Google Stadia might have gotten off to a rocky start but that doesn’t mean people are not using the cloud-based gaming service. Yes, it’s missing a number of marquee features, requires a ton of data, and the playback can be choppy, but it’s still a window to the future of cloud gaming. And now, anyone with an Android phone can enjoy it. Or so it seems.
Google restricts Stadia play to Pixel devices officially. You need any one of the Pixel phones — Pixel 4, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 2 — to play games on Stadia. However, folks over at XDA-Developers have managed to find a way around this device restriction.
All you need to do is root your Android phone using Magisk. You’ll also need a PC with ADB installed or a terminal emulator application on your phone. You can then simply follow the instructions listed out by XDA here and download the Stadia app to start playing on any Android phone.
Do note that rooting your phone and following these instructions isn’t a risk-free solution, as it’s possible to brick your device and you will void your warranty. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
In any event, Stadia apparently only checks for two system properties to confirm if your phone is Stadia-ready. With this solution, users can fool the Stadia app into thinking it’s been installed on a Google Pixel 4.
XDA managed to apply this Stadia workaround on a OnePlus 7 Pro and it worked for them. What was the quality? Well, we haven’t tried it for ourselves so we wouldn’t know for now.
We could see a few Pixel owners being a little annoyed with this new discovery. The whole point of Stadia’s initial launch was to be confined to the Google ecosystem, at least for phones. Then again, how many people bought the Pixel for Stadia? It’s also worth noting that the average consumer likely doesn’t know about rooting their phone, let alone how to do it. So most people will need to wait for the service to launch on their device before trying it out.
It’s possible though that Google will beef up its device detection methods in a future update, but for now, Stadia is yours for the taking if you have an Android phone and a solid internet connection.
We’ll update this article if this Stadia workaround stops working in the future.