Cloud Gaming is a new and exciting way to enjoy Video Games. It often can be more affordable than building your own Gaming PC. With that said, sometimes it’s nice to get your feet wet for free. Maybe your budget is tight, or maybe you just aren’t sure about the whole Cloud Gaming thing yet. We’ve got you covered! The following services will let you get started without spending a penny up front!
What does “Free” mean?
So before diving into this list, let me explain what we mean by free. These are all ultimately paid services. We recently discussed why Cloud Gaming services aren’t completely free. When you choose to game in the Cloud, you are essentially renting access to a super computer from another company. It costs them money to operate this service for you. There aren’t any Cloud Gaming companies that offer their product completely for free (at least not at the time of this writing). However, many of them make it very easy to get started.
The following services either offer you a free trial, or they don’t bill you until later. In either case, you don’t have to pay money up front to start gaming. They all do require a credit card during the sign-up process. They hold on to this information so that they can bill you for your usage later, or setup a Gaming Subscription. If you select a service that offers a free trial, you have to cancel the trial before it expires in order to prevent future billing. So with that said, let’s talk about 5 Cloud Gaming Services that you can start for free!
Cloud Gaming Services that can be Started for Free
Google Cloud is a relative newcomer to the Cloud Gaming scene. They are more known for their machine learning and enterprise servers. But with recent GPU upgrades, they can now also be used for Cloud Gaming.
One exciting perk is that they provide all new accounts with $300 of free credit to get started. So you can setup your server and enjoy a substantial amount of free Cloud Gaming.
Setting up Google Cloud is a bit complicated, so be sure to read our full guide if you’re interested in doing this for yourself.
Playkey is a bit different than other Cloud Gaming Services on this list. Their goal is to model their Network after popular bitcoin technologies such as blockchain. Ultimately their service will be powered by a grid of computers that are rented from other users. It promises to be a very powerful option for Cloud Gamers. Currently Playkey is transitioning from using traditional data centers to their future decentralized model.
They allow anyone to visit their website and test several Games for free. This will give you an idea of how their service performs in your area. Altogether there is a lot going on with Playkey, and we encourage you to read more about them on our website.
GeForce Now is one of the bigger names in Cloud Gaming. It’s a service offered through Nvidia, and it’s one of the easiest to use. You can enjoy GeForce Now on your Computer or on a Nvidia Shield device. GeForce Now is currently in beta, and it’s free during the beta. They provide you with access to over 200 popular Games including Fortnite, PUBG, and Rainbow Six Siege. If you’re an Nvidia Shield TV or Shield Tablet owner, you will receive instant access to the beta. If you only want to play on a computer, then you can sign up for GeForce Now on their website.
Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Service isn’t exclusively for Gaming. However, it will handle Cloud Gaming without any issues (check out our guide to learn how to set it up). One nice thing about Azure is that it’s available in many regions of the world. It’s one of the only Cloud Services that is available in Asia and India. They don’t technically offer a trial, but they do bill later for any services that you use. So you are welcome to setup your server and game as much as you want without having to pay up front. Just be aware that an invoice is coming later that will need to be addressed.
Paperspace is a popular destination for Cloud Gamers. They offer powerful hardware at an affordable hourly rate (starting at 0.51 cents per hour). You can get $10 of free credit to use on Paperspace through our Affiliate Link. This is enough to setup your server and enjoy a few hours of gaming for free. Paperspace is very streamlined and is one of the smoothest Cloud Gaming experiences available.
So what do you think? Have you tried any of these services? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!
Also published on Medium.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.