When Google Stadia launched earlier this month, it wasn’t quite the full product that Google promised in its earlier events. The company is putting that right, piece by piece, and it looks like one missing element – the Buddy Pass – is now rolling out to early adopters.
For those unaware, Buddy Pass is essentially an invitation-only free trial of Stadia Pro. Founder members get one pass to give out to a friend who then gets to enjoy the service free of charge for three months, giving them a taste of it and the founder someone to play with.
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Stadia subscribers should now see an envelope-shaped icon in the mobile app. Press it, and you get an invitation code that you can send a friend, who then enters it into their app to join you on the battlefield, pitch or farm.
Pro members get free games, but if you use your trial right away, there’s not that many to choose from: Destiny 2 and Samurai Shodown available now, with Farm Simulator 19 and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition arriving in December. You can buy titles to play on the service, of course, but then you’d need to keep the Pro membership going until the free tier comes along.
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Speaking of the Pro membership, that’s what your free trial will turn into if you don’t cancel, at a cost of £8.99 per month, so make sure you pop a reminder in your calendar if you don’t want to be on the hook for that.
Finally, Buddy Pass members won’t have the Stadia gamepad to use, but there’s always Xbox One or PS4 pad support – or the trusty old mouse and keyboard combo.
Have you been playing on Stadia? How have you found it? Let us know your views on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.