Just because you have a potato for a laptop doesn’t mean you can’t dream, right? Dream of a day when you might actually be able to play what was, by miles, the most hyped game of the year (if not the decade), Cyberpunk 2077. Developed primarily for next-gen consoles — to the point of controversy — and replete with mechanic on top of mechanic in an incredibly immersive world, Cyberpunk 2077 was the city shining in the distance for many mac gamers, potato-laptop owners, and those generally left out of the high-end rig/console party.
And then CD Projekt Red and Google teamed up and started pushing Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia hard, reminding everybody that the Stadia is designed to be such a dream come true. Top-tier graphics at 60 FPS on anything with a screen? Balderdash! The very notion was preposterous.
With the right internet connection, Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia delivered. With graphic settings locked to maximum, almost no input lag, and bonafide parity with its console-counterparts, the Stadia proved itself as a viable contender to hardware heavyweights and a solid option for otherwise out-of-luck gamers.
Now that Stadia has seemingly shed itself of its early stumbling blocks and curiosity continues to rise in the burgeoning cloud-streaming platform, new questions about its capabilities emerge. And with Cyberpunk 2077 mods popping up faster than you can say Chromanticore, people are no doubt curious: can you mod Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia?
Can You Mod Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia?
Unfortunately, the answer to whether or not you can mod Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia is a resounding no. And it’s not the fault of Cyberpunk 2077 or the Stadia, really. It’s the simple nature of cloud-gaming and where it’s at right now. The entire selling point of the Stadia is that it lets you play a PC or Console game… without said PC or console. Throughout your time in-game, whatever title you’re playing is being processed by the hardware over at a Google Data Center and sent to your screen via a live feed (to simplify it drastically.)
In this regard, the Stadia is actually more similar to a console in that, unlike a PC, you have only the resident UI with which to explore the game. This means you don’t have access to the actual game files, without which you will be unable to implement anything in the way of mods to the actual device — because, again, you don’t have the device that’s running the game. The game files are maintained and updated by Google itself, not your machine, so you won’t be able to mod Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia or any other title for that matter. At least for now.
When Will Stadia Have Mods?
There is currently little from Google in the way of Mod-related Stadia news since Stadia’s Product Head John Justice spoke about it a couple of months before launch, stating that mods were a goal for the platform alongside cross-save and other features yet to roll out. That was a little over a year ago, and though the Stadia has made immense strides in overall quality and in the size of its library, we have still yet to see mod support for any game.
In his September 2019 interview with NerdNest, Justice indicated that mods are a feature that will be easier for some games than for others and that though Google remains supportive of the idea that the bulk of the work will be on the developer’s end, not Stadia’s. Thus, though players may not have direct access to the game files through Stadia, there may be ways to create official channels for implementations in some games.
There could be several reasons why we’ve yet to see any mods spring up yet. Lack of commercial returns on the time it would take to develop mods for Stadia, unforeseen technical obstacles yet to be solved, or, worse, security concerns or other related issues that could stand in the way of ever seeing mods on the Stadia.
Keep your fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath. We can’t mod Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia, but maybe can mod Elder Scrolls 6 whenever it finally comes out.