Game streaming service Google Stadia (why are you laughing?) shutdown in 2022, leaving behind one mark on the physical realm: its not-too-shabby looking gamepads. Originally intended for Wi-Fi-only connection, after shutting down the Stadia service, Google made sure you could convert the controllers to be used via Bluetooth connectivity (which would therefore make them a viable option for Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, or Android gaming). It’s now extended your chance to convert them until December 31, 2024.
Stadia launched, roughly, in 2019, and its death was rather swift, thanks to its strange proposition of requiring both a monthly subscription and the need to purchase individual games (the “Netflix” of gaming this wasn’t). Combine that with Google’s itchy “lets kill this service” trigger finger, and it’s no surprise the service barely lasted just over three years At the start of 2023, Google announced that it would allow users to switch their controllers over to Bluetooth, enabling wireless use on PC and saving the devices from languishing in landfills. The transition period was supposed to end on December 31, of this year, but as spotted by Wario64 on Twitter (presently called “X”) that period has been extended by a full year.
While many have found the Stadia controller a comfy gaming device (it gets bonus points for having symmetrical analog sticks), there is a downside to swapping your device over to Bluetooth permanently (and yes, like any good transition, it’s permanent): the 3.5mm audio port won’t work anymore. If that’s no problem, here’s how to make the switch.
How to switch your Stadia controller to Bluetooth mode
Changing your Stadia controller over to Bluetooth mode is rather simple. You’ll need a Stadia controller, PC with an Internet connection, and a cable to connect your controller to said PC. Make sure you’re using Chrome and head on over to Google’s official site: stadia.google.com/controller/
Hit the orangey button that says “Switch to Bluetooth mode” at the top of the page and follow the wizard (no need to go to the moon). Once completed, you’ll be able to put your controller into pairing mode by holding down Y + the Stadia button for a few seconds. The controller’s light will flash orange when done correctly. Pair the gamepad as you would any Bluetooth controller.
And that’s it. You can even remap the Assistant and Capture buttons via button mapping software.
While you’re at it, be sure to take a razor blade to that ugly Stadia logo to remove it. I understand it’s a clever fusion of an S and a Wi-Fi symbol, but come on, that thing just looks awful.
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