Google Stadia shut down for good on January 18, but that doesn’t mean the Stadia Wireless Controller – which was part of Stadia’s premium bundles when it launched in 2019 – is now useless. Of course, it can still be used as a wired USB gamepad, but there’s also a process by which it can be switched to a Bluetooth controller that works with PCs and mobile devices.
There are a few pitfalls: the first is that this process must be completed by December 31. The second is that it’s quite a complex process, probably because the controller normally played Stadia games over a Wi-Fi connection to a computer. The third is that this change is permanent, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue since Stadia is now ker-plunk.
Here’s how to make the change.
Open Stadia’s Controller Update Tool
The tool is a browser-based application. Your Stadia game controller must be connected to the computer with a USB data cable. not the cable that came with your controller — and charged for 30 minutes.
Open the Google Stadia controller update page in a Chrome browser. At the top of the page, you will see a red button that says “Switch to Bluetooth mode”. Click on it and you will be taken to a second page which will ask you what you want to do. Click the blue “Start” button on the left in the “Switch to Bluetooth mode” box, then accept Google’s terms of service to continue.
On the next page, click Allow Chrome to verify, which will open a drop-down window at the top left of your browser window. It will say stadia.google.com wants to connect, and your Stadia controller should be listed under that. Click on “Connect”.
Unlock controller firmware
You will now need to enter certain button commands on the Stadia Controller to unlock its firmware. Here is the process in order:
- Unplug the controller and turn it off. It should turn off as soon as you unplug it. If it stays on or turns back on, turn it off by pressing and holding the Stadia button (with the logo, between the controllers at the bottom) for four seconds.
- Hold down the Options button while plugging the controller back in. The Options button is the one that looks like an ellipsis (…) at the top left. The controller status light (under the Stadia button) should stay off; if it comes back on, repeat this process.
- Press these four buttons at the same time. (You will probably need to put the controller on a table and use both hands for this.) The buttons to press are Options, Google Assistant (the one just below; it has four circles of different sizes), Y and A. There will be no feedback from the controller when you do this, so don’t expect any rumble or light.
Download Bluetooth mode update
Take the next step ; the browser will connect to the controller the same way it did when verifying it. Click “Allow Chrome Download” and another drop-down menu will appear. The device may not have the same name as before. This can be a Stadia controller, a USB composite device, or the SP Blank RT family; it’s still your controller. Now click on Connect.
Install the Bluetooth mode update
The next step is simple. On the next page, select the controller (again, under one of the names it used in the previous step) and confirm the installation. The controller is now a Bluetooth enabled controller; it also works by wired connection.
How to Pair the Stadia Bluetooth Controller
Pairing mode on the Stadia Gamepad is enabled by hold the Stadia button and the Y button together for two seconds. The Stadia button’s status light will turn orange, confirming it’s in pairing mode. Go to the device you want to pair and use its Bluetooth configuration panel to pair the device normally. When you turn on the Stadia Gamepad later, it automatically connects to the last device it was paired with.
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