What is Cloud Gaming? | GetCenturyLink

What is Cloud Gaming?

Gone are the days of video game cartridges and discs; the future of gaming lies in the cloud. 

Traditionally, gamers had to own physical copies of video games that they could play in one specific console. Now, cloud gaming is making video games more available by allowing users to stream them from remote servers directly to a console, mobile phone, tablet, or computer via any reliable internet connection

The popularity of cloud gaming is rising rapidly. Microsoft made its Xbox cloud gaming services available to older Xbox consoles and some phones and tablets, Facebook is quickly expanding its cloud gaming infrastructure, and even Amazon is entering the arena with the Luna cloud gaming service. Gaming analytics firm Newzoo projects that 23.7 million people will be paying for cloud gaming services by the end of 2021.

If you’re wondering how to get into cloud gaming, here’s everything you need to know about how it works, what you’ll need, and which games are popular. 

How Does Cloud Gaming Work?

Cloud gaming is simply a way to play video games that are stored remotely in servers, or “in the cloud,” rather than playing games stored on physical formats or saved to your computer or console. To access the games, you create a connection to the remote servers through the internet from your phone, tablet, computer, or video game console. 

Popular cloud gaming services often require a paid subscription or charge a fee for each game you have access to, and you usually have to access the games through a specific cloud gaming app. Although some games require specific hardware such as controllers or consoles, many games can be played directly from your touchscreen phone or tablet. 

What Internet Speed Do I Need for Cloud Gaming?

An internet connection with high speeds and low latency provides the best possible cloud gaming experience. Higher speeds allow for higher definition gameplay and eliminate most interruptions or buffering. Here are the speed requirements for some of the most popular cloud gaming services:

Cloud Gaming ServiceSpeed Requirement
Xbox Cloud Gaming10 Mbps1
PlayStation Now5 Mbps2
Vortex10 Mbps3
Boosteroid15 Mbps4
Shadow15 Mbps5
Amazon Luna10 Mbps6
GeForce NOW15 Mbps7
  1. https://www.windowscentral.com/xbox-game-pass-xcloud-android-internet-requirements-and-data-usage
  2. https://www.androidcentral.com/what-internet-speeds-are-recommended-stream-playstation-now-games 
  3. https://www.cloudgamereview.com/getting-started-with-vortex/
  4. https://help.boosteroid.com/kb/guide/en/general-requirements-for-your-digital-environment-5QcNhOHywq/Steps/907557
  5. https://help.shadow.tech/hc/en-gb/articles/360011196119-How-to-troubleshoot-your-internet-connection
  6. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=G8WBF7CLZX7W345R
  7. https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce-now/system-reqs/

What is the Best Internet Package for Cloud Gaming?

Thanks to their high speeds and bandwidth, fiber-optic internet packages are an ideal choice for cloud gaming. Fiber upload and download speeds are more than enough to access cloud games, and the low latency keeps the gameplay responsive and free from buffering. Many other high-speed internet packages are also fully capable of handling cloud gaming; just check for average speeds above 15 Mbps for downloads.

What are the Wi-Fi Requirements for Cloud Gaming?

If you plan to play on a mobile device, you will need a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Many fiber connections offer two different Wi-Fi frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz connection may offer more stability if you are farther away from your Wi-Fi router but it won’t be as fast, while the 5GHz connection offers higher speeds within a certain distance from your router but may not be as stable at longer distances.

Which Cloud Games are People Searching for Most?

If you’re interested in cloud gaming, you should consider trying some of the most popular Xbox cloud video games. Here are the 10 most searched cloud games available on Xbox, some of which are also available on other cloud gaming services.


Why is cloud gaming becoming popular now? 

There are several possible reasons why cloud gaming is rising in popularity. It could be because of the convenience of playing games on devices you already own or for having access to a library of games for a small subscription fee. Cloud gaming also makes it possible to play new games on old consoles, which makes it enticing for casual gamers who don’t want to buy each new console when it comes out. 

Who are the front runners of cloud gaming? 

Different cloud gaming platforms each have their own pros and cons. Some of the most popular cloud gaming services are enticing in different ways, such as Vortex’s affordability, Shadow’s Mac support, or Playhatch’s Android compatibility. People who already own an Xbox or Playstation will likely prefer cloud gaming on those consoles. 

What is the difference between a game subscription service and a game streaming service? 

Most consoles have different tiers of subscription services that offer online multiplayer gaming, game downloads, game streaming, and other perks that are only available to paying subscribers. Game streaming services can be subscription based or free, and they allow users to stream games to their chosen device. 

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