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How to update your Stadia controller and connect it to a PC, Mac, and more

Give your Stadia controller a second life with Bluetooth mode!
By
January 18, 2023

Stadia’s January 18 shutdown may be a bit of a bitter event, but the situation is not all doom and gloom for customers. Users are getting refunds for everything, and Google has decided to unlock Bluetooth support for the controller, essentially turning it into one of the best gamepads around.

This means you’ll be able to enjoy playing games using the stadia controller on other platforms, wirelessly. This brings life back to the controller you paid good money for. Ready to upgrade? Let’s tell you everything there is to know about the process.

Read more: The best Bluetooth controllers around

QUICK ANSWER

To update your Stadia controller and enable Bluetooth mode, you'll have to plug the device into a computer running the Chrome browser, and go to https://stadia.google.com/controller/. Simply follow the instructions to enable Bluetooth mode. Keep reading to get step-by-step instructions.


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What you should know before moving forward

Updating Stadia controller with Bluetooth mode 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There are a couple of things to know before updating your Stadia controller and unlocking its Bluetooth capabilities. For starters, you should know this step is permanent. This means you won’t be able to use it as a Stadia controller through Wi-Fi, anymore. It’s not like this matters, though, as Stadia services are now gone.

Additionally, you should consider doing this relatively soon. You can only turn on Bluetooth mode on Stadia controllers through December 31, 2023. You have plenty of time, but you might as well do it sooner than later to continue enjoying the controller.

With those bits of info out of the way, let’s get to updating!

How to update your Stadia controller

Updating Stadia controller with Bluetooth mode 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Updating to Bluetooth mode is actually pretty simple. All you need is a computer with Chrome 108 or newer, the controller, and a USB cable. Gather these items and follow the steps below.

  1. Connect the Stadia controller to a PC using a USB-C cable.
  2. Launch Chrome on your computer and go to https://stadia.google.com/controller/.
  3. Click on the Switch to Bluetooth mode button.
  4. Under Switch to Bluetooth mode, select Start.
  5. Accept Google’s terms and hit Start again.
  6. The next page will tell you to ensure the controller is charged for at least 30 minutes, and that you’re using a USB data cable. Follow instructions and hit Continue when ready. The controller needs at least a 10% charge.
  7. Chrome will now want to verify your controller. Pick Allow Chrome to verify.
  8. Select the Stadia controller and click on Connect.
  9. Chrome will verify your controller. Select Next step.
  10. You’ll be asked to follow some steps, including unplugging your controller, holding the three-dot button while plugging it back in, and then pressing the three-dot, Assistant, A, and Y buttons simultaneously.
  11. Press Next step after doing this.
  12. It’s now time to download the update. Hit Allow Chrome to download.
  13. Select the device and click on Connect.
  14. Hit Next step when the download completes.
  15. Click on Allow Chrome to install.
  16. Select the device and hit Connect.
  17. Let the installation process finish. You’re done!

How to connect your Stadia controller to a PC, Mac, and more

Connecting your Stadia controller to any device is a breeze once you’ve enabled Bluetooth mode.

  1. Press and hold the Stadia button until the status light pulses in orange.
  2. If this doesn’t work, press and hold the Stadia and Y buttons simultaneously for two seconds.
  3. Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and connect to the Stadia controller.
  4. Done!
Updating Stadia controller with Bluetooth mode 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Which devices are compatible with this controller?

Google tested Bluetooth mode on a few platforms, but clearly states the Stadia controller might not work on all hardware configurations.

Stadia Bluetooth mode supported platforms:

  • Windows 10 and 11 + Steam
  • MacOS® 13 + Steam
  • ChromeOS
  • Android

Replacements: The best Google Stadia alternatives

FAQs

Stadia will go down on January 18, 2023.

You can continue to use your Stadia controller wired, whether you update or not.

You have until December 31, 2023, to turn on Bluetooth mode on the Stadia controller.

You can’t use wired headphones connected to the Stadia controller when in Bluetooth mode. You’ll need to connect them to the source, or plug your controller into the source with a cable.

Yes! You can use Tandem mode to connect a second Stadia controller to your wirelessly-connected Stadia controller.

Sadly, the Google Assistant and Capture buttons will stop working after Stadia shuts down.