Crowd Play

With Crowd Play, YouTube viewers get the chance to jump into the live stream they're watching and play alongside YouTube Creators.

Set Up Stadia Crowd Choice & Crowd Play Beta

How Crowd Play works

When you view a YouTube live stream of a Stadia game that supports Crowd Play, the person streaming the game can invite their viewers to play with them on Stadia. Viewers on a Crowd Play stream can click to line up and play with the creator.

To join a Crowd Play game as a viewer, you'll need:

  • A computer with the latest version of the Google Chrome browser.
  • A Stadia-compatible gamepad or mouse and keyboard.
  • An active Stadia account with the game the creator is playing in your library.
    • If the game is included with Stadia Pro, you can sign up for Pro and claim the game for free.
    • If the game is not included with Stadia Pro, or you don't have a Pro subscription, you can purchase the game.
    • Some games are free for everyone as long as you have a Stadia account.
    • Stadia must be available in your country in order for you to join a Crowd Play game.
    • Players with supervised accounts under the age of 13 (or 16, depending on your country) won't be able to join Crowd Play games.

Note: Membership to the creator's YouTube channel may be required if the creator has turned on members-only Crowd Play.

Getting started

Before you join a Crowd Play game, make sure notifications for YouTube are enabled in your Chrome browser:

  1. On your computer, open Google Chrome.
  2. In your Chrome browser settings, allow site notifications for “https://www.youtube.com".

Join a Crowd Play game on YouTube as a viewer

To get started, open Google Chrome on your computer and navigate to a Crowd Play live stream on YouTube.

After a creator starts their live stream, a button will appear under the live chat window on YouTube when the Crowd Play feature is enabled. You may have to scroll down to see it.

  • If you aren't signed into YouTube with the same account you use for Stadia, click Play on Stadia. A new browser tab will open and you can sign into your account or create a new account. You can also switch accounts on YouTube so you're signed into the account you use for Stadia.
  • If you have a Stadia account but the game isn't in your library, click Buy & play. A new browser tab will open and you'll have the option to purchase the game, or claim it as part of your Stadia Pro subscription.
  • Some games can be played for free. If you're joining a free game, click Play for free. If you don't have a Stadia account, or aren't signed in, click Play free on Stadia.

If you have a Stadia account and the game is already in your library:

  1. Click Play. You will join the queue on YouTube. Make sure to keep your YouTube window open.
    • Note: If a lot of people are waiting in line, you may not have the opportunity to join the game. To exit the line, click Leave. If you miss your first two chances to click Play, you'll be placed at the end of the line. After the second time, you'll be removed from the line.
  2. When it's time to start playing, a notification will appear in the chat window letting you know it's your turn.
  3. Click Start now. (You'll have 1 minute to click it.)
  4. Stadia will open in a new full-screen tab in Google Chrome.
  5. Start playing!

The YouTube live stream will pause while you play Stadia in the new Chrome tab. Depending on the game, you may have to return to the YouTube tab to join the line again after the match is over.

Live stream to YouTube as a Creator

To invite viewers into a game that supports Crowd Play, live stream the game to YouTube using OBS or other third-party streaming software, or stream directly from Stadia.

Change Crowd Play settings

When you're streaming a game using OBS or other third-party software, you can change your Crowd Play settings, hide your Stadia menu or notifications from viewers, turn Crowd Play on or off, or limit visibility of your stream to your channel members. To change your settings:

  1. On your Stadia Controller, press the Stadia button Stadia button.
    • If you're using a computer keyboard, press Shift + Tab.
  2. Click Manage stream and then Options Settings icon.

When players have joined your multiplayer lobby, their Stadia Names will appear at the bottom of the "Live stream" menu on Stadia.

Replacing players and starting a new match

After a Crowd Play match is over, some games replace all players automatically. In other games, you can keep playing with the same group of players, or replace players in the lobby so other viewers can have a chance to play.

To replace the players in your lobby:

  1. On your Stadia Controller, press the Stadia button Stadia button.
    • If you're using a computer keyboard, press Shift + Tab.
  2. Click Manage stream.
  3. At the bottom of the “Live stream" menu, a list of players who are currently in the game will appear.
    • To replace a specific player, click the icon next to their Stadia Name.
    • To replace all players, click Replace all players.
    • To add a player to your friend list, block them, or report them for a code of conduct violation, click their Stadia Name.

If you replace players in your multiplayer lobby, they'll be returned to the game's main menu. In some games, the lobby may automatically fill up with other players from the Crowd Play line on YouTube.

Blocking viewers
If you block viewers on YouTube, they won't be able to participate in YouTube chat or join current or future Crowd Play games you host. If you block a player on Stadia, they won't be able to join any future Crowd Play games you stream, and will be blocked from social interactions with you on Stadia.

Troubleshooting

If you have trouble joining a Crowd Play game from YouTube:

  • Sign into YouTube using the same Google Account that you use for Stadia.
  • If you're a supervised member of a family group, verify that you aren't restricted from playing the game if it's above a certain content rating.
  • Disable your ad blocker. Ad blockers can hide the Crowd Play interface.
  • Some creators may require you to join their channel as a member before you can use Crowd Play on their stream.
  • You won't be able to use Crowd Play when you're signed into YouTube with a brand account.
  • A new browser tab will open when you join a game from YouTube. If you're using a Stadia Controller wirelessly, make sure that you link the controller in the browser tab where you're playing Stadia.

If you're a content creator on YouTube:

  • Some games have special lobbies for Crowd Play. Make sure you're in the correct Crowd Play lobby for the game you're streaming.
  • Depending on the game, you may be able to start a Crowd Play match before all players have joined. Make sure to communicate this to your viewers.
  • When it's a viewer's turn to join your game, they'll have 1 minute to select Start now on YouTube and up to 3 additional minutes to load the game. If it's taking a long time for players to join, don't restart your stream or disable Crowd Play, as this will remove everyone from the line on YouTube.
  • After a match is over, games will usually remove players from the last match and invite new ones. However, some games may leave it up to the creator to choose when to replace players.
  • We don't recommend replacing players during a Crowd Play match. Not all games will replace players automatically.

Crowd Play FAQ

When the Crowd Play feature launches, which games will support it?
Games that support Crowd Play will be added to Stadia over time. At first, Crowd Play will be supported in the following games:

  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Borderlands 3
  • Super Bomberman R Online
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Outcasters
  • Samurai Shodown
Note: We strive to make all games available in countries where Stadia is available. In some cases, publishers may elect not to make their games available in all countries.

Where can I join a Crowd Play stream?
Crowd Play is only supported on YouTube live streams. You can search and view these streams to join a Crowd Play queue on YouTube.com using your computer’s web browser.

I'm streaming a Crowd Play game to YouTube. Do I have to let viewers join my lobby?
If you're streaming a game that supports Crowd Play, you can choose whether to enable Crowd Play for your live stream.

Can I moderate chat while I'm streaming to YouTube?
Yes. YouTube has a wide range of moderation tools you can use during your Crowd Play live stream.

Crowd Play Beta Creators FAQ

What is the Crowd Play Beta program on Stadia?
We're currently rolling out Crowd Play slowly to all channels starting with a small group of YouTube Creators. For more information about experiments on YouTube, click here.

I'm a content creator. How can I get access to Crowd Play Beta?
If you're a YouTube Creator and would like to participate in the Crowd Play Beta, please fill out and submit an application form. Note that acceptance of your application is dependent upon meeting the acceptance criteria for this program.

Will I be paid or compensated for my participation in Crowd Play Beta?
No.

What is the criteria to be accepted into Crowd Play Beta?
We'll need participants to have a Stadia Account in a country where Stadia is supported. Participants will also need to have access to the games on Stadia for which they'll be trying out Crowd Play. Creators with supervised accounts won't be able to join the Beta program.

We'll also be evaluating applications based on the suitability and alignment on the goals for Crowd Play Beta, Stadia, and YouTube.

I have more than one YouTube channel. May I submit multiple applications to the program?
Yes. If you have more than one YouTube channel, you can submit an application for each channel you would like to be considered. Each channel needs to meet the criteria to be accepted into the program.

I have other questions about this program. Who can I contact?
For additional questions not answered here, please contact Stadia Support.
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