How to use Bluetooth with your Google Stadia controller

(Image credit: Google)

Though the streaming platform may be dead, the excellent Google Stadia controller lives on. With the shutdown initiated on January 18 worldwide, the gamepad can no longer access Wi-Fi play through the servers, meaning it’s now functionally just a Bluetooth remote for your system of choice. 

You can use the Google Stadia controller in Bluetooth mode for your gaming PC or gaming phone. You have until December 31, 2023, to enable this firmware update before any further updates are taken offline. We’re showing you how to work Bluetooth on the Google Stadia controller below. 

How to enable Bluetooth mode on Google Stadia controller   

  •  Go to the Google Stadia controller firmware page to turn off Wi-Fi play 
  •  Plug your Stadia controller into your computer with a USB-C cable  
  •  Allow the Google Chrome web browser to verify the controller  
  •  Unlock Bluetooth mode which permanently disables Stadia Wi-Fi play  
  •  Download and install the firmware (need at least 30 minutes battery life) 
  •  Connect your Google Stadia controller to a compatible device  

You have until the end of the year to download the Bluetooth firmware on the Google Stadia controller, as if you leave it until 2024, you’ll only be able to use it as a wired USB controller.

Google Stadia controller resting on a black surface

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Yasin Hasan)

Final Thoughts 

I'm happy the Google Stadia controller gets another chance as a Bluetooth gamepad for other devices. In our testing, we found that the company’s first foray into the world of remotes was largely a success. The build quality and design are between a PS4 controller and the Xbox Wireless controller. The D-pad is particularly good, with a satisfying click and a good level of responsiveness. There’s also a 3.5mm jack for some of the best wired gaming headsets

As expected, the death of Google Stadia means that you can now not purchase the controller in a new condition unless you get lucky on the second-hand market, where the hardware is on sale at a steep price right now. Whether going wireless or having it as a wired backup pad, this controller has some life left in it.

Aleksha McLoughlin
Hardware Editor

Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming and oversees all hardware coverage for the site. She looks after buying guides, writes hardware reviews, news, and features as well as manages the hardware team. Before joining TRG she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+ and she has also been PC Guide's Hardware Specialist. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of Trusted Reviews, The Metro, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.