What is Shadow?
Shadow is a Cloud Based Remote Gaming PC that is basically a Windows 10 PC you connect to via the internet.
Your device effectively becomes & operates your Shadow Gaming PC.
It’s a subscription based service, with no tie in.
Shadow is available in France, Germany, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland (with Data Centers in Paris & California.)
Shadow is compatible with Windows, Android, macOS, iOS & also Linux.
Shadow requires a minimum of 15mbps internet connection for a good experience.
There is latency/input lag with the service, this may differ from user to user based on their connection & setup. As such it may not be appropriate for everyone’s needs currently.
You Cannot use if for Mining.
Using a VPN can perturb your experience with Shadow.
The Service is Persistent, so your changes and setup for Shadow PC remain between sessions BECAUSE of that it’s worth setting it up fully & tweaking it for the best performance.
Does it work with Star Citizen?
Yes it work great for Alpha 3.4.2 assuming that you have a good enough connection.
Is there a way to see if my Connection is Good Enough?
I rate DSLReports as a way of researching if Shadow might be suitable for you.
You want to be mainly looking at Download and to some extent Bufferbloat (lag).
If you have a download of 50Mb/s+ and your lag isn’t too high then you should have a good experience.
That said some users have 20Mb/s and still have good results.
Subscribing & Setup
After Subscribing to Shadow (Use the Code BOREDGAMER for Discount)
Download the Shadow App on your Device from the Website (I recommend the Beta App)
OR from the Google Store for Android Devices.
Run The App & Select the highest Bandwidth that is appropriate to you, DO NOT SELECT Auto Bandwidth (shown below).
I have all the other settings off other than Auto Bandwidth, turn others on as necessary.
H265 adds latency so always have this deactivated UNLESS you are very low bandwidth.
Press Start once you are ready & your Windows 10 environment will launch, you can set a password and treat it like you would your desktop PC.
You’ll need to download the latest Drivers, Windows Updates & Turn off a load of stuff for the best possible experience.
Other Useful Links
After Updating Windows 10 on your Shadow PC there is a large amount of optimization that you can do and bloatware you can removed, here is my Windows 10 Tweak Guide this will take you through the process of getting it working the best it can.
Main Shadow Website
Star Citizen Setup & Performance Guides
Frequently Asked Questions – Find out more info with the FAQs
Setup Guides & Help – Read these guide before setting up shadow & for basic troubleshooting
Latency Guide – You’ll want to get the latency and input lag as low as possible
Shadow Discord – This is the best place I have found for quick help and advice, tho I’d check the FAQ and Beginners Guides BEFORE jumping on.
Shadow Freezing when installing Star Citizen? Go Here.
How do I know if my PC/Laptop/Computer is compatible with Shadow?
Shadow uses H264 and HEVC (H265) encoding. H265 is optional and is ideal if you are in a low-bandwidth environment.
There is a tool in the works by BLADE-Group, that will allow users to test if they have support. But until then, anyone can use a nice tool called “DXVA Checker” to see if your GPU has H264 and H265 support.
How Much Does Shadow Cost?
It’s based on your country & is per month
UK – £26.95 / US – $34.95 / Europe – €29.95
What Hardware do Shadow Machines Run?
CPU – INTEL XEON 8 dedicated threads
GPU – NVIDIA GTX 1080 or equivalent
STORAGE – SSD 256GB
RAM – 12GB DDR4
They are constantly upgrading the Hardware of the Shadow Environments and iterating on their Shadow Software.
Shadow Graphics Setup
This is my recommended setup for the Nvidia Settings on your Shadow PC for best performance & least latency.
Install the latest Nvidia Drivers (I recommend just the Drivers and PhysX Software)
Nvidia Geforce Drivers | 417.71 – 15th January
For those of you that want a clean installation here is DDU | Display Driver Uninstalled
You only need the Core Drivers and potentially the PhysX Software.
Right click on the Shadow Desktop and Click Nvidia Control Panel
In Manage 3d Settings
Make sure you set your Refresh Rate to the Highest you can
Set Power Management to Highest
Set Texture Filtering to Performance
Set Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames to 1
Turn off Vertical Sync
The Rest Should Default to the best settings
Does Star Citizen FOIP work on Shadow?
Yes you can attach a webcam or any other USB Device using the USB IP Devices Option in the launcher, then turning them on when Running Shadow.
I am sure there will be bugs and issues that people will experience, so keep that in mind. I also found that my camera was temperamental when using FOIP over Shadow in Star Citizen’s PTU 3.3.0 R Build.
A LIVE build of 3.3 should be a lot more stable, I suspect!