GTA 5 is without a doubt, one of the best games to ever come out. It managed to sell more than 95 million copies and had a profit of more than 6 billion dollars. Unfortunately, due to hardware limitations, we never saw GTA 5 on Android.
However, what if I told you that it's entirely possible to play GTA 5 on Android? Maybe not as you might have thought, but you can still do it. Here's how!
Option 1: Use LiquidSky
LiquidSky is a cloud gaming service. The concept is pretty simple: these guys host a gaming PC that can run every game that you throw at it and they stream those games to your device in real-time.
So, if you've already bought GTA 5 from Steam, all you've got to do is install LiquidSky on your Android device, create an account, and you should be good to go. You'll also have to install GTA 5 on the cloud computer but that shouldn't take too long as LiquidSky has extremely high network speeds.
In overall, if you don't have your own computer, LiquidSky is one of the easiest methods to run GTA 5 on Android. However, as with all services, it doesn't come for free.
At the time of writing this article, it costs a minimum of $15. This pricing option offers only 250 gigs of storage and 25 hours of gameplay. Seems more like a short trial if you ask me.
Before spending your hard earned money on it, do make sure that you meet the minimum requirements or you won't get a decent experience. Speaking of which, let's take a short look at them.
- An Android 6.0+ device
- 1GB of RAM
- A gaming controller
- A 5GHz WiFi or an Ethernet connection
- Download speeds of at least 5 MB/sec - ideally 20.
I once tried to use LiquidSky with my very slow 0.4 MB/sec connection. Yeah, didn't go that well. The stuttering was unbearable.
It goes without saying that you'll also need a Steam account and GTA 5 purchased on it. After all, you won't be able to play it for free and LiquidSky will not allow you to pirate anything.
Option 2: Moonlight
If you already have an Nvidia GTX card and a computer with GTA 5 installed then look no further. This is the easiest way to run GTA V on Android for you.
The concept doesn't differ too much from LiquidSky. A computer is running the game for you and it streams that game to your Android device making it feel as if you're playing the game with your phone. But, there's a big difference.
With Moonlight you will be using your own computer and network for running and streaming GTA 5 on Android. No need to worry. Nvidia cards are optimized in a way so that you'll be able to stream games by using their own software without losing too much performance.
I've tried Moonlight myself and it worked like a charm. Although I've got to admit that I had to lower the framerate to 30 FPS in order to avoid stutters and lag spikes - most likely because of my cheap/slow router.
All you've got to do is install it and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up. And don't forget to enable "Gamestream" on your GeForce settings as well.
To my understanding, Moonlight emulates the Nvidia Shield device which was made from, well, Nvidia. Your GPU treats your Android device like one and that's what allows you to run GTA V on Android.
Option 3: Use Steam Link
Steam Link is essentially the same with Moonlight. The main difference is that you can use it on computers with AMD cards as well. However, do keep in mind that it's still in BETA.
With that being said, don't be surprised if you happen to come across any bugs or weird glitches. Other than that, I think that Steam Link is only available for certain versions of Android since I was unable to install it on my old Android 4.4 device.
Nonetheless, if you meet the requirements and you're able to install it on your device, then it should be a great way to run GTA 5 on Android. As I mentioned above, I wasn't able to install it on my device. Which means that I won't be able to give you personal feedback for this one.
Still, I've seen a lot of people using Steam Link to play GTA 5 on their Android devices and that's why I recommend it. If the whole BETA thing scares you, then you are free to try other streaming apps as well. Remotr is only one example.
Running GTA 5 natively is impossible
At this point, you're probably wondering why we never saw GTA 5 running natively on Android devices. I mean, we've seen a lot of games with great graphics like those of GTA before running on Android. So, why not GTA 5 as well?
The short answer is that Android devices just don't have that kind of power yet. As you can see in the image above, GTA requires a great deal of processing power to run.
And let's not forget how much space it requires. In overall, the only way to play GTA 5 on Android right now is to stream it from a computer.
However, let's not forget that we may be able to do it in the future. Running GTA San Andreas on a mobile device was unthinkable when it first came out. But, now, even budget smartphones can handle it flawlessly.