We are less than a week away from when Google Stadia Founders Edition controllers will ship out to those who were lucky enough to get one before they were sold out. With Stadia almost here, a few members of the development team took to Reddit today to answer any questions people might have about the new gaming platform.
Overall, there wasn’t anything too revelatory divulged during the chat. However, there was still some interesting stuff about how Google Stadia will actually work once you boot it up. This is good info to know, especially for those of you out there who have a package on the way.
That’s another thing: the Stadia team gave some much clearer info about when you will likely receive your controller(s) and how that won’t really affect when you’ll actually be able to start playing games.
Below is a summary of these and other cool things we learned during the AMA. You can read the full thread of questions and answers here.
Pairing your controller to your TV is a snap and you only need to do it once. You’ll need a smartphone to pair your controller to your Chromecast Ultra. However, once you go through the setup process, you’ll just need to grab your controller and hit the Google Stadia button to start playing on your TV again. Check out the pairing process below:
You will need your phone to buy games. Once you are set up to play, you can play without using your phone. However, you won’t be able to buy new games on your TV at first. Instead, you’ll need your phone for purchases.
It’s very simple to launch games and play with friends right from the controller. Once you have everything set up, you can easily navigate through your games and start playing one either by yourself or with your friends online. Check out how that works in the video:
Google Stadia will be quite basic when it launches, but new features will be regular. A lot of features that Google hopes to be a part of Stadia won’t actually be on Stadia when you boot up for the first time next week. However, new Stadia features will land “as soon as one week after launch,” according to the AMA.
You won’t be able to use your current Chromecast Ultra for Stadia at first. You will have to use the Chromecast Ultra that comes with your Stadia bundle to use it on the service. That’s because the dongle will have its latest firmware update already installed. The AMA stated that Google will release that firmware update to current Chromecast Ultra units “soon after launch” but specifics were not revealed.
Your game cast can be interrupted but your game will continue. Since you are using a Chromecast Ultra to play your games on your TV, what happens if someone casts something else to that same device? The new content will appear on the screen but your game will continue for another ten minutes, which should be plenty of time for you to tell the person that just interrupted your game that you’re using the TV.
There will be a Made by Google clip for your Stadia controller and phone. If you want to play on your phone you’ll want a way to clip your phone to your Stadia controller. There won’t be any third-party products to do this at launch, but there will eventually be one called Claw that will be a Made by Google product sold exclusively at the Google Store. Check it out below:
Your Founders name has some limits but it can also be changed. If you’re lucky enough to be a Google Stadia Founder, you can be the first person to choose your handle. However, that handle must be between three and 15 characters long and must only contain letters and numbers. Don’t like the name you choose? You can change it at any time and as much as you like by emailing Google’s support. It is unclear if non-Founders will have this same privilege.
You can start playing on November 19 even without a controller. Stadia controllers will start shipping out on November 18, which means many of them won’t arrive at people’s homes on November 19, the launch day. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t play. On November 19, you will receive a code to sign up for Google Stadia, and once you do you can start playing with a keyboard and mouse, your Pixel smartphone, or an HID-compliant controller. Shipments will go out in the same order that Google received them.
4K/HDR/5.1 will be available for Chromecast Ultra at launch, but nothing else. If you want to game in 4K and have a supported television and a Chromecast Ultra, you are all set. However, if you want to play in 4K/HDR/5.1 on your PC, you’re out of luck: that feature won’t launch until 2020.
Family Link will be available on Day 1, but not for game shares. If you have kids, you’ll be able to control their gaming on Day 1 with Google Stadia. However, you won’t be able to use Family Link to share games — each player will need their own copy of the game to play. Sharing will roll out as soon as possible as it is a “high-priority” feature.
Game achievements will log on Day 1, but you won’t know it. There will be plenty of in-game achievements for you to gain as you play. However, at launch, you won’t be able to see or track these achievements as there will be no UI to do so. This feature will launch soon.
Google Play gift cards and credits will work. If you want to buy a game on Google Stadia, you can cut down on the cost by using Google Play gift cards or points.