Bandwidth, data usage, and stream quality

To get the most out of Stadia, you can check your network connection to verify its quality. If you're a Stadia Pro subscriber, you can also verify if HDR or 4K settings are enabled, and turn them off if they're using too much data.

Bandwidth requirements

An internet connection speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater is the minimum recommended to use Stadia. A slower network speed can cause issues while playing games on Stadia.

To play in 4K resolution, you'll need an active Stadia Pro subscription and a network speed of 35 Mbps or greater. See below for hardware requirements.

Check your connection

Even if you've signed up for an internet plan of 10 Mbps or greater, we recommend testing your connection on the device you'll use in the location where you want to play.

If your connection speed is slower than 10 Mbps or your home experiences an unstable internet connection, you may want to contact your internet service provider (ISP).

Playing games on Stadia may use a significant amount of data. You are responsible for any access or data fees incurred from your Internet provider or mobile carrier. If you enable the Use mobile data option on your mobile device, it is strongly recommended that you track your data usage to avoid unexpected data charges.

Hardware requirements

If you have an active Stadia Pro subscription, a network speed of 35 Mbps or greater, and you've selected Up to 4K and HDR in your Performance options, but you still don't see the 4K, HDR, or 5.1 surround sound icons in your Connection menu, check below to make sure your hardware is compatible with these features.

Requirements for 4K

On a TV

  • If you don't have an AV receiver or soundbar: Chromecast Ultra connected to a 4K TV.
  • If you have an AV receiver or soundbar: Chromecast Ultra connected to your AV receiver or soundbar, and your AV receiver or soundbar connected to your 4K TV with a high-speed HDMI cable.

On stadia.com

  1. A Windows computer or Chromebook that supports VP9 hardware decoding.
  2. A 4K monitor connected to your computer.

VP9 hardware decoding

To check if your computer supports VP9 hardware decoding:

  1. In your Google Chrome address bar, type chrome://gpu and press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to "Video Acceleration Information".
  3. If you see "Decode vp9", your computer supports VP9 hardware decoding.

Requirements for HDR

On a TV:

  • If you don't have an AV receiver or soundbar: Chromecast Ultra connected to a TV that supports the HDR10 standard.
  • If you have an AV receiver or soundbar: Chromecast Ultra connected to your AV receiver or soundbar, and your AV receiver or soundbar connected to a TV that supports the HDR10 standard with a high-speed HDMI cable.

Requirements for 5.1 surround sound

On a TV

  • If you plug your Chromecast into your TV: Chromecast Ultra plugged into a TV that supports HDMI eARC, and TV plugged into an AV receiver (connected to your 6-channel home speaker system) that also supports HDMI eARC.
  • If you plug your Chromecast directly into your AV receiver: Chromecast Ultra plugged into an AV receiver that is connected to a 6-channel home speaker system.

On stadia.com

  • Computer connected to a 6-channel speaker system.

Performance and data usage options

Performance options affect the visual and sound quality of your games, as well as how much data you use. You can choose your performance options on stadia.com, on a TV using Chromecast Ultra, or in the Stadia app Stadia icon.

Note: The performance settings you select will only take effect on the device you set them on. For example, if you change your settings on stadia.com, it won't affect your settings on Chromecast Ultra. You can also select different performance settings for different computers.

Resolution Data usage
Up to 4K (Stadia Pro only) Up to 20 GB/hr
Up to 1080p Up to 12.6 GB/hr
Up to 720p Up to 4.5 GB/hr

Change your data usage options

On a TV using Chromecast Ultra

  1. Using your Stadia Controller, launch Stadia on your TV.
  2. Press the Stadia button Stadia button.
  3. Select Options Settings icon.
  4. Under "Performance", select your data usage option.

On stadia.com

  1. On your computer using Google Chrome, go to stadia.com.
  2. In the top right, select your avatar and then Stadia settings.
  3. Select Performance.
  4. Select your data usage option.

In the Stadia app

  1. On your mobile device, open the Stadia app Stadia icon.
  2. In the top right, tap your avatar.
  3. Tap Performance.
  4. Select your data usage option.

Note: Performance settings will take effect on your device the next time you open a game.

Stadia Pro display and audio

With an active Stadia Pro subscription, 5.1 surround sound and 4K resolution are enabled by default to make your games look and sound even better. This means that Up to 4K settings are toggled on automatically for Stadia Pro subscribers playing on Chromecast Ultra or on stadia.com.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) graphics are enabled by default on Chromecast Ultra. These features are only available during gameplay. When enabled, the icons for each feature in use will be visible on Chromecast Ultra. Just press the Stadia button Stadia button on your Stadia Controller while playing a game, then select Connection in the Stadia menu.

Stadia Pro display and audio

5.1 icon

5.1 surround sound

4k icon

4K

HDR icon

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Note: 4K, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound require compatible hardware and network speeds.

Stream quality

Your connection status helps you understand the quality of the stream, based on internet connectivity and the data usage settings that you select. To see your connection status, press the Stadia button Stadia button on your Stadia Controller while playing a game, then select Connection in the Stadia menu.

The connection statuses you may encounter include:

Connection status

What it means

Good connection icon

Excellent

Your internet connection is strong and games should run smoothly. Stadia Pro subscribers who play on a 4K TV with Chromecast Ultra, or a computer capable of VP9 hardware decoding, may experience up to 4K gameplay for supported games.

Fair connection icon

Fair

Your internet connection may have less than ideal bandwidth, or may be experiencing network congestion. You may or may not notice a slight drop in resolution or framerate. See troubleshooting steps to improve your connection.

Bad connection. Game may stop.

Game might stop

Your internet connection may have low bandwidth or is experiencing significant network congestion. Gameplay is degraded and games may stop. See troubleshooting steps to improve your connection.
Using mobile data

You have enabled the Use mobile data option on your mobile device, and are using a cellular internet connection instead of a Wi-Fi connection. You can enable or disable this option in your Performance settings in the Stadia app Stadia icon.

Playing games on Stadia may use a significant amount of data. You are responsible for any access or data fees incurred from your Internet provider or mobile carrier. If you enable the Use mobile data option on your mobile device, it is strongly recommended that you track your data usage to avoid unexpected data charges.

Improving your connection and troubleshooting

If you are experiencing slow game responses, degraded visual quality, or disconnects, there may be a problem with network congestion, or your device may have difficulty supporting gameplay at higher resolutions. To help solve these issues, you can adjust your performance settings for each device you use.

Learn more about troubleshooting connection and stream quality issues.

Note: If a setting is unavailable, it means your device doesn't support it.

Turn off 4K

On a TV using Chromecast Ultra

  1. Using your Stadia Controller, launch Stadia on your TV.
  2. Press the Stadia button Stadia button.
  3. Select Options Settings icon.
  4. Under "Performance", select Up to 1080p or Up to 720p.

On stadia.com

  1. On your computer using Google Chrome, sign into your account at stadia.com.
  2. In the top right, select your avatar and then Stadia settings.
  3. Select Performance.
  4. Under "Resolution", select Up to 1080p or Up to 720p.

Turn off High Dynamic Range (HDR)

On a TV using Chromecast Ultra

  1. Launch Stadia on your TV.
  2. On your Stadia Controller, press the Stadia button Stadia button.
  3. Select Options Settings icon.
  4. Turn off High Dynamic Range (HDR).

Turn off mobile data usage

  1. On your mobile device, open the Stadia app Stadia icon.
  2. In the top right, tap your avatar.
  3. Tap Performance.
  4. Turn off Use mobile data.
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