GeForce NOW's Free Game Streaming Tier Is Getting Ads: What You Need To Know

geforce now
The historical trend is for physical items to transform into streaming services, such as movies and music. Gaming as the next logical step. While gamers are accustomed to downloading digital games, game streaming has only recently began to hit its stride, with still a lot of room for user acquisition. NVIDIA's GeForce NOW, a popular way to stream games on many devices, is leading the way, in part because it offers a free tier. That tier will soon have ads.

This cloud streaming service will undergo this change on March 5th this year, so gamers should expect to see ads going forward. According to NVIDIA, ads may be shown up to 2 minutes in length, but should not interrupt any game play as they occur before the start. 

While gamers await the start of their game, NVIDIA will take the opportunity and show these ads. This helps to offset some of the cost of the free tier, and it also would give an incentive for gamers to upgrade to the more expensive paid tiers for a smoother overall gaming experience. If these costs are worth it for the typical gamer is still up for debate. With improved technology, there is the potential for future breakthroughs. 

geforce now tier

The ads will only be on the free tier of NVIDIA's GeForce NOW cloud streaming service. Gamers who opt for pay $9.99 monthly price will be upgraded to the Priority tier, which gives you a more premium RTX rig, longer gaming sessions, and priority access to the servers. 60 FPS and 1080p resolution are also standard, along with an ad-free experience. 

For gamers wanting the best that GeForce NOW can offer, the Ultimate tier comes in at $19.99 monthly. It gives users access to a GeForce RTX 4080-powered pod, with exclusive server access. Gaming sessions are also upgraded to 8 hours, compared to just 1 hour on the free tier. Performance is also the best NVIDIA can offer here, with up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS for the best user experience. Once again, no ads will be shown on these higher level tiers, with the free tier appearing as merely a demo of basic capabilities of the service. 


With high GPU prices and potential shortages always on the horizon, there is always an argument to be made for a cloud streaming service such as NVIDIA's GeForce NOW. Gamers still seem to be attached to their physical gaming PCs, however, so adoption has not taken nearly the pace that would be required for rapid growth. 

if GPU prices remain high and there is a marked improvement in both latency and overall performance of cloud services, we could see bigger adoption in the future. If gamers can get a 4K, 120 FPS ray traced experience for $19.99 a month, it may make sense compared to the full price of a capable gaming rig. This will be more true if the technology advances even further than the existing state of affairs, with low latency and high fidelity going hand-in-hand. 

For now, it appears the free tier is still a good way to trial the service, even with the ads now being part of the experience. If gamers enjoy the basic experience, upgrading to the higher tiers will be more attractive as they offer a better overall gaming experience as well.