Back before we brought all of the content from Gaming Unboxed over to its new home here on Chrome Unboxed, we discussed an awesome extension called Stadia+, which provided several added benefits to Google’s cloud gaming platform. Lately, many Stadians have been upset by the fact that Google has yet to add a native search bar to the site, even though it desperately needs one thanks to its explosive growth. The service is now home to over a hundred games as they near their first birthday. Luckily, where they are slacking or have chosen not to implement search (how ironic for a company founded on it, right?) we’ve got you covered.
Today, we’ll be discussing an extension from the Chrome Web Store called Stadia Enhanced which, in my opinion, is superior to Stadia+, though they both serve very different purposes. By installing it using the blue button below, you can almost completely transform Stadia, making it better in almost every way. If you’re doing so just to get the search bar, you won’t see it on the home page. Instead, you’ll need to navigate to the store tab and then the search bar will appear on the top left of the site. You could always search the store for games using Chrome’s CTRL+F shortcut, but that’s just neolithic, right? While the extension modernizes this process, it actually does a lot more than that.
Stadia Enhanced also lets you choose VP9 or H264 as your preferred codec, switch between 2k and 4k streaming quality, provides quick access to your screenshots, video captures, achievements, and Pro games, gives you a filter for Pro games and games on sale, and even lets you overlay a stream monitor on top of your gameplay so that you can see frame rates, package loss and more. Every single one of these additions makes me think “wow, why didn’t the Stadia team think of that?”
My favorite feature and the one that makes this tool stand out to me is the ability to change your library grid size from 2 columns up to 6 at the most. After you do so, viewing your games with the standard two-column layout will feel limited and annoying, even though Google most likely created it this way for simplicity. In fact, most of the things that Stadia Enhanced changes or fixes about the platform are things that Google has probably designed intentionally. It’s awesome to see developers taking advantage of the opportunity to improve something for the masses using such a simple technique. Luckily for us all, Stadia is a web application built with common web languages, so its visuals and some functionality can be manipulated pretty easily. We encourage you to use Stadia Enhanced in hopes that Google one day adds many of these features into the site natively. Happy gaming!