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Try Google Play Games to run Android games on Windows.

Try Google Play Games to run Android games on Windows.

In June 2021, Microsoft revealed that Windows 11 will allow the ability to install and run Android applications without installing an emulator but also without Google Play Store support. Although it is possible to install Google services completely on Windows 11, as we explained in a previous topic, Google announced during The Game Awards, which was held in December 2021, its plan to bring Google Play Games games to Windows 10 and 11, so that users can easily play Android games on any device, whether it is a tablet, laptop, or desktop running Windows. Indeed, shortly after this announcement, the limited beta version of Google Play Games was launched, and we recently tried it to play Android games on PC officially for the first time!

When Google first revealed that Android games were coming to Windows, it did not provide enough details about the mechanism of implementing this, but in February of this year, the first beta version of the Google Play Games program was officially launched to find out what the experience of playing Android games on a computer would be like. Without going into too much detail, Google Play Games was originally an Android OS emulator but aims to provide a more Android-focused environment to run smoothly on Windows 10 or 11, apart from using the Windows Subsystem for Android tool included with Windows 11 to run Android applications.

The program is linked to your Google account to be able to save your progress in the games and also activate the sync if you play the same game on your computer and your phone, but it is worth noting that not all the games available on the Google Play Store for Android phones will be available in the program, but rather a group of them, at least currently in the probationary period. Also, Google Play Games has special operating requirements that may not be available on most devices. In some detail, we will tell you about them in the following lines.

How to download Google Play Games

At the time of this writing, Google Play Games is still in beta until Google has sufficiently tested it and when it will be available to the general public. But even though the beta version is not currently available to everyone, Google has limited the ability to test the program to users in only five countries: South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia.

If you reside in one of these countries, you can go to the service link attached below and then download the operation requirements verification tool by clicking on the "Download PC Check" button. If you are in another country, the message "The beta isn’t available in your region yet" will appear. Thus, you will not be able to download the program, but you can enter your email and wait until you are notified that the program is available in your country and invited to try it. But as usual, if you can't wait, you can use a VPN to change your IP address to be in any of the mentioned countries.

After downloading the verification tool on your device, you will get a file of about 2MB called "play-games-pc-check.exe". Double-click on it to bring up a window showing the minimum requirements for running Google Play Games to make sure your device is eligible to play Android games It runs smoothly, which is a fairly modest requirement but may not be available on some PCs that are still running Windows 10. But keep in mind that we are talking about a beta version, so Google may modify these requirements later when the stable version is released.

Here are the current operating requirements for Google Play Games:

  • Your device must be running Windows 10 [version 2004 (May 2020 Update) and above] or Windows 11. 
  • The main storage of your device must be an SSD with a capacity of at least 10 GB. 
  • Your device must have at least 8 GB of RAM. 
  • Your device must be running at least a quad-core processor. 
  • Your device must have an internal Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card and an AMD equivalent, or any recent external graphics card (see Google recommendations).
  • Your Windows account must be the Administrator account 
  • to enable the virtualization feature.

If your device meets the conditions described, after running the verification tool press the "Run" button and wait for your device's specifications to be compared to the running requirements. After completion, if the conditions are met, all you have to do is press the "See Result" button and you will be directed back to the online service page.

If your device meets the conditions described, after running the verification tool, press the "Run" button and wait for your device's specifications to be compared to the running requirements. If the conditions are met, all you have to do is press the "See Result" button and you will be directed back to the online service page.

So, after completion, double-click on the file "Install-GooglePlayGames-Beta.exe" and a window will appear to follow the status of the progress of the download and installation process, which takes some time depending on the speed of your internet connection and the speed of the storage, and since Google forces the use of the program on the SSD storage, it is not We think the installation process will take a lot of time.

Learn how to use Google Play Games.

After installing and running the program for the first time, you will need to sign in to your Google account by pressing the “Sign in with Google” button. Log in with the same account registered on your Android phone.

Next, if the Google account you used is not registered on the Google Play Games platform or you have not previously played a game on your Android phone that supports Play Games, you will need to create a profile that represents your account in any game you play, so give the profile a name Then click on "Create profile" and, after confirmation, click on "Looks good" to continue with the remaining steps, which is to agree to the license and usage terms.

After completing the previous steps, you should see the main page of the Google Play Games program and be able to start using it immediately. But most of the time, this won't happen, and a message will appear asking you to first activate the Windows Hypervisor Platform feature, which some games need to run on the computer to enhance the experience on the phone. You can activate the feature through Windows settings, but if you press the "Continue" button, it will be activated without your intervention, and then it will ask you to restart the computer until the change takes effect, at which point it is possible to use Google Play Games without problems.

Play games on Google Play Games.

Google Play Games has a very nice interface. On the main page, you will see some suggestions for games that suit your taste based on the games you have already tried on your Android phone. Then, on the far left, there is the menu to move between the corners of the program. For example, to view the entire library of games, press All Games (the third icon) in the middle menu. You will see an alphabetical list of all the available games, and the number is currently 50 games only and includes titles such as Summoners War and Last Fortress: Underground, Top War, Asphalt 9, and other well-known games.

Of course, the original Play Games library is very huge and contains millions of games, but Google says that adding games to the Google Play Games program is not random, but rather comes after cooperating with the developers of each game to add the necessary modifications to ensure that the user has a smooth, stable, and safe gaming experience. So it will take some time for the game library to grow to a level that obviates the need for Android emulators.

Installing games on Google Play Games is easy. It is easy to install games from the Play Store on the phone. You search for the game and then press "Install" to start the process of downloading and installing the game in the background. Through the "Library" section accessible from the side menu, you will be able to manage all installed games, such as launching or removing them from the device. This is something I find frustrating, as I would have preferred to have the option to create a shortcut to the game on the desktop or taskbar rather than have to launch the program and go to the Library section each time I want to launch the game.

In any case, after running any game, it will open in a window independent of the Google Play Games program, and you can control its size according to what suits the gaming experience. It is needless to say that the game control here will be through the keyboard and mouse, noting that the program also supports the use of a stick control if connected to the device, which gives better convenience and controllability compared to touch control. During the game play, if you press the Shift + Tab keys, a window will appear to perform some actions, such as activating the Fullscreen mode, exiting the game, or selecting the language used to write inside the game. You can also press Controls to display the keyboard keys used to control the game, but you will not be able to edit them if you like.

In general, Google Play Games, although it does not offer any unique features compared to the available emulators except that it is an "official program from Google", outperforms a lot in terms of performance, considering that it is still in the beta stage. When comparing Google Play Games with the WSA tool for running Android apps on Windows 11, you will find a huge difference.

Over the past few weeks, we've been testing the software on a device that barely meets the minimum operating requirements, and almost all the games performed similarly in terms of smoothness and stability. Even in long gaming sessions, we didn't notice any slowness or lag as initially expected. As for resource consumption, as shown above, Google Play Games only consumes 1GB of RAM, while WSA eats more than 2GB without even running any game or app!

As a whole, the experience of Google Play Games was rather good. We can say that Google has taken the right approach to provide a smoother experience for playing Android games on PC, but the thing that really hinders this experience is the lack of some popular games such as PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile. Games cannot be installed manually via APK file, so we hope that will improve later to attract users. Finally, Google has not yet revealed a release date for the stable version of Google Play Games but has stated that the beta version will be supported in more countries over the course of 2022 and beyond.