How to Get Started with Google Stadia

Stadia Controller Display

Google Stadia is the new gaming platform made available by Google. The service is revolutionary in the realm of PC gaming because it’s the first service available to anyone with an Internet connection. That’s right, a service where your hardware does not matter! Gone is the necessity of requiring you to spend a couple thousand dollars on your hardware. You can access it from your laptop, desktop, cell phone, or tablet – basically anything that has access to the Internet. This service is very new, so knowing how to get started with Google Stadia can get you gaming in no time!

1. Sign in/sign up

First, head to the Google Stadia homepage. Immediately, you are prompted to sign in with your Google account or sign up for a new one.

2. Verify your accessories

On the next page, confirm if you have a Pro Pass or a Stadia Controller bundle. These can be added later, so for demonstration purposes, you will skip these for now.

Stadia Account Link

3. Agree to the terms

The next page is the “Terms and Conditions.” After you have read it, check the “Yes, I accept the Stadia Terms of Service” box and press Next to continue.

Stadia Terms Of Society

4. Pick your profile picture

This is where you can select an icon for your Stadia profile. It doesn’t replace your Google profile picture, so just choose one that captures the essence of your gaming soul.

Stadia Profile Picture

5. Choose your screen name

This will follow you around in your Google Stadia career, so choose carefully.

Stadia Username

6. Select your privacy settings

These settings control your privacy. They are very important, so we’ll walk through the options.

Stadia Privacy Settings
  • Who can send you friend requests. This controls who can send you a friend request. You can set it to Private, Friends & their friends, or All players. It is recommended to leave this one as “All players,” otherwise no one will be able to send you a friend request to start.
  • Who can find your Stadia Name with your email address. This controls who can find your Stadia account if they use the email you provided at login. It’s also recommended for this to be set as “All players,” as you will likely only be providing your Stadia email to friends.
  • Who can send you voice chat and party invites. This controls who can attempt to contact you to chat on the platform. The “Friends & their friends” option is the least annoying, as it allows the players that you would be attempting to play with to send you party invites. Anything more would potentially warrant unwanted invites and annoyances.
  • Who can send you game invites. This controls who is allowed to invite you into games you both have in your library. It doesn’t hinder your ability to find players in-game and merely prevents people from sending you invitations in the Stadia platform. We find “Friends & their friends” to be the best choice.
  • Who can see your friend list. This controls who has the ability to see who your friends are. It is highly recommended to only be “Friends,” unless you desire that your friends not see any of your other friends. Personally, I set this to “Friends,” so my friends could potentially see friends of mine they would enjoy playing with, while protecting their info from prying eyes.
  • Game Activity. This controls who is able to view which games you play and see your achievements. It controls all the functions under it as well: Achievements, Time played per game, and Player stats.
  • Online status. This controls who sees if you’re online. For privacy, I only allowed “Friends” to see this. I wouldn’t want anyone else to know whether I’m online.
  • Current game. This controls who sees the game you’re currently playing. I allowed “Friends & their friends” to see it because I don’t mind if friends of my friends see the games I spend way too many hours on.

7. Email Updates

Select “sign up for email updates” if you want Google to let you know promotions for their Stadia products.

Stadia Email Updates

8. Pro Pass trial offer

If you haven’t selected a Pro Pass, you have the option here to set one up with a free trial! It offers 30 days of gaming for free, then $9.99/month. You are able to play a number of lower-tier games for free, then others are a separate purchase. This is comparable to console game services for online gaming except that you don’t need to buy a new console.

Stadia Pro Trial

9. Selecting a controller to use

If you have the Google Stadia controller, you can select the controller icon in the top-right corner, and it will present a unique code to punch in on your controller to pair it. Otherwise, you can pair a third-party controller via Bluetooth or plug and play via USB. Once you’re connected, Stadia will automatically detect the controller and utilize it for your gaming needs.

Stadia Controller Link

10. Adding your friends

Right next to the controller icon is a people icon with a plus sign. You can add people by their username or their Google email address, depending on their privacy settings.

11. Claim your first game!

There is a good selection of free games, so there are plenty to choose from if you are on a budget. If you signed up for the free trial, there is a coupon for $10 off your first purchase. Make sure to make it worthwhile!

Stadia Pro Pass Landing Screen

Now you’re all familiarized with Google Stadia! You are set to play with the best of the best. The opportunities of Google Stadia’s platform are very worthwhile, especially for anyone who is on a laptop or a tablet who doesn’t have the extra money to spend on a console or a new desktop. You may also want to check out GeForce Now or Shadow and how they compare with each other.

Image credit: Google Stadia Controller on display at the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany

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