How to

How to use your Google Stadia controller as a Bluetooth gamepad for Mac and PC

When Google announced last September that it was shutting down its Stadia cloud gaming platform, a small group of fans were disheartened. But as with most things in life, there is a silver lining. In this case, the consolation prize is the fact that users of the defunct service can still salvage their Stadia controllers for non-Stadia games, rather than tossing them in a corner to collect dust.

If you’re looking to unlock Bluetooth on your Stadia Controller to play games on your phone, Mac, or PC, you’ve come to the right place.

How to update your Stadia Controller

First, you need to make sure your controller has at least 10 percent charge, otherwise you won’t be able to continue the process. Next, open the Stadia update controller tool in Chrome. You’ll only need three minutes to complete the update, so let’s get started.

  • Make sure you click the Start button in the Switch to Bluetooth mode section.
  • After accepting Google’s terms of service, the tool will remind you to ensure your controller is charged via a USB cable for at least 30 minutes.
  • Then allow your browser to check the controller. Click on the “Allow Chrome for Review” button. A drop-down window will appear where you can select your Stadia Controller. Click Connect.
  • Next, you should see a series of steps on the next screen to unlock your controller. You need to unplug your controller and then hold down the three dots button while plugging the controller back in. If you keep holding the three dots button, you can press the Google Assist, Y, and A buttons at the same time.
  • After that, click on “Allow Chrome to Download” and another drop-down menu will appear. You can select “SP Blank RT Family, Stadia Controller” or “USB Composite Device” – it depends on which device you see on your end.
  • Once the download is complete, click Allow Chrome to Install. This opens another drop-down window where you can select the controller.
  • Yay! You have installed the bluetooth mode update!

Note: Make sure you don’t wait too long with the update as you only have until December 31, 2023 to make the switch. After the end of the year, your controller can still act as a USB gamepad, but you won’t be able to use it wirelessly.

Future Publishing/Future/Getty Images

How to connect your controller with Bluetooth

After installing the update, press and hold the Stadia and Y buttons at the same time for two seconds. The status light will then flash orange to indicate it is entering pairing mode. Your controller should now automatically connect the next time you turn it on. And that’s it!

While Google’s Stadia has had a turbulent life, the shutdown has been mostly smooth. Google began refunding all game and hardware purchases in November, giving people a cue to salvage some of their Stadia files. Some major video game publishers allowed users to port their save files to another platform, including Ubisoft, Bungie, I/O Interactive, CD Projekt Red, Rockstar Games, and Bethesda.

Maybe a consolation controller wasn’t actually what Stadia Stans signed up for, but as far as premature endings go, things could be a lot worse.


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