It was only a matter of time before corporate giant Amazon entered the great race for the best game streaming service available. Now with Google Stadia out of the race, Amazon Luna provides more than enough horsepower to be a suitable replacement for top-tier mobile games streamed on your favorite Android gaming phone. But, of course, with cloud gaming on the rise, Amazon Luna has to stand against the competition, against frontrunners like Microsoft’s xCloud and Nvidia’s GeForce NOW, so we’ve created a guide covering why Amazon’s premium streaming platform deserves a shot at the top.
Plays nice with your Amazon ecosystem
With Fire OS, you’ll have no trouble accessing Luna on any Amazon-powered devices, such as Fire TVs, Fire sticks, and Fire tablets. Of course, Amazon Luna isn’t exclusive to the Amazon ecosystem since you can use Luna on any Windows PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, or Chromebook — great for those who don’t necessarily want to stick to one hardware ecosystem.
Flexibility on channels and subscription plans
Amazon Luna offers subscription plans split across channels encapsulating specific gaming genres or brands, resulting in a mixed gaming library you can subscribe to piecemeal, depending on your interests. Six different channels are currently available:
- Luna+ at $10/month
- Family at $6/month
- Retro at $5/month
- Prime Gaming is free
- Ubisoft+ at $18/month
- Jackbox games at $5/month
Ubisoft will cater to those looking for a premium gaming experience with AAA titles. In contrast, those looking for affordable packages for family entertainment would enjoy the Jackbox games channel at only $5 every month. Households can now play party games without buying an expensive console.
Luna offers stable performance across the board
Evaluating Luna’s performance is the essential item on this list. The quality needs to be top-notch when streaming; otherwise, competitors could be a better option. The good news is that Luna has been praised for offering stable performance across multiple devices, topping out at 1080p at 60 FPS. And if more performance is what you’re after, you can also drop your resolution to 720p to drop demand on the stream. Amazon recommends at least a 10 Mbps connection on a 5 GHz Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz is still supported) for the best performance. Mileage can vary since a large part of cloud gaming depends on your internet connection and the route to the game’s server, but at least Luna offers some ways around these issues.
Luna controller is a quality gaming controller
Amazon Luna offers a standalone controller, similar to Stadia. A huge perk to using the Luna controller is how it connects to a separate Wi-Fi source to help reduce latency; to any gamer, the less input lag and more responsiveness you have, the better your overall gaming sessions feel. The controller’s design offers a similar layout to an Xbox controller, offering sturdy rear-textured grips with familiar button mapping, which is always a plus. If you decide the Luna controller isn’t for you, you can always turn any smartphone into a controller or plug in any compatible third-party controller.
Runs on Windows and Mac
Running on a Windows and Mac means Luna is easily integrated on more devices and adds plenty of accessibility to the cloud service. You can even load up Luna on a Chrome browser and Safari, and it’ll perform consistently (notably on a Chrome browser) enough compared to the native app, which means Linux access isn’t out of reach. Plus, access to Microsoft and Apple-powered devices may very well lead to a vastly expanded gaming library in the future, thanks to access to such large markets.
Meeting your Twitch needs
Amazon’s Luna offers a powerful integration tool while using Twitch, delivering an easy way to start broadcasting your Luna gameplay. This seamless transition between gaming and watching your favorite Twitch streamers is appreciated. A close connection to Twitch could be an inexpensive opportunity to explore a game streaming hobby by relaxing with a Twitch stream in the background.
Free games if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber
Who doesn’t like taking advantage of the full benefits of a paid membership? Amazon Prime subscribers can enjoy a new roundup of Luna games every month. Loading up on these free (with Prime) games can provide more than enough material to help test the waters on how well your device and connection handle Amazon Luna. This way, you try out the service and review the performance before committing to the platform.
A well-designed user interface (UI)
You’ll spend a reasonable amount of time within the UI, so you’re banking on the design to be clean, clear, and not an eyesore. Scrolling through your list of games is similar to how it feels to scroll through Amazon Prime Video, where the icon and title are organized into separate rows. Games in your library will display a Metacritic score next to the title when you click on it, which is a nice touch. Features are accessed from tabs, and the notable couch-play feature allows your friends (who don’t have to be subscribers) to join remotely in any game that supports co-op.
Amazon Luna paves the path for cloud gaming
Now with Google Stadia reaching its end in 2023, Amazon Luna might finally earn some well-deserved attention as an excellent alternative to Google Stadia for cloud gaming on Android. However, Amazon Luna’s diversity of device compatibility, affordable packaging, and friendly co-op couch gaming support are only a few reasons you shouldn’t sleep on the service going into 2023 and beyond. The barrier of entry for cloud gaming is low, which is a critical factor in getting more gaming and manufacturing companies invested in the future. There’s nowhere to go but up with game streaming, and Luna is easily at the forefront with a quality service that’s incredibly accessible and affordable.