Google Stadia refunds are coming, but still no word on the controller's fate

Google Stadia
(Image credit: Google)

It's good, if bittersweet news for Google Stadia owners, as the tech giant has confirmed hardware and software refunds have begun rolling out.

The promise to refund all Google Stadia owners is now underway, though Google has insisted in its FAQ that it expects to complete the "majority" of refunds by Stadia's shutoff date of January 18, 2023. This implies that there's a chance the entire refund process could take longer than expected.

"We ask for your patience as we work through each transaction," the FAQ reads, going on to stress that Google Stadia owners should refrain from contacting customer support about their refund, as this will not expedite the process.

Google plans to refund all hardware and software purchases including the Stadia Controller, games, and downloadable content. Both kinds of refunds seem like they're being processed simultaneously on a per-customer basis, so credit to Google for trying to get refunds out there as efficiently as possible.

But what about that controller?

Google Stadia controller resting on a black surface

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Yasin Hasan)

I've previously been very positive about Google Stadia's excellent controller, but some owners are concerned it'll become a brick when the servers go down. Thankfully, that's not entirely true. The controller will still work through a wired USB-C connection. But what are your options when it comes to wireless?

On that front, it's still not looking good. The Stadia Controller's wireless connectivity will be disabled when the servers shut down next year. And Google still hasn't confirmed whether or not it'll enable Bluetooth connectivity for the pad. 

This seems like a no-brainer, considering the controller is Bluetooth compatible. It'd likely just take a firmware update to enable Bluetooth for the pad. And while more technically-minded fans may be able to come up with a workaround, it doesn't look like there'll be an official solution from Google.

Still, even if Bluetooth is enabled, it won't completely soften the blow of Stadia's demise. It's looking like several Stadia-exclusive games like Gylt and Pixeljunk Raiders will be permanently delisted, unless the developers of those games are planning ports to other platforms.

I'm sure many developers will be planning for this, though. After all, pouring years of effort into a game, only for it to vanish entirely, would be a massive shame.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.