There are a couple of things to know about unlocking Bluetooth on the Stadia controller before you begin. Once you use the tool and enable Bluetooth on the Stadia controller, Wi-Fi will no longer work and you’ll be unable to connect to Stadia servers directly with it. As such, you may want to wait until January 19, 2023, when the service will be officially shut down. Besides, since the online tool will be available until December 23, 2023, there’s not much of a reason to rush.
Next, the list of compatible devices includes Windows 10 and 11 with Steam, MacOS 13 with Steam, ChromeOS, and Android. Even if you own these platforms it still may not work unless your device has a Bluetooth Low Energy adapter.
Also, the controller’s 3.5mm audio jack and USB port will not work for audio when using it wirelessly, but the headphone jack will work when plugged in with the USB Type-C cable. Lastly, the Google Assistant and Capture buttons will cease to function unless you use additional software to remap them.
With all of that out of the way, here’s how you can enable Bluetooth on your Stadia controller. Make sure your controller is charged to 10% or more and connect it to your PC with a USB cable. Then, open the website for the online tool using Chrome 108 or higher. From there, you can click the “Switch to Bluetooth mode” button and let Google’s tool do all the work. Afterward, you’ll be able to pair the Stadia controller by holding down the “Y” and Stadia buttons to start the process.
Ever since Google launched its cloud gaming platform Stadia back in 2018—originally known as Project Stream when it was in testing—I have been a massive fan of the technology. It truly blew my mind the first time I loaded up a full-blown AAA game in my browser and was able to play with no lag. It worked so well that I was certain I was witnessing the future of gaming.
Here we are over four years later and Stadia’s technology is still as impressive as ever, but like many other services from the search giant, this one is slated for the Google graveyard. While plenty of other services have been terminated by Google in the past, Stadia is one of the most heartbreaking. Users of the service, myself included, loved the experience and the technology. However, it appears Google just hasn’t seen the return on investment it was hoping for and has decided to throw in the towel.
Fortunately, the company has handled the shutdown in the best possible way for consumers. First, by announcing it far in advance, then by issuing full refunds for all games and hardware, and finally, it released a tool to enable Bluetooth connectivity on the Stadia controller. Without this tool, the Stadia controller would have still functioned wired, but adding Bluetooth connectivity makes it much more useful and will save a lot of e-waste from ending up in landfills.