Amazon Luna: Everything you need to knowon May 25, 2023 at 15:00 Tech Advisor
Amazon entered the cloud gaming sector with Luna back in 2020, but the rollout has been gradual since then.
It took 18 months for the service to be available to the general public in the US, and a further year for any international availability. Even now, it’s only available in four countries.
Despite this, a competitor to the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now can only be a good thing, especially with Google Stadia having been shut down. Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Luna.
When was Amazon Luna released?
Luna was initially unveiled at Amazon’s event back in September 2020, although the company didn’t say when the service would be widely available at that point.
As it turned out, that would be almost 18 months later. Following an extended “early access” phase, Luna finally became available to the general public in the US in March 2022.
A year later, in March 2023, the service launched in the UK, Canada and Germany. It’s available in all four countries now, and works in the same way as in the US.
Amazon still presumably has plans to make it available elsewhere, but it’s not clear when that might be.
How much does Amazon Luna cost?
Luna is available to everyone in the US, UK, Canada and Germany, with a core Luna+ subscription costing $9.99/£8.99 per month. A 7-day free trial is also available.
But if you already subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can get access to some content without paying any extra. A rotating selection of playable games changes regularly, so check the Amazon website for the latest information – they should be the same across all countries.
If the Luna+ and Prime Gaming line-ups don’t tempt you, there’s also the option to sign up to Ubisoft Plus. This costs $17.99/£14.99 per month, but gets you access to high-profile titles like Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.
Both support up to 1080p resolution at 60fps, but you’re limited to one device at a time on Ubisoft+ while Luna+ supports two.
Other options include a subscription specifically for Jackbox’s party games ($4.99/£3.99) and classic titles in the Retro channel ($4.99). The latter isn’t available in the UK.
There’s also a $2.99 Family Channel, which has a lineup of child-friendly games and supports local co-op. Each of these subscriptions can work independently or be combined – you no longer need to pay for Luna first to get Ubisoft+.
The Luna Controller, designed to be used alongside the service, is also available for everyone in the US and UK to buy. It usually costs $69.99/£59.99, and there’s also the option to combine it with a Phone Clip attachment in the US ($84.98). In the UK, it’s sold separately for £12.99.
However, Luna does also work with the Xbox One controller, DualShock 4 (PS4) or just a regular mouse and keyboard.
How to join Luna
Now Luna is out of early access, it couldn’t be easier. Just head to the Luna page on Amazon US or Amazon UK and sign in to your account. Then either click ‘Play free with Prime’, or purchase one of the other subscriptions.
Like the full Prime subscription, you can cancel at any time.
Remember, this is only available if you’re in the US, UK, Canada or Germany – though you might be able to get around that requirement with a VPN.
What will I need to play Amazon Luna?
A key selling point of Luna is the ability to “play on the devices you already own”. So far, the service is available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, Android (though not all devices), and iOS – the latter via a web app. This is part of the ongoing early access period, with interested US customers signing up on the Amazon website and then being invited to play.
At the time of writing, the following Fire devices are compatible with Luna:
Fire TV Stick LiteFire TV Stick (2nd & 3rd generation)Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K MaxFire TV (3rd generation)Fire TV CubeFire TV Omni SeriesFire TV 4-SeriesToshiba Fire TV EditionInsignia Fire TV EditionFire 7 tablet (2019)Fire HD 8 tablet (2018 or 2020)Fire HD 10 tablet (2019 or 2021)
On the official support page, Amazon is encouraging users to make sure relevant devices are updated to the latest version of Fire OS.
All other devices are still in early access. Android support is limited to the following devices at the time of writing, though Amazon intends to widen support over time:
Pixel 3, 3XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4XL, 4a, 4a 5G, 5, 6, 6 Pro, 7, 7 ProSamsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, Note 9, S10, S10 Plus, Note 10, Note 10 Plus, S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S22, Z Fold 3OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, 7 Pro 5G, 8, 8 Pro, Nord, Nord N10, Nord N100, 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G
All Windows 10 or 11 devices with DirectX 11 are supported, while you’ll need a Mac from 2014 or later running at least macOS High Sierra. It is possible to run Luna via a browser, but Amazon warns that “gameplay quality and other features may not work as expected”.
In August 2022, Samsung also confirmed that Luna is available on Samsung Smart TVs and Smart Monitors released in 2022. This is via the company’s new ‘Samsung Gaming Hub’ platform.
On the iPhone and iPad, you need to use Safari on a device running iOS 14.
However, there’s one requirement regardless of which device you’re playing on. You’ll need at least a 10Mbps internet connection, although Amazon recommends using an Ethernet cable or 5GHz Wi-Fi where possible.
While you can play Luna with a keyboard and mouse or any Bluetooth controller, Amazon is encouraging you to pick up the dedicated Luna controller. It looks almost identical to the one you’ll find on Xbox, and will likely provide a similar experience. However, the Luna Controller has extra tricks up its sleeve: Alexa integration and the ability to seamlessly move between devices.
Amazon Luna games
Amazon Luna now includes a vast selection of different games. These vary depending on which subscription you choose, but the full lists are available on the Amazon website.
Games are added every month, with the new additions for Luna+ subscribers in June 2023 as follows:
But even if you’re just a regular Prime member, you’ll be able to access the following new games at no extra cost via Prime Gaming:
Batman: Arkham KnightCitizen SleeperMonster HarvestSteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
Learn more about the new games each month via Amazon’s official Luna blog.
All Amazon Prime members also get access to Fortnite, Epic Games’ renowned survival game. You can access it via a Luna+ subscription if you don’t want to sign up for Prime, but there’s no way to play for free. That’s the key downside compared to Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now (where it’s free to play), although the latter limits you to one hour per session.
Unlike the other titles above, Fortnite will be available indefinitely – it won’t be leaving the platform for the foreseeable future. Almost all games on Luna also support cross-platform play, so you’ll be able to join forces with friends on another cloud gaming service, console or PC.
Alongside the lineup of games is integration with Twitch, the gaming-focused streaming service owned by Amazon. Within the Luna “experience”, players see the option to watch a relevant Twitch stream, while there will also be the ability to start playing directly within the Twitch app.
The official image below gives you an idea what the Luna user experience is like, with Twitch streams and screenshots integrated into the main screen for each game.
We’ll update this article if more details are revealed about Luna. In the meantime, check out our round-up of the best game streaming services to see what it’s up against.