What is GeForce NOW? To put it simply, it’s NVIDIA’s cloud gaming platform. You use it to stream games to other devices using NVIDIA’s hardware. Letting you play games with high graphics settings without needing a high-end PC.
If you’re looking to learn more about NVIDIA GeForce NOW, this guide breaks it all down and attempts to answer any questions you may have. This is an ongoing piece of content and will be updated accordingly when there are changes to the service.
What is NVIDIA GeForce NOW and when is it available?
As noted above GeForce NOW is NVIDIA’s answer to a cloud gaming platform. It’s been working on it for a few years now, though it has only ever been available as a closed beta.
That all changed in February 2020 when NVIDIA finally launched the service out of beta and made it available to everyone.
So when is it available? Right this very moment. You can sign up for the service whenever you have time and immediately start playing games. Keep in mind that GeForce NOW may not be available in your region.
Officially, the service has only launched in the US and in Europe. Though NVIDIA also states that the service is up and running through alliance partners in Russia, Korea, and Japan.
How much does it cost?
There are two tiers of GeForce NOW that are available. One of those tiers is free of charge. So you can sign up and enjoy games at absolutely no charge. Save for the cost of the game itself.
There is also the Founders tier. This tier used to cost $5 a month but has now been bumped up to $10. A change NVIDIA made earlier this year. It gives you extra benefits over the free tier. So in addition to paying for your games, you also have the $9.99 monthly fee to pay. The good thing is that if you are grandfathered in, meaning you’ve subscribed to GeForce NOW as a founder since it was $4.99, then you can keep that monthly price as long as the subscription never lapses.
Update – October 21, 2021
NVIDIA has now announced a third tier of the GeForce NOW membership with the RTX 3080 tier. Which costs $99.99 for a six-month membership subscription. Enabling RTX 3080 gaming rigs with RTX ON, two additional hours on the session length for a total of 8 hours, and up to 120 fps on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS apps, as well as other benefits.
Update: December 16, 2021
NVIDIA GeForce NOW RTX 3080 tier memberships are now available without a waitlist. This means you can subscribe and gain access immediately to start streaming games.
Update: March 11, 2022
NVIDIA has finally added the ability to subscribe to the RTX 3080 tier on a monthly basis. So you can now pay to subscribe for $19.99 a month instead of $99.99 for 6 months.
Update: January 3, 2023
NVIDIA has just announced the new Ultimate plan at CES 2023, which provides RTX 4080 GPU performance. All RTX 3080 plan subscribers are being bumped to this plan automatically, with new signups being made available as of January 3, 2023.
Update: April 27, 2023
NVIDIA has just announced three new regions where RTX 4080 SuperPODs have been brought online. This includes Miami, Portland, Oregon, and Stockholm. Making for a total of 15 regions around the globe where the RTX 4080 SuperPODs are available. The remaining cities in San Jose, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Ashburn, Newark, Montreal, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Sofia.
Update: August 10, 2023
As of August 3, NVIDIA has confirmed the RTX 4080 SuperPOD rollout is complete. This means if you live in an area where GeForce NOW is available, you can sign up for and get the benefits of the Ultimate membership. Powered by an RTX 4080 GPU and associated features.
What devices does GeForce NOW support?
Quite a few, actually. GeForce NOW was designed to work with a wide range of different hardware.
That means you can use it on just about anything. Including a potato PC. Specifically, you can use it on Windows-based desktops and laptops, as well as on Chromebooks. So, if you’ve always dreamed of your computer playing high-end games but it just didn’t have the specs, now that doesn’t have to limit you.
It can also be played on Android smartphones, as well as iOS smartphones via Safari. It’ll work on the NVIDIA SHIELD and on Mac desktops and laptops too. The only requirements for Android are that it have at least 2GB of RAM, support OpenGL ES 3.2, and run on Android 5.0 or later. You will also need a supported gamepad.
You’ll also now be able to access the service on LG TVs from 2021 or later that run on WebOS.
What gamepads work with GeForce NOW?
This is a sort of broad question as it kind of depends on where you play games. If you play on PC, then any gamepad that is supported by that PC should work. I.E. the Xbox One controller, the Steam controller etc.
If you play on Android phones then the list is probably a little bit shorter. With Android phones, you can officially use the Razer Junglecat, the Razer Kishi and Razer Kishi V2 and Kishi V2 Pro, the SHIELD controller, the Razer Raiju Mobile, the Glap, the SteelSeries XL, the SteelSeries Stratus Duo, the DualShock 4, and the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. Just to name a few of course. As there are now many others that work.
NVIDIA’s FAQ page says you need to use a USB OTG cable with the DualShock 4 if you’re playing on the phone. This isn’t true though. And if you dig a little deeper and go to the support page you’ll see that it says both wired and Bluetooth.
You should be able to connect the DualShock 4 to your phone wirelessly through Bluetooth. As that’s what I did personally and it worked just fine. This also means that the DualSense controller should work just fine as that can also connect with Android devices.
Optionally, you can also likely hook up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your device and that should work for games that require a keyboard and mouse to play.
What games are available on GeForce NOW?
This is a very large list so not all of them will be listed here. The short answer is most games.
GeForce NOW supports a wide variety of games through Steam, Uplay, and other launchers on PC. This is how it accesses games. It pulls from the games you already have in your existing library.
Furthermore, that should also answer any questions about cost. You don’t pay NVIDIA directly for game titles. But it will not let you access any games you didn’t buy. So if you want to play it, you would need to have purchased it through Steam or elsewhere.
When it comes to accessing games from Steam, some will not be shown or listed in the GeForce NOW app on Android. However, once you log into your Steam account through the GeForce NOW app, you can select from one of the titles that are shown, and then simply back out to your Steam library and select any game you wish.
This is because NVIDIA is simply accessing your Steam account through the Steam remote play feature. As for games from other launchers, you can play titles like The Division 2, Fortnite, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and more.
NVIDIA has added a ton of games to the service in recent months. And while these aren’t the newest titles, they haven’t been available to stream on GeForce NOW for that long so they may feel new to some people. Some recent games you can now stream include The Knight Witch, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, Fort Triumph, Battlefield 2042, Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop, Stormworks: Build and Rescue, Evil West, Ship of Fools, Crysis 2 Remastered, Crysis 3 Remastered, Terracotta, Goat Simulator 3, Frozen Flame, The Darkest Tales, and Caveblazers..
NVIDIA has added a handful of newly streamable titles over the last couple of weeks, including Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Dakar Desert Rally, Destroy All Humans!, Destroy All Humans! 2, MX vs ATV Legends, The Valiant, and Way Of The Hunter.
Is there first-party content?
No. You won’t find any first-party content with GeForce NOW because it in itself is not really the platform. Not in the way that Stadia is technically a new platform. GeForce NOW is merely the vessel, letting you access the games you already own from other stores.
If there’s first-party content for that store, then it may be available through GeForce NOW. Borderlands 3 is a good example of this. It’s currently only available from the Epic Games Store. You can play it on GeForce NOW.
So in a roundabout way, there are first-party exclusives. But not like PlayStation 4 or the Epic Games Store have exclusives.
Update: February 10, 2023
The latest games to join the service include Dwarf Fortress, Hello Neighbor 2, Farlanders, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Blood Bowl 3, Recipe for Disaster, Inside the Backrooms, and Baldur’s Gate 3.
Update: March 2, 2023
The latest games to join the service are Monster Hunter Rise, Voltaire: Vegan Vampire, and Rise of Industry. 18 games in total will be added for the month of March.
Update: April 12, 2023
The latest for this week of the month are Little Nightmares, Little Nightmares II, Mordhau, DE-EXIT, Get Even, and more.
Update: April 27, 2023
Some of the most recent games to hit the service include Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Resident Evil 2 remake, Resident Evil 3 remake, Dead Island 2, F1 2021, and Shadows of Doubt just to name a few.
Update: August 10, 2023
August is a big month for GeForce NOW with regards to newly added games, with NVIDIA adding 41 titles for the month. This week there are 21 new games being added. Including Atlas Fallen, DOOM Eternal, Sengoku Dynasty, LEGO Brawls, Quake, and many more.
Update: August 18, 2023
While NVIDIA said at the beginning of the month it was planning to add 41 titles for the entire month of August, it appears it may go well beyond that. Last week it added 21 games to GeForce NOW’s library. This week it’s adding another 21 more. That’s already 42 titles. One more than initially announced. And there are still two weeks left in August. All of that said, here’s what’s new as of this week. Subscribers get access to games like Moving Out 2, Wayfinder, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amnesia: The Bunker, Darkest Dungeon II, and many more. You can find the whole list here.
Update: October 13, 2023
As of October 13, the most recent games available on GeForce NOW include Lords of the Fallen, Forza Motorsport, Star Trek: Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Metro Simulator 2, Narita Boy, Superland Six Inches Under, The Surge, and more. You can check out the full list of games added this week here.
Update: December 28, 2023
As of December 28, NVIDIA has added loads of new games to the service. This includes the return of Activision titles to GeForce NOW with big hits like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, and Warzone. It also includes PC Game Pass versions of Remnant: From The Ashes, Remnant II, Control, Chorus, The Medium, Metro Exodus, and many others.
Update: January 30, 2024
January has been a big month for GeForce NOW when it comes to newly added games. Earlier in the month, NVIDIA confirmed that subscribers would soon be able to stream the Steam Versions of a few new Activision Blizzard games. This included Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV. Worth reiterating though, is that this doesn’t support the Battlenet versions. You have to have these games on Steam to use GeForce NOW to play them.
More recently, NVIDIA added games like Palworld, Enshrouded, Stargate: Timekeepers, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, and a handful of other games. NVIDIA also confirmed it would be adding Honkai Star Rail to the service soon.
NVIDIA now supports Xbox PC Game Pass games
Those looking to expand their streamable offerings will want to consider signing up for Xbox PC Game Pass. This is $9.99 a month and allows for a wide range of different playable titles. In fact, NVIDIA just added 46 new titles on December 28, 2023. As mentioned you’ll need a subscription to PC Game Pass to access these titles through GeForce NOW. Or if you have a subscription to Game Pass Ultimate (which includes PC Game Pass), then this works too.
Having said that, you can still get a bundle for the Ultimate tier membership where you get three months of PC Game Pass for free. You’ll need to sign up for the 6-month plan which is $99.99 to get this. And it’s only available for a limited time, although NVIDIA doesn’t mention exactly when this promotion ends. So hop on it while you can.
What are the requirements to use the service?
When it comes to requirements there isn’t a massive list, but you will still need to hit the basics.
You obviously need an internet connection for it to work. Connection speeds need to be at least 15Mbps for 720p resolution with 30fps for the frame rate. If you want 1080p resolution with 60 fps for the frame rate, then you need a connection speed of at least 25Mbps.
You also need to connect the device physically with an ethernet cable, or, you can play using wireless if you’re connected to a 5GHz wireless router. This means you may not be able to play games on GeForce now on some public Wi-Fi hotspots if the router isn’t 5GHz. At the very least the experience may not be as good.
That’s pretty much it. If you’re playing on Windows there are no software requirements really or hardware requirements. Meaning you don’t need to use a specific type of display and you don’t need a minimum of 16GB of RAM.
Android does however have some requirements as noted above. You need a device with at least 2GB of RAM, and the device has to run Android 5.0 or later and support OpenGL ES 3.2 or later.
Do you need any special equipment?
Yes and no. It is recommended that you have a 5GHz router. And of course, you will need a PC or Android smartphone to connect to the service from.
You do not however need any specialized equipment that is meant for GeForce NOW only. The service was designed to work with your existing hardware. So you likely already have a controller that’s compatible and a device to play games on.
Many routers are also 5GHz these days, so plenty of users will be set here too.
How do you set up GeForce NOW?
The setup is pretty simple and doesn’t take long to do. We put together a nice little guide on how to get everything going here.
You’ll need a few things, like an NVIDIA account, a controller, or some form of peripheral for controlling the games, and you need to sign up for a GeForce NOW membership which you can do from the main website.
You also need to have the Android app installed on your phone if you’re playing on your phone, or the program installed on your PC of choice. Once you have everything in place you can start playing games right away.
What are the features?
The feature list is pretty small. But, there are some nice perks to look out for.
If you’re a Founders member, you’ll get the RTX ON feature. Which lets you play games that take advantage of ray tracing through NVIDIA’s powerful 2080 graphics cards.
GeForce NOW also utilizes an NVIDIA feature called NVIDIA Highlights. This will automatically save exciting in-game moments. Once saved, you can choose to share these highlight videos across various social channels.
Such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Founders also get six-hour-long gameplay sessions before they need to log out and log back in to continue for a new session, and they get priority access.
Free tier members are limited to one-hour-long gameplay sessions and have standard access. This means Founders will get to connect first if servers are full or reaching capacity.
What are the benefits?
The main benefits are clear and concise. You can play just about any of your PC games, just about anywhere you like, and just about on any device.
So there are some exceptions there. But those limitations are pretty minimal. Essentially you get the availability to play all of your already-owned games on your phone or PC. And if it’s the phone you want to use so you can play the games on the go, you get a wide selection of devices to choose from.
Just like Stadia in its current state, you have a ton of options. So if you prefer to use a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, you can. And that’s a wonderful consumer-friendly option. However keep in mind that as long as you meet the Android requirements listed above, the device will work.
Another benefit is that you can spend less on a PC. Maybe you want to play high-end games with tip-top graphics, but you can’t afford a PC that is powerful enough to support this. Now that’s not an issue.
GeForce NOW on Android now supports up to 120fps
One of the bigger updates this month was the addition of faster frame rates for Android users. If you primarily play games through GeForce NOW on your Android smartphone or tablet, you can now enjoy games at up to 120fps. This is in addition to the service gaining support for 1440p resolution on Android. Both of these upgrades make using the service to play games on mobile a much more enjoyable experience.
You will need to be subscribed to the Ultimate membership to get these benefits. Which is $99 for a six-month subscription. But it’s well worth it if you like playing games in the cloud and like to do so while on the go..
Are there any downsides?
Yes. There are a few. GeForce NOW isn’t perfect. Just like Stadia isn’t perfect. Just like Stadia though, the tech works and the service works. Especially under optimal conditions.
As for the downsides, GeForce NOW is limited to some games. While it has a vast array of available options, it still misses out on games from some publishers. Namely Activision Blizzard. Prior to the launch, the games were officially available through the service.
After the launch, however, Activision Blizzard requested that the games be pulled. This means no more Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Call of Duty, or other games from either company on GeForce NOW.
Another downside is the play session limits. With the Founders tier, you are limited to six hours. If you reach that point then you will need to log out. Then log back in, and start a brand new play session. This may not affect some people, especially if you don’t usually play for longer than six hours at a time.
Is NVIDIA GeForce NOW right for you?
It’s certainly right for someone. For a lot of people really. But, it won’t be right for everyone.
If you’re asking yourself this question, then there are a few things you want to consider. Are you ok with the limitations, like the hour limit on play sessions? Are you ok with the pricing and the amount of data that streaming games will eat up? If you’re not okay with these things, then 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.
Though your monthly fee is quite a bit higher. So you’d need to consider that too. You gain a few things but you also pay more. With GeForce NOW you have a really low monthly cost to keep up with. If you have an Android device, iOS device, Chromebook, laptop or desktop, Samsung or LG smart TV, then GeForce NOW may be the right choice for you as it supports a huge variety of devices.
Which would more than likely cause issues with any cloud gaming experience. All of these factors are worth mulling over. In the end, though, GeForce NOW is a great gaming option if you have strong, fast internet with the proper router and an extra $5 to spare every month.
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