a cloud computer that you can use as you see fit. When you use GeForce Now, you log into other storefronts on your server farm, load and play games you have already purchased using their profiles, and save files. Nvidia’s cloud gaming service doesn’t care where or how you buy your games. He just wants to power them.

The big catch, however, is that some game publishers do not allow Nvidia to stream their games. (Remember: when you buy a game from an online store, you only pay for access to the license. This means, among other things, that publishers can take your access this way.) After launching the service in 2019, Nvidia was forced to remove the games it originally hosted after some publishers hailed profanity – in particular, games from Activision Blizzard’s service. We have some good news, many more games have been added to the service over time from the following storefronts, for a total of just over 1,100 games:

  • Steam
  • Epic Games Store
  • Ubisoft Connect
  • Origin of EA

Until this week, GeForce Now only had two tiers: $ 98 / year or Free. The latter involves performance degradation and the required wait in server queues, so if too many people are using the service you have to wait for paying clients. This free option is a decent way to basically confirm that your ideal streaming device – smartphone, set-top box, or weak netbook – can connect to the service and translate gamepad taps or keyboard and mouse madness into a cloud of streaming video games. But it’s not good for image quality or processing power.

RTX 3080 tier wins, even at a higher resolution

Meanwhile, the paid version includes basic “Nvidia RTX” support. Its server instances feature Nvidia’s proprietary GPU cores that are designed for ray tracing and Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS), but only a few per instance, thanks to the enhanced RTX variant of the server-grade Nvidia Tesla T10 GPU. The results are generally strong enough to get average modern PC games at a constant 1080p, 60fps refresh rate, usually with a few graphical bells and whistles turned on.

As I already attested, if you are within the proper geographic range of Nvidia’s servers and you have a wired Ethernet connection with low ping, you can expect near unwavering performance when playing with your mouse and keyboard at various shooters on the site. But 1080p resolution at 60fps and medium settings is basically what the rest of the streaming fight offers. How much more juice can the same Nvidia application ecosystem gather, especially if Nvidia itself, producer of so many high-end GPUs, is applying its own hardware upgrade?

The best way to answer this question is to let a few compatible games talk. After all, these are the exact same versions of PC games you can install on your own computer, and some have benchmark sequences built in. So I did some tests on an existing $ 98 / year service called the “founders” tier before Nvidia invited me to pre-launch the “3080” tier for $ 98 a year to compare the power of the two server options.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla benchmark scores on the GeForce Now 3080 service tier. “Ultra” graphics settings, 1440p resolution.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla benchmark scores at the GeForce Now founders service level. “Ultra” graphics settings, 1080p resolution.

Watch Dogs Legion intense ray tracing test results on GeForce Now 3080 service layer. Graphics settings “Ultra”, RT at almost maximum, 1440p resolution, DLSS enabled in “quality mode.

Watch Dogs Legion, GeForce Now founders’ service tier of intense ray tracing test results. “Ultra” graphics settings, RT at almost maximum, 1080p resolution, with DLSS enabled in “quality mode.

The above benchmarks for computationally brutal Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (no ray tracing) and Watch Dogs Legion (significant ray tracing) are explained in their captions. Bottom line: all tests from the newer 3080 service tier are performed at the higher 1440p resolution, but still clearly outperform the same tests at the lower 1080p resolution at the service founding tier. Unfortunately, we couldn’t run these tests with the FPS graph attached, so we were left with vague, wavy line graphs. Even so, all of these benchmarks have the key “bottom 1 percent”, and when they are higher (which are, by a large margin, at layer 3080), you can expect fewer frame stuttering and refresh rate drops.

At the time of writing, Nvidia has not released a final long-term pricing for its service, but two tiers are available at launch. Of course, the free tier costs nothing. However, it has some serious limitations. The most important is the limit of one session hour.

Before You Buy GeForce Now, Here are the Caveats

GeForce Now is an amazing offering and brings some brand new ideas to the cloud game streaming market. But before you get too excited, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, using cloud-based resources like GeForce Now puts you in competition with other users who also want to play. Which means you’ll queue up at rush hour. Paying users also have priority here, but even then they still compete with each other.

The most important other caveat comes from your specific internet connection. Even if your connection meets or exceeds the minimum requirements, something is happening. If your connection fluctuates or something happens to your service provider’s backbone, you may be cut off from GeForce Now. At the very least, having your own local computer means you always have exclusive access to it.

Consider carefully how reliable your connection has been in the past. Of course, since there is a free option to try the service, you can test it yourself!

GeForce Now Could Be The One

Assuming the technology and promised performance work as advertised, GeForce Now represents the most compelling game streaming service we’ve seen so far.

Being able to share your existing game library means that instead of buying a new gaming PC, you can just spend $ 5 a month plus internet fees to experience the best of PC gaming.

If GeForce Now were to work with game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass for PC, it could be a very good gaming match.

Sydney Butler is a sociologist and technology fanatic who tries to understand the coexistence of people and technology. He has two decades of experience as a freelance computer technician and over a decade as a technology researcher and instructor. Sydney has been a professional technology writer for over five years and covers topics such as VR, gaming, cybersecurity, and transhumanism. Read the full Sydney biography

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