Google Stadia doesn’t officially launch until November 19, and when the streaming service does launch, its mobile compatibility will be limited to a selection of Google Pixel devices. If you happen to own one of those devices, however, you can install the official Android app right now and prepare to play your favorite games on the go.
There isn’t much you can actually do with the official Stadia app yet, but you can download it for free to Google Pixel 2 devices and up, provided they are running Android 6.0 or later. The app will also work on the Chrome OS tablets like the Pixel Slate, HP Chromebook X2, and Acer Chromebook Tab 10, if you want to play on a bigger screen while you’re traveling.
As shown in the preview screenshots for the app on Google Play, the official Stadia app will be split into three tabs: Store, Home, and Explore. You’ll see tiles for all of your available games on the Home screen, and you can access community forums or social media networks right from the app. Depending on the device you’re using, Stadia supports up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second with HDR, and Google promises ultra-low latency to deliver an experience similar to what you’d get with standard games on consoles or PC.
If you are planning on playing your Google Stadia games with the official controller, you’ll have to have a USB-C cable at launch. Only Chromecast Ultra will allow you to use the new gamepad wirelessly from the beginning, though support will come to other devices later. Stadia uses your Wi-Fi network for inputs, as opposed to the Bluetooth connection that is used by Microsoft’s Project xCloud.
Those who want to get Google Stadia from the very beginning might already be out of luck if they haven’t pre-ordered the Founder’s Edition or Premiere Edition bundles. Those who pre-ordered are already being told that it could be another two weeks past the launch date before they receive their starter kits, which will be the only way to use Stadia out of the gate. A free Base Edition will arrive in 2020 and will not require a subscription fee.