5 Cloud Gaming Services That You Can Start For Free

Friday, September 18, 2020

If you’ve landed on this article, it’s likely you already know how huge cloud gaming is. It’s also very likely you’ll know just how big it is going to become. That’s why you’re looking into what’s on offer and seeing if cloud gaming is something that is right for you. This article will explain 5 cloud gaming services that you can start for free, to help you understand if it’s a venture you’re willing to dive into.

If you have come to this article, but are not quite so sure about cloud gaming or even what it is, we’ll cover some of the key definitions so you can understand what the rest of the article is talking about. So to get started, let’s dive right in.

What is cloud gaming?

We won’t go into an in depth, technical explanation here. Instead you can think of cloud gaming as a new way for people to access their video games. Where once there was a disc, cartridge or download needed to play a game on a console or computer, cloud gaming is a bit different. 

Cloud gaming has sometimes been called the ‘Netflix for video games’ which isn’t completely accurate, but helps with this explanation. The video game is no longer stored in a piece of hardware right next to the person playing it. Instead all the processing and technical elements are being computed in a remote location, like a datacenter. The video game is then streamed onto the player’s device. 

What are the benefits of cloud gaming?

Cloud gaming removes some of the barriers of entry for a lot of people around the world. There is no longer a requirement to buy expensive equipment to process all the data because it’s done at the data center. Loss of games and progress in games is less of a worry, a broken console or computer doesn’t corrupt the saved data in the datacenter. Games can be played across multiple devices and across multiple locations. 

While there are a lot more benefits to cloud gaming, the above paragraph covers some of the most important. So now we’ve briefly covered what cloud gaming is and why it’s so great, let’s continue with our subject.

What do we mean by free?

Free is not always the free we were thinking of. Sometimes there are catches attached or specific requirements needed to use a service that has been called ‘free’. Most of the services we refer to in this article are part of a business’s plan to make a profit  and so usually will eventually lead towards a requirement to pay in some form or another.

Gaming in the cloud requires a huge amount of data and software that a company has to provide. Running the computers for cloud gaming is not free and so eventually they will ask you to pay, to cover their costs at least. However the businesses below offer free trials to help people understand if cloud gaming is the right choice for them, before having to make a full financial commitment. 

As with so many things in life, you should be wary if something sounds too good to be true. So if you come across a cloud gaming service that is completely free and sounds like the answer to your dreams, approach it with caution and do careful research about the company and the amount of access they will have to your data.

5 ‘free’ cloud gaming services

Playstation Now

Playstation Now has been around for a long time in cloud gaming terms. It's very popular and offers access to one of the best catalogues around. Before signing up to the paid subscription service, users are allowed to test the service on a 7 day free trial.


Parsec has been around since 2016 and in the last four years has built up a solid catalogue that plays well with no latency problems. The app that Parsec offers is free as the business aims to make a profit by offering premium services.


Playkey has been around since 2013 and lets anyone with a modern device and an internet connection play their catalogue. People who are new to sign up get a free 20 minute gaming demo.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Games

Microsoft Azure Cloud Games is a platform that developers can build and deploy games onto Microsoft’s global cloud network. You can have 12 months for free on Microsoft Azure Cloud Games, but it comes with a restricted list of features within that time.


Blacknut is a great choice for gamers with family that are looking to get into cloud gaming, with the option for parental controls to be used. There is a free two week trial for the service to be tested.

Steam Link

As one of the biggest names in the PC gaming world, it’s no surprise steam is in the cloud gaming scene. The app is free to download to get access to your steam library.

Cloud gaming is undoubtedly going to get more and more popular as time goes by. The technological innovations that have been happening every year and look to continue into the future means that cloud gaming will only improve in both service and performance. Finding a free trial is a great entry point into this world, which will hopefully improve your gaming experience for years to come.