Earlier this year, Stadia debuted a new method of playing cloud games on Android by passing your touchscreen prints to the game. Now comes this one “direct contact” control system for Stadia’s iOS app.
Debuts with the release of Sega’s HUMANKIND, a 4X game that competes with the Civilization series, and Stadia’s direct touch enables mobile-like controls for games that would not otherwise have a mobile release. The feature makes perfect sense in connection with HUMANKIND, as mobile players would normally be required to use a controller that would be slow and clumsy for a 4X game. In that game, direct touch is able to distinguish between one, two and three-finger presses and other movements.
Although the feature seems obvious at first, it is actually quite complicated, as Stadia needs to accurately map the touches on your screen for touch in the same areas of the cloud server’s gameplay. When you consider that many phones do not play Stadia games in a 1080p screen in perfect size / shape, which means that touch does not just match 1: 1, the magic comes with direct touch. And that’s not even the reason why any input delay would be significantly more noticeable on a touch screen versus a controller.
When it was launched, direct touch was only available via Stadia’s Android app, but there was a promise to bring it to iOS to make HUMANKIND more playable on multiple devices. For this purpose, Google has announced on the Stadia Community Blog that players can now use direct touch via Stadia’s iOS (web) app.
To get started, simply launch a supported game via Stadia on your iPhone or iPad without a controller connected, and the app allows “Enable direct touch”. So far, the feature is limited to HUMAN CHILD, but it should only be a matter of time before more games take up the control system.
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