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Play new games on a weak PC? (Review of GFN.ru)

Game streaming services have been gaining momentum lately. Google Stadia is perhaps the most famous service that allows you to play games streamed from servers over the Internet, but it is far from the only one, and certainly not the first. Nvidia has been working on its GeForce Now service (known as GFN.ru in Russia) for several years, and it finally went out of beta and turned into a full-fledged commercially available subscription service. While not perfect, it is a flexible and convenient service to play the PC games you already own on any available device (computer, phone, etc.).

Prices and requirements

GFN is available in two subscription levels: Basic and Premium. Free (basic subscription), obviously you can play for free, and Premium costs 999 rubles per month. A Premium subscription provides priority access to Nvidia systems, RTX ray tracing enabled streaming, and gaming sessions up to six hours at a time. The free subscription disables RTX and only lets you play for an hour at a time before you have to go to the end of the queue and wait to access Nvidia’s servers again.

If you have a relatively modern PC, Mac, Android device, or iPhone, you can probably run GFN. PC requires at least Windows 7 64-bit with a 2GHz dual-core processor or faster, 4GB of system memory, and a DirectX 11 capable GPU (which includes integrated Intel HD Graphics 2000 or better). Mac support requires at least macOS 10.10, and has been successfully tested on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks from 2008 and newer, and iMacs from 2009 and newer, according to Nvidia. Android devices require at least Android 5.0 with 2GB RAM and OpenGL ES3.2 support.

Like all game streaming services, GeForce Now requires a lot of bandwidth and internet speed. Streaming 720p60 games requires a minimum 15 Mbps connection, and 1080p60 streaming requires 25 Mbps. This means a wired connection to a router or a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection.

Gfn games

Unlike Stadia Pro, which includes several games, and PlayStation Now, which includes a huge library of PlayStation games, GFN does not include retail games as part of the service. You can play tons of free games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and Path of Exile, but to really take advantage of the service, you’ll need to add your own digital game libraries to the service.

GeForce Now connects to your Steam, Battle.net, Epic, and UPlay accounts so you can play many of the games you already own, run on high-performance gaming PCs, and stream to any compatible device.

However, this does not mean that GeForce Now works with all of your games. The service supports hundreds of major games, but does not include everything on Steam. GFN ru offers a search engine to check if the game you want to play is supported, but there is no publicly available list of everything that is available on the service, so you’ll have to search to make sure your favorite games are playable.

GeForce Now runs from a native app on PC, Mac, and Android. It’s a pretty simple game downloader that lets you search for games, add them to your GeForce Now library, and start playing.

gfn games

Gfn games

Because GeForce Now links to your digital libraries, you will have to log into each library individually the first time you launch a game in that library. The service prompted me to log into Steam to play The Legend of Bum-Bo, but after that I did not need to enter any additional information to play Disco Elysium or The Surge 2. However, after I logged into Battle.net, to play Overwatch, I still had to sign in again to play Diablo 3. Then I had to sign in again every time I played the game. I found such a nuance only with my Battle.net account, everything works fine with other services.

The implementation of the GeForce Now digital library is a little awkward. The software launches a full screen window that accesses one of Nvidia’s servers, streaming it to you. This window shows a closed background with a digital library on top of it. On Steam, I needed to “install” my games on a streaming system (which, frankly, only took a few seconds for each one) before I could play them. Each window opens specifically for the game you are playing, so while you can see your complete Steam library, you can only play the one you are meant to play.

Registration on GFN

Streaming

I tested GeForce Now on a 13-inch Samsung Notebook 7 Spin laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor and integrated graphics. I had no problem running any GFN game on this laptop which, it should be noted, has no dedicated 3D graphics.

Although GFN.ru can stream up to 1080p60, games run at 720p by default. I had to manually change the resolution of most of the games I opened to 1080p, which is another minor inconvenience but hardly makes the game unusable.

After linking my accounts and making sure everything was registered, installed, and configured correctly, I had an almost flawless experience with GeForce Now. All the games I’ve played, including The Legend of Bum-bo, Disco Elysium, Diablo 3, The Surge 2, and Dark Souls 3, looked and felt great, with 1080p graphics that felt solid at 60fps (after as I have verified, every game was set to this resolution). More importantly, the controls felt extremely responsive and I couldn’t detect any lag between my inputs and my characters’ actions on the screen. This is vital for any game streaming service. Even my cloud saves carry over without any involvement on my part almost flawlessly; Dark Souls 3 was the only game that didn’t import saved games from my PC. Therefore, I can safely leave a positive review about GFN ru.

GFN premium

Cloud PC gaming (with little effort)

GFN Now is one of the best game streaming services available, allowing you to play some of the best games (the service claims to have over 800 games in its database) Steam, Battle.net, Epic and UPlay on virtually any computer or mobile device. The way it integrates these digital libraries into its own can be awkward at times, but if you don’t mind taking a few extra steps to load a game onto a system that might not otherwise be able to play it at all, it works really well.

If you have a large collection of PC games and want to play them on the go, GFN Now is the place for you.

Some answers to questions

How to play for free?

There is such an opportunity. To do this, register on the official website and use the basic subscription. But I highly recommend taking Premium, because this will give a more comfortable play.

Can I buy an account that already has Premium?

There are no ready-made accounts. Register in the service and buy yourself a Premium on your own.

Is there a discount or GFN promo code?

Unfortunately not, but you can play both for free (to try how this thing works) or take Premium.

GFN subscription?

Let us summarize once again why this is needed. Everyone wants to play new games (for example, Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla), but the computer does not pull. Usually there are 2 solutions: either play games for weak PCs, or save up for new hardware. But, cloud gaming services offer a third solution – to lease the power and play over the Internet stream. All you need is a library game and a relatively stable internet connection. Why spend money on an expensive video card if you can play new items for a small monthly fee (or even free)?

Registration on GFN

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