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What connection speed do you need for Google Stadia?

Here’s what connection speed you need, plus a speed test and other hardware requirements, for Google Stadia.

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Google Stadia

Here’s what connection speed you need, plus a speed test and other hardware requirements, for Google Stadia.

More details are starting to emerge on Google Stadia. Following today’s impressive – but impressively staid – stream, we now have a better idea of the burning questions about Google Stadia.

When Google Stadia was first announced, Google was very tight-lipped on a few things, including the pricing model. It was also keen to shout about the hardware behind it (custom AMD GPU! HBM2 memory! 10.7 TFLOP/s!) but was less forthcoming on the connectivity you’d need to make it work at the touted resolutions.

Now we know.

What connection speed do you need for Google Stadia?

According to Google’s stream today, here are the resolutions (and other features) you’ll expect to receive at various connection speeds:

  • 10Mbps – 720p, 60fps, stereo sound
  • 20Mbps – 1080p, HDR, 60fps, 5.1 surround sound
  • 35Mbps – 4K, HDR, 60fps, 5.1 surround sound

It’s important to point out a few things.

First of all, that just refers to the download speed. The recommended minimum for Google Stadia is 10Mbps download, 1Mbps upload, but it’s unclear what the upload requirements are for those various resolution levels.

Secondly, it’s a sliding scale. You’re not going to suddenly stop being able to receive 1080p with HDR if you drop down to 19.9Mbps. It’s more of a guideline. You might find, for example, if your bandwidth is 15Mbps, that you get better results playing at 720p with smoother frame rates. Other people might prefer to play at 1080p, but take the hit on that 60fps target.

Google Stadia bandwidth

The animation from the Google Stadia video presentation gives you more of an idea of what a moveable feast it could be. As is always the case with these things, your mileage may vary, but it’s nice to finally have some official guidance on bandwidth and performance.

How good will Google Stadia be on my internet connection?

If you want to check how good Google Stadia will be on your internet connection, Google has, helpfully, created an online speed test tool.

There’s very little to distinguish it from any other online speed test, in truth. It gets your browser to download then upload a file, counts how long it takes, then does a little division to work out the transfer rate.

But what the Google Stadia speed test does – in addition to giving you your connection speed in Mbps (Megabits per second) – is give you a short description, in words, of how you can expect performance to be.

Here’s one we tested on a standard “40Mbps” UK fibre internet connection, for example:

Google Stadia speed test UK fibre

And here’s one tested on a full-fat “200Mbps” cable connection in Toronto:

Google Stadia speed test Canada cable

Keep in mind that there are other things happening on these connections at the time of the test. As is always the case with these things, your mileage may vary.

We’ll confirm just how good Google Stadia is on various connection speeds when we get access to the service.

What else do you need to play games on Google Stadia?

So, you’ve checked your internet connection and it looks like it will be up to scratch for Google Stadia. What else will you need for this hardware-free streaming service?

Well, as it happens, you’re going to need some hardware. Of sorts

Basically, the elevator pitch for Google Stadia is that you can play it on anything that runs a Chrome browser. That means that the obvious home for Google Stadia is the Google Chromecast, and they’re including a Chromecast Ultra in the pre-order “Founder’s Edition” of Google Stadia. You’ll also be able to play it on any PC, phone, or tablet that runs the Chrome browser, assuming the device is recent and powerful enough. Ditto any smart TV that supports the Chrome browser or Chromecasting.

So that’s one piece of hardware you’ll need, though it’s likely you already have a Chromecast or other device that will support Google Stadia.

You’re also going to need a control mechanism of some type. You can use basically any other controller you can think of – whether that’s hooking up a wired Xbox controller to your PC, or pairing a Dual Shock with your smart TV with Bluetooth – so the chances are, you already own a controller you can use with Google Stadia. You can also use a keyboard or mouse, which will come in handy for games like Stadia launch title, Baldur’s Gate 3.

But Google is at great pains to remind you that you can also buy a Google Stadia controller. It looks nice enough, and it has a couple of dedicated buttons for things like screenshot taking, but if you’ve already got a controller you like to use? We’ll need to be persuaded that the Stadia controller is worth splashing out on.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

Guides

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

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how to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller
Sony / Thumbsticks

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

There are lots of nice things about the PlayStation 4 controller. They’re all wireless for a start, which means you don’t have to sit cross-legged in front of the telly like in the good old days. They’re also rechargeable, which means you’ll never need to fumble for a battery.

Also, they light up! (That’s not important, particularly, but the first time you see the light bar react to something in-game is pretty neat.)

You can also use your PS4 controller to wake up your console. That’s ideal because the buttons on the front of the console itself are both hidden and completely baffling. Am I pressing the power button? No, I ejected the optical drive! Am I pressing the power button? No, that’s not, in fact, a button at all! It’s just one of the plastic ridges.

But if your PlayStation 4 controller – or DualShock 4, to give it its Sunday name – becomes unpaired, you’re going to have a bad time.

How does a PlayStation 4 controller become unpaired?

You can pair your DualShock 4 with other devices via the universal standard, Bluetooth. (Interestingly, the name – and symbol – for the technology is after Harald Bluetooth and his written rune, because he united the clans of Norway and Denmark, and Bluetooth unites devices.)

But if you do use your PS4 controller with something else – like your mobile phone or your PC – then you might find it doesn’t want to talk to your console any more.

What’s worse is it can happen entirely by accident. If you plug your DualShock 4 into your PC or laptop to charge it up, because it’s a USB port you have to hand, then it might pair up with your PC and not want to talk to your PlayStation 4 any more.

It can also happen if you haven’t used your PS4 in a while. If the battery in the DualShock 4 runs out and isn’t recharged, when it charges back up, it might struggle to talk to your console.

So if you’re all charged up with nowhere to go, here’s how you fix it.

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Unlike the Xbox One controller, which couldn’t be more straightforward, re-pairing a PlayStation 4 controller is a bit more fiddly.

  • If you have another controller that is still paired:
    • Turn on your console with the working controller
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth devices from the PlayStation 4 menu
    • Select the controller you’re having issues with and hit ‘Delete’
    • Plug the controller into the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake it and pair it up
  • If you don’t have another controller you can use:
    • Power off your console
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Grab a paperclip (yes, a paperclip)
    • Use the pointy end to press the recessed ‘reset’ button on the back of the controller
    • Hold the paperclip in there for a while (let’s call it 10 seconds to be safe)
    • Plug the controller into one of the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake and pair it up

When the controller turns back on it should both power on the console and re-pair it with your PS4. Problem solved.

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Guides

How to know if you have a shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice. Here’s how you can tell.

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Shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield
Game Freak / Thumbsticks

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice if you catch one. Here’s how you can tell.

The chances of getting a shiny Pokémon are fairly slim, with odds of 4096 to 1 of encountering one. And unlike last year’s Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and Let’s Go, Eevee!, it isn’t possible to tell if a Pokémon is shiny before you battle it.

Here’s how to know that you are battling a shiny Pokémon, and how to tell if you already have one in your party or box.

How to know when you are battling a shiny Pokémon

When you encounter a shiny, it will be surrounded by sparkles. It looks, well, shiny. Most shinies can be spotted by a change in colour, but if you’re not familiar with the full Pokédex, looking for the sparkles is the simplest method of identification during battle.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are two types of sparkles to look out for: normal, and square. Square shinies are all new and ultra-rare. If you encounter a shiny there’s a 1 in 16 chance it will feature square sparkles. That means a 1 in 65536 chance overall. Eek!

How to know if you (already) have a shiny Pokémon

If you capture a shiny, or want to know if you’ve already obtained one without realising it, press [X] and navigate to the Pokémon menu. Select Pokémon, then Check Summary. You will see a range of details, including its name, type, original trainer, and ID No. A red symbol comprised of two stars is displayed in the Markings section if the Pokémon is shiny.

Shiny Pokémon symbol

There are shiny variants of almost every Pokémon in Sword and Shield. However, some can never be shiny and others are shiny-locked, meaning they cannot be bred.

None of the game’s Legendary Pokémon can be shiny, and all Pokémon obtained via gifts are locked.

Shiny versions of Sword and Shield‘s starters – Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble – can only be obtained through breeding. Unlike previous generations, they cannot be obtained at the start of the game.

Increasing your chances of encountering a shiny during normal play is an art all of its own. Instagram user, shinyinstinct has created this handy cheat sheet to help you get started.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4-b4yvlOKz

Visit our guides section for more useful video game tips, including details on how to get a Galarian Slowpoke. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

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how to re-pair an Xbox One controller
Xbox / Thumbsticks

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

One of the nice things about modern consoles is wireless controllers. You don’t have to sit three feet from the TV! You don’t have to get off the sofa to turn the console on! We may not have flying cars and hoverboards, but it’s still the future, dammit.

But if your controller gets disconnected from your console, it can be frustrating. For starters, you have to get up and press the button on the front of the console, but it only gets worse when you try to actually play a game.

How does an Xbox One controller become unpaired?

Sometimes, an Xbox One controller will become unpaired from its console purely by accident. Maybe there was just a technical gremlin, or perhaps the battery ran out and the controller hadn’t been turned on in a while. These things happen.

But usually, if your Xbox One controller becomes unpaired, it’s because of something you’ve done.

Sometimes that will be on purpose. Maybe you’ve taken your controller to a friend’s house to play some multiplayer and you paired it to another console. Or maybe you’ve used it to play games on a PC, or paired it with a smartphone.

Or sometimes, it can be entirely by accident. If you have a rechargeable battery pack and you pop a USB cable into your Xbox One controller into a USB port on a PC or laptop to charge, it’ll pair itself up with the computer. Then when you come to hit the button to turn your console on, the controller won’t know which console to talk to, and nothing will happen.

That’s when you’ll need to know how to re-pair an Xbox One controller.

How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

If your Xbox One controller has fallen out with you, for whatever reason, the operation to re-pair it is wonderfully simple.

  • Turn off your Xbox One console
  • Grab a USB cable (that’s Micro USB, not the newer USB-C standard)
  • Plug the big end (the USB-A adapter) into your Xbox One console
  • Plug the small end (the Micro USB adapter) into your Xbox One controller
  • Press the big ‘Xbox’ button in the middle of the controller
  • This will wake up the Xbox One console, and re-pair the Xbox One controller at the same time

That’s it. It’s really simple. Just plug in a USB cable, hit the big button, and let the pairing process work its magic.

(And if you were looking for how to repair an Xbox One controller – that’s repair, as in physically broken, not re-pair, as in pair it up again – then this guide doesn’t cover that. There can be lots of things physically wrong with a controller, far too many for one guide to cover, and if you take it apart you might just make it worse.)

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Guides

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

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How to get the Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield
The Pokémon Company / Thumbsticks

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

January’s Pokémon Direct revealed details of a two-part expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra will be released in June and fall, adding two new areas to the Galar region, plus 200 extra Pokémon to discover.

A new update Pokémon Sword and Shield teases the expansion pass by introducing two new trainers, and a Galarian Slowpoke to catch.

To get your hands on the Galarian Slowpoke follow these simple steps.

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke

  1. Head to Wedgehurst train station
  2. Depending on which the version of the game you are playing, you’ll meet one of two new trainers – Klara in Sword or Avery in Shield – in the station lobby
  3. A Galarian Slowpoke will follow them into the station
  4. You can battle and catch the Slowpoke in the usual way. Use a Quick Ball to make swift work of it
  5. You can now add the Galarian Slowpoke to your team

It’s worth noting that the Galarian Slowpoke won’t be added to the Pokédex. We expect this will happen when The Isle of Armor DLC is released in June 2020.

Following the release of the content expansions, the Slowpoke can be evolved into a Galarian Slowbro in The Isle of Armor and a Galarian Slowking in The Crown Tundra.

Pre-purchase of the expansion pass is not required to catch the Galarian Slowpoke. However, if you do pay up front, you get access to a bonus Pikachu or Eevee uniform. Head to the Mystery Gift menu to redeem your new threads.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily video game news updates. For help with more games, visit our guides section.

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What are the Fall Guys system requirements?

Big, daft, inclusive game cements its place as being inclusive (also big, daft) by having very reasonable system requirements.

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Fall Guys system requirements
Mediatonic / Devolver Digital

Big, daft, inclusive game cements its place as being inclusive (also big, daft) by having very reasonable system requirements.

Fall Guys was one of the highlights of our E3 2020. Hell, it was one of the highlights of most people’s E3 last year. It was an even bigger highlight if you had a golden ticket to Devolver Digital’s trailer park party, and got to experience the game in the soft play area setup Mediatonic had assembled to show off their goofy video game.

We don’t know when Fall Guys will release, yet, though we have a feeling it might be relatively soon. Especially if these tweets from the Fall Guys Twitter account are anything to go by:

We’ve got Fall Guys in our “most anticipated games of 2020” list, incidentally, so we’re pretty sure it will launch this year, too. But if you needed any more of a clue that the game is approaching release, Mediatonic has today updated the game’s system requirements on Steam.

https://twitter.com/FallGuysGame/status/1215296631060549632?s=20

Once a developer starts announcing these sorts of things, it’s a sign the game is fairly far along in the process. They might be polishing and adding content for a while yet, but they’re reasonably sure the core of the game is not going to change by any substantial amount. (Also, if you’re a student of marketing, you’ll notice that the Fall Guys Twitter account has been ramping up its activity recently. That’s also a clue that a release announcement is coming.)

Anyway. Here are the Fall Guys system requirements, extracted from the above tweet and presented in a nice, Google-friendly format.

Minimum Fall Guys system requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64bit only
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Gamepad Recommended

That’s it. There are no “recommended” Fall Guys system requirements as yet. But have you seen it? It’s a colourful, low poly bundle of fun. It’s hardly Crysis. The minimum system requirements will probably do just fine.

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