Google Stadia hit the market this week and based on early reviews citing issues with setup, latency, dropped frames, resolution issues, etc., ISPs and Google are likely fielding an influx of technical support calls related to Stadia.
If you aren’t familiar, Stadia’s claim to fame – other than being a Google product, of course – is a fully cloud-based gaming experience. No hard copies. No consoles. No 100 GB downloads. The premise is that users will be able to play games on any device up to 4K at 60fps, all from the cloud.
And therein lies the potential problem. Because it’s entirely cloud based, the Stadia experience will only be as good as the internet connection in the home.
Before release, Google shared some essential steps to help gamers have the best experience with Stadia. But if that experience doesn’t meet user expectations, customers will likely be calling their ISPs for help in figuring out why.
Here are 4 things ISP support teams should know when debugging issues with Stadia
1. Stadia requires high internet speeds
Google recommends an internet speed of at least 10 mbps for a 720p experience on Stadia and at least 35Mbps to stream in 4K.
Before beginning the troubleshooting process, agents should confirm that the customer’s package meets these requirements. If not, have them suggest an upgrade.
2. Ethernet is best when using Stadia on the TV
Like other gaming systems, Stadia can be used in traditional TV mode by using a Chromecast Ultra as the “console”. Typically, Chromecasts are used over WiFi, but Google recommends a wired connection (ethernet) between the Chromecast and the router for optimal performance when playing games on the TV.
Tip: The ethernet port on the Chromecast Ultra is on the power adapter
Tip: If the customer doesn’t have an ethernet cable, they should set up their router and Chromecast in the same room.
3. Stadia works best on 5GHz
Most wireless routers support both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and in many cases they will be merged, meaning customers might be unable to distinguish one from the other. Agents will first need to walk customers through splitting the two bands and then instruct them on how to connect all devices (Stadia Controller and Chromecast Ultra, laptop or phone) to the same 5Ghz network.
Tip: If the Chromecast was previously connected to the 2.4 Ghz band, users will need to forget that network so it doesn’t automatically switch between the two
4. Don’t stream music while playing games on Stadia
Like with any other streaming service, the more devices using bandwidth on the network, the slower the Stadia stream will be. For optimal performance, Google suggests users avoid streaming music, movies or other games while playing games on Stadia.
Tip: Devices on the network could also be using bandwidth without customers’ knowledge (e.g. downloads, firmware updates, etc.)
Using RouteThis to diagnose connection issues with Stadia
If you’re an existing RouteThis customer, we already collect most of the info you need to identify these issues on home networks.
After confirming that the customer doesn’t need to upgrade their plan, just have them run a RouteThis scan in the room they want to use Stadia.
Note: RouteThis Self-Help will allow customers to identify and fix these issues themselves and RouteThis Assistant will highlight them for your agents right at the top of the dashboard. Contact your customer success manager if you’d like these added to your account!
1. Confirm the Stadia servers are up and running
2. Confirm Stadia is connected to the 5Ghz network
Note: If the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands are merged you can split them using RouteThis Proxy. Don’t have this feature? Talk to your customer success manager!
3. Determine if other devices are hogging bandwidth on the network
4. Check the connection quality of the device(s) running Stadia
Tip: You can identify devices likely being used to stream (e.g. other TVs, speakers, etc.) in this section as well
5. Determine if Stadia needs to be moved closer to the router (using signal strength)
The future is cloud-based, and RouteThis can help
As home networks become more complex thanks to the prevalence of connected devices, smart home companies and ISPs will continue to see a rise in tech support calls for issues caused by the home network and not their services.
A powerful support and self-service platform like RouteThis will help turn those complex and frustrating tech support interactions into great customer experiences.