GeForce NOW is a service from NVIDIA that lets users stream their library of games to most devices. With subscription services for games becoming more and more popular – such as the growing PlayStation Now and XBOX GamePass options – GeForce Now is up against some stiff competition. While certainly not a service for everyone, there are some definite upsides to the offerings.
GeForce NOW is cloud-based, allowing you to stream gameplay straight from NVIDIA’s servers to your device. Notably, service extends to:
- Android Devices
- SHIELD TV
Most device types are well covered (sorry iPhone users), making the service actually notable. Unlike most other services, GeForce NOW does not come with its own library of games. Instead, you connect your own library from platforms such as Steam, Epic Games, and Uplay.
Additional quality of life features like cloud saves and high-quality streaming breath some life into the service as well. While it seems like a great option on the surface, it is not for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the different benefits and drawbacks to see if it is worth it for you.
The Benefits of GeForce Now
GeForce Now serves a select group of people. If you have a well-established library of games and are looking for a way to play them on different devices, it just may be the best option on the market. However, if you are looking for instant access to games, your search should extend further out. The only games that GeForce Now launches with are free-to-play games – you have to supply everything else.
Most of the benefits of this service include:
- 1080p, 60 FPS live stream playing of your games
- Support for most of your existing library
- A free option
Almost all reviews of GeForce Now are encouraging to potential users. So long as you have access to a high-speed internet connection, games stream flawlessly and with little input lag to whatever device you wish. Supporting streaming up to 1080p at 60 FPS is good enough for most users. If you want to game at higher resolutions or frame rates, you will have to default to your main device.
Notably, GeForce Now does not support every game in your library. Battle.net, for example, used to be supported but no longer is. NVIDIA has compiled a list of supported games here – you can ctrl + F to easily search for your favorite games. While most popular games are allowed, its worth looking at before dropping any money on the service.
Of course, you can also just hop directly into the free option. NVIDIA offers a free tier with standard access to anyone interested. The only caveat is a 1-hour session length time limit. Once you have hit that, NVIDIA bumps you off the service temporarily to make room for other users.
Integration With Most Systems
The main benefit of GeForce Now is being able to play your games across devices where normally you could not. Pulling up Pathfinder: Kingmaker or Far Cry 5 on your smartphone or aging laptop is a truly unique experience. Plus, the service includes multiplayer and controller support. With a good connection, most games will feel exactly like you are playing them on a nice computer.
GeForce Now is all about flexibility and expansion. If you spend most of your time gaming at one high-end computer, you are better off saving your money and putting it toward new games. Otherwise, enjoy access to AAA titles from whatever device you want.
Where GeForce Now Falls Flat
GeForce Now does not really fall flat in any one area. Instead, its main downside is simple; it serves a niche purpose. There are many PC gamers – maybe even most PC gamers – who will see extremely few benefits from the service. Unlike others on the market that expand your library or have a fresh selection of rotating games, GeForce Now just aims to let you play your games in new places.
For what it offers, it may be a bit too expensive. This is especially true when you consider that the service used to offer a $4.99 per month tier, now removed from the website. In some ways, NVIDIA seems lost about where to push GeForce now. The market it serves is happy with the service, but likely not growing.
Otherwise, the largest fear is games losing support for GeForce Now. All of Battle.net’s offerings used to be available on the service before Activision Blizzard pulled out a few years ago. While not a death blow to GeForce Now, it is a solemn reminder that publishers can leave whenever they wish – much like any other streaming service.
Pricing GeForce Now
Most people who enjoy the GeForce Now service will benefit from upgrading to the Priority tier. At $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, it comes with a few quality-of-life benefits. These include:
- Priority access to gaming servers
- Extended session lengths
- RTX availability while streaming
For most, having no time cap on the gaming session will be the biggest benefit. RTX is nice for making the games look even better but will once again up the required internet speed. Priority access is also nice, as some users report spending up to 20 minutes in queue on the free plan.
We recommend trying GeForce Now for free for a short while before upgrading. Unlike most services, the benefits you get at the Priority tier are not all that exclusive. You have access to the same games and (almost) same quality of streaming for free.
If you are enjoying having access to your games across multiple devices and want to do it without time limits, the upgrade is absolutely worth it. Notably, NVIDIA has run sales on GeForce Now in the past. If you are patient, it may be worth waiting for one.
Still, even without a sale, those looking to play high-end games on lower-quality devices will find the $10 per month fee worthwhile.
GeForce Now is a great option for those looking to expand the devices they can play their games on. Popping open a new, AAA title on your smartphone or old desktop and easily streaming in high-quality is a fantastic experience. It is also one that very few other services replicate. Relying on your own library may be either a benefit or drawback, depending on how many games you own.
Before buying GeForce Now, we recommend trying out the free version. You will quickly get a feel for whether it is for you. Remember that a strong internet connection and access to games is a prerequisite to enjoying the service.