How to Play Real AAA Video Games on Your Phone With 5G and Cloud Gaming

If you’re looking to play the latest AAA games with nothing but your phone, cloud gaming might be your answer. That wasn’t always the case – in the pre-5G era, gaming on mobile was still out of the question for fast-paced games.

But that’s changed with the power of consistent, low-latency 5G connections, like AT&T’s nationwide 5G coverage..

AT&T is offering benefits to eligible 5G customers with two of the most popular game streaming services available today, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Google’s Stadia Pro. With an AT&T service, you can try both free for 6 months* to see which service is right for you.

If you are a PC gamer with a large Steam library, you should start with GeForce NOW. This will give you access to stream over 1,200 supported games from your Steam, Ubisoft, Epic, Origin, or GOG accounts, as well as access to your saved games. GeForce NOW members can also stream nearly 100 of the best free games. Best of all, you don’t even have to pay to enter the ground floor thanks to the app’s free tier.

However, if you really want to unlock the power of GeForce NOW, you can get a premium subscription which will give you better graphics options and higher frame rates, and let you skip the connection queues. All eligible AT&T 5G customers, current or new, can get six months of GeForce NOW priority subscription by simply visiting att.com/gaming.

AT&T is also offering new and existing 5G customers six months of Stadia Pro. Stadia Pro offers over 50 games to claim and play in seconds, with new games added every month. And like GeForce Now, Stadia offers a free tier that includes a range of free titles like Destiny 2 and Super Animal Royale, plus over 200 games available for individual purchase.

It should be noted that if you have a Ubisoft+ subscription, you will have instant access to any Ubisoft game on Stadia and GeForce NOW simply by linking the accounts.

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If these services are not for you, there are a whole bunch of other great cloud gaming services to choose from. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has an extensive library for your console and PC, including all of the Halo games available to stream to your phone. Likewise, Amazon Luna includes a growing library of streaming games and several subscriptions to choose from, including an option focused on family-oriented games. If you like nostalgic and retro games, Antstream has you covered.

Although every cloud gaming service includes a touch control scheme that will allow you to play without a gamepad, not all games will be a good time if you don’t use a real gamepad. To take your on-the-go cloud gaming to a new level, mobile gamers may want to choose a mobile-compatible game controller for that true console experience. Although the controller you want to choose may depend on the cloud gaming service(s) you want to use.

If you’re a gamer, chances are you already have a controller that will work for you. Any recent Xbox or Sony Dual Shock 4 controller, for example, should work just fine with any 5G phone, but there are also Stadia and Luna controllers specifically designed for their cloud gaming that you might want to check out. If none of these options work for you, GeForce NOW has a list of recommended Bluetooth gamepads for your phone here.

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To really turn your phone into a gaming device, also check out Razer Kishi. The phone slides right into the controller and offers a truly integrated gaming experience like you get from a dedicated gaming device.

At this point, you have everything you need to get started. Also, since all of these games are played in the cloud and streamed to your device, your saved games will also be in the cloud. This means you can get a new phone or switch between different devices and your backups will be there.

With this, you have all the information you need to dive into the world of 5G cloud gaming. Welcome to the future.

*Must have an eligible 5G device with an eligible wireless plan (min. $75/month before discounts). After 6 months, Stadia Pro renews at $9.99/month; unless you cancel. Nvidia, Stadia, and 5G access require a compatible device. AT&T 5G is not available everywhere. See att.com/5Gforyou for 5G coverage details. Subj. to change. New or existing AT&T wireless customers. Additional fees, taxes and other charges, and restrictions apply. See att.com/gaming for more details.

* AT&T 5G requires compatible plan and device. 5G is not available everywhere. Go to att.com/5Gforyou for more details.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.

John C. Dent