GeForce Now launched in beta for PC and Mac back in 2018. Nvidia steadily improved the service and added support for more games. Now that they’ve had almost a year to figure things out, how is GeForce Now today?
Accessibility is the key
The folks at Nvidia took a look at the landscape of Cloud Gaming and walked away with one main impression. In general Cloud Gaming is very technical and complicated. GeForce Now is their answer to this problem.
GeForce Now prioritizes ease of use above almost anything else. When you open their App, you’re greeted with a simple list of games that you can start playing. There’s no desktop to navigate or services to install. In most cases you don’t even have to wait for the games to download. It’s about as close to a “Netflix of Gaming” as you can get.
Settings have improved
When we first looked at GeForce Now in 2018, they lacked several crucial settings that we felt were important. There was very little that you could adjust about your streaming experience.
This shortcoming has been corrected and today you’ll find quite a bit in their settings menu. There are options to select your server, your streaming bandwidth, and your streaming resolution.
Although you can customize many settings, in most cases you won’t need to. Nvidia is still focused on automating as much of your experience as possible. The settings menu exists for those that run into problems or that want to have more control over their session.
GeForce Now is currently available to Gamers in the United States and in Europe. They offer a widespread server network that is able to accommodate many people at one time.
Throughout 2018 we received a lot of feedback from our Community about using GeForce Now. Many of you reported that if you live in a region that only has 2 Servers, you often experienced performance problems during Peak Hours. Peak Hours happen when many users get online at the same time (typically in the evenings and on weekends). This increases the load on each server and ties up resources.
If you do experience issues during Peak Hours, remember that you can manually switch servers in GeForce Now’s settings. Just be careful about selecting a server that is physically far from where you live. Distance increases input latency and can result in lag.
GeForce Now is powered by a Tesla P40 GPU. You’ll notice in the picture below that on paper, the P40 beats the P5000 in most categories. The P5000 is another popular Cloud GPU that is used by services like Paperspace and Shadow.
Although the P40 has better specifications than the P5000, things aren’t quite that cut and dry. Each server dynamically allocates resources based on the current user demand. In some cases you may have a GPU all to yourself. There are also situations that cause the resources of the GPU to be divided among multiple users. So performance has the potential to fluctuate a bit. In practice it doesn’t appear that the GPU is allocated among users on a frequent basis. Nvidia suggests that the experience of GeForce Now should be close to the performance of a GTX 1080.
I can happily report that after testing them for a year, this definitely seems to be true. I didn’t run a single game through GeForce Now that I couldn’t enjoy at Ultra Quality. Nvidia’s technology is truly impressive.
Streaming through GeForce Now is easy and effective. You’ll experience very little artifacting and framerates are buttery smooth. If you run into problems with GeForce Now, remember that performance can dip during Peak Hours. Check out our troubleshooting video for additional information. If you need help in real time, feel free to join Flickstiq’s Discord Channel. There are many members of our Community that would be happy to answer your questions.
GeForce Now is currently in beta. They are testing it in various locations and are slowly improving performance and stability. If you’re interested in trying GeForce Now, you’ll need to sign up for the beta on their website. This is currently a closed beta, and you may need to wait for an invitation.
Things are different if you sign up for GeForce Now through a Nvidia Shield device. Shield owners are granted instant access to GeForce Now. Once you have access, it applies to both the Shield and computers. For the moment GeForce Now is officially available on Mac, PC, and Shield devices.
Pricing and Release Date
Nvidia isn’t charging anything for GeForce Now while it’s in beta. They haven’t released specific information about future pricing or pricing structures. This could end up being an hourly service or a subscription (or both).
GeForce Now requires you to own the games that you choose to play. In some cases this means that games are free. If a game is free to play outside of GeForce Now, then it’s still free within GeForce Now (like with Fortnite). Other games that cost money outside of GeForce Now require you to own the game to use it through GeForce Now (like with GTA V).
When you launch a paid game, GeForce Now will require you to log in with the account that owns the game (with your Steam ID in most cases). The system verifies that you own the game and then continues launching.
Nvidia has not made an announcement about when GeForce Now will exit beta. For the foreseeable future, the beta will continue.
If you’d like to see GeForce Now in action, take a look at the video below:
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.