The data usage that you go through when you play games on Stadia is by no means a small amount. Especially if you’re playing games in 4K.
Now, you won’t get the 4K option on mobile devices, as it caps at up to 1080p on mobile. But on the web, Stadia can go up to 4K resolution. The only issue is that this can chew through up to 20GB of data per hour of play time.
This isn’t exactly ideal if you’re on a home internet plan that has a data cap. Or a plan that has a throttle cap. Google’s answer to this issue is to lower Stadia data usage by adding a new performance tier that’s labeled as “mobile-optimized.”
Stadia data usage is cut nearly in half with the new mobile-optimized tier
Google is adding a new performance tier to Stadia on the web, labeled “mobile-optimized,” and it’s designed to save you quite a bit in data use. The new feature was announced officially by Google this morning.
If you play games through Stadia on the web, you should see the option in your performance tab under settings. Choosing this tier will cut the data use from the standard 720p tier by nearly half. As it lowers from around 4.5GB per hour to just 2.7GB.
That’s a pretty noticeable decrease and what that translates to is more game time. That being said if you have a data plan for your home internet that has no caps whatsoever, then this probably matters very little.
And that’s ok because Google probably didn’t intend for this feature to be for those users. Where this will really make a difference though is actually on mobile. Although, this isn’t a feature you’ll find on Android. At least not yet.
The mobile-optimized tier is designed for iOS users
According to Google, it appears that this new tier is designed for users on iOS. The reason it’s available on the web and not Android is because of the way that iOS users have to access Stadia.
To stream games, they use the Stadia web app. Which is something that didn’t have to be installed from the App Store. This doesn’t mean it won’t ever be an option for Android users. But Google hasn’t officially mentioned Android in parity to this feature.