Game Streaming Services 2022

What is a Game Streaming Service?

Game streaming is when you run your games on one computer/server but play them on another device. There are a lot of services out there that, for a subscription fee, will run your games on a server somewhere and cast them to your device, so you don’t need to pay for gaming hardware (or try to find where to buy it) to enjoy AAA games.

My Devices

I will be testing these on my M1 Max Macbook Pro (as long as the service is available for macOS) connected to an Xbox Elite Controller 2. The M1 Max chip has the performance it needs to game, but there are so few macOS compatible games that game streaming might be a good option. The Macbook has Wifi 6, and I have a Wifi 6 router which can have better latency than previous versions (although there is a newer Wifi 6e). I also have a powerful gaming desktop hardwired to the network for the services that simply route you to your own hardware. My network speeds topped out at around 450Mbps down and 42Mbps up, according to a speed test on Google.

Network Speed Test
Network Speed Test

The Rating System

Let’s give this at least a tiny bit of objectivity by giving some categories to rate these services on.

The Competitors

Amazon Luna

Amazon Luna
Amazon Luna

Luna is in a pre-release stage, although I was accepted as soon as I clicked the request to join button. It was easy to set up. I downloaded the macOS app and signed in with my Amazon account. It then detected my network speed and set my resolution to 1080p 60fps by default. The overall game library was quite small, and unlike other services, instead of trying to sell you the subscription to the streaming service and the game, they have a few free games and promote other subscription models like Ubisoft+. I tried Sonic Team Racing, A Plague Tale, and Trials of Cold Steel IV. All of which provided a playable experience, although there was some noticeable input lag for A Plague Tale. I also ran into a few “Network Issues Detected” messages. I dropped the resolution down to 720p, but I still ran into a few network drops after.

Availability 🔒 10/10

Windows, macOS, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, ChromeOS, iOS, Android

Latency 📶 7/10

An overall playable experience, although I would avoid high-action-based games.

Resolution 📷 5/10

Currently available in 720p 60fps and 1080p 60fps. The settings mention 4k is coming soon. I’d like to be able to set the resolution more explicitly, or at least have some different aspect ratios available so that the games are full screen.

Price 💰 8/10

Amazon Luna Cost
Amazon Luna Cost

At the time of writing this, Amazon offers three tiers; A $5.99/month Luna+ tier which offers some free games to play, a $17.99/month tier, which looks like a partnership with Ubisoft offering their games, and a $2.99/month tier which gives a vague list of benefits offering a few rated E games.

User Experience 🧑💻 9/10

Luna’s experience was quite good on macOS. No configuration required, I just installed the app, and my Xbox controller just worked.

Game Library 🕹 2/10

The game library is quite small at this time.

Overall 6.8/10

The overall gaming experience is quite good, but the small game library holds this service back.

Google Stadia

Google Stadia
Google Stadia

Stadia has come a long way! There isn’t anything to set up. Just log in with your Google account in a browser. The only hiccup I ran into was using Edge instead of Chrome. Edge did connect and let me play the games, but it would not detect my controller on macOS. Luckily Chrome picked it right up, and I played some Destiny 2. I’ll try to remain unbiased, but it does help that I do enjoy Destiny 2, compared to some other titles available on these platforms.

Availability 🔒 10/10

Anywhere you can install a Chrome browser

Latency 📶 8/10

Without a doubt, the best I’ve tested, although still not ready for anything too competitive.

Resolution 📷 6/10

720p (mobile optimized), 720p, 1080p, and 4k says it is available with Stadia Pro, but I started the trial, and it would not give me the option

Price 💰 8/10


User Experience 🧑💻 9/10

Everything just worked for me using Chrome on macOS

Game Library 🕹 5/10

A better selection than some

Overall 7.7/10

A surprisingly good experience. I could recommend this for some casual gaming if you like any of the titles available. The biggest issue for me again is having to repurchase games I already own on other platforms…

GeForce NOW

Nvidia Geforce NOW
Nvidia GeForce NOW

I have quite a bit of experience with Geforce now, and it could be my number one pick. I purchased the Nvidia shield tablet on release, which was the successor to the original Nvidia shield, which was a portable device dedicated to streaming games. I also own an Nvidia Shield TV, which is still the best Android TV experience I’ve seen.

Availability 🔒 10/10

They have a free tier, so if you are at least willing to create an Nvidia account, you can try it out!

Latency 📶 8/10

I won a game of Rocket League… I would not recommend it. The latency is quite good but still not good enough for a game like Rocket League, where timing is absolutely critical. Most games were quite playable though. I had a great experience playing New World!

Resolution 📷 8/10

The standard tier allows up to 1080p 120FPS, which was very playable. They do offer a tier that gives you up to 1440p 120FPS, but they reserve 4k only for Nvidia shield TV.

Price 💰 8/10

At the time of writing this article, they have a free tier, but for what I would call their “reasonable tier,” you are looking to spend at least $10/month.

User Experience 🧑💻 8/10

Getting set up was relatively easy, and with these services, the latency contributes to a good portion of the user experience score, so overall, a pretty good score here. I have to take away some points, though, because my controller would not connect to the client for macOS. I did load up the service in Chrome, and my controller connected fine. The controller issue appears to be a problem with Rosetta 2 and macOS, not necessarily the service itself.

Game Library 🕹 6/10

Nvidia is definitely moving in the right direction, giving you the option to connect your Steam and Epic Games account. Still, even after connecting those services, the available games to me were pretty limited. I’m not sure how the licensing works, but we need Steam or Epic games to start breaking down some barriers in that department.

Overall 8/10

Nvidia Geforce NOW is one of the most promising services! If macOS can get controller support sorted out and Steam/Epic get some better licensing availability, this could be a complete package. The latency is so low that if you aren’t playing a competitive shooter, this service is a viable option for a complete hardware replacement.

Microsoft xCloud

Microsoft xCloud
Microsoft xCloud

Availability 🔒 8/10

Available to anyone with a Microsoft account and $15/month.

Latency 📶 3/10

The most disappointing of the powerhouses in the gaming space… Most games were borderline unplayable. Even strategy games can be annoying with so much input delay.

Resolution 📷 7/10

1080p here with no real discussion of 4k.

Price 💰 6/10

It’s hard to justify a $15/month base when the latency is so poor…

User Experience 🧑💻 7/10

This was fairly easy to set up, and my controller worked first try with Microsoft Edge browser on the Mac, but it lost major points for latency. It was so poor that it ruined the overall experience.

Game Library 🕹 8/10

A massive selection of great games! I attempted to play some Halo Infinite Campaign and Skyrim.

Overall 6.5/10

Overall this service has HUGE potential with the library of games available, but until they figure out how to improve the experience, it is not useful. I would be curious to try it on some other devices to see if it is a macOS issue.

Other Services

There are other services out there! Some of them were in closed beta, some of them I could not get to work, and some were just a horrible experience! The best experience I had out of all the game streaming options available was Moonlight. Moonlight is an open-source client for pretty much any device that lets you connect to a gaming PC on your network and play remotely. Since I have a gaming PC on my network with a hardwired connection, the gameplay was smooth, and the latency was almost non-existent!


It is unfortunate that the best game streaming experience still requires gaming hardware when GPUs are extremely difficult to come by. Latency is almost always going to be a concern when streaming games from a remote source, but it surprised me that the biggest issue I ran window was the size of the game libraries… No one wants to re-purchase games they already own, and the experience is not yet good enough for me to recommend someone to buy games on any of these services… Maybe someday we will be able to play games anywhere on anything, but it is not this day.

Not this day
We fight… The scalpers…