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Google Stadia controller only works wirelessly with Chromecast Ultra for now

(Image credit: Google)

The future of gaming may be streaming, but you know what sounds a lot like the past? Having to use wired control pads. And that may be the situation faced by some Google Stadia players at launch.

Revealed in the small print of a YouTube video, the Google Stadia controller will only work wirelessly when used with a Chromecast Ultra dongle at launch. It appears then that if you're hoping to play on a computer, tablet or phone, you're going to need to plug the controller in.

Not only that, but if you're using Stadia with the Chromecast, it'll be your only possible method of input, according to a Google community mananger post on Reddit, ruling out the potential for keyboard and mouse or third-party controller play. Keyboard and mouse play will be supported on computers, of course.

An unusual controller

These limitation are a frustration (though may be rectified after launch), but it must be noted that the Google Stadia controller is pulling off some neat tricks to make sure its streaming service plays as seamlessly as possible.

Rather than connecting to a console, the Stadia controller connects directly to Stadia's servers, minimising any potential lag between your input and the actions being accounted for in the cloud and returned to your screen.

Will this all work as seamlessly as promised? We won't have long to wait to find out: the service launches on November 19 the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

  • Stadia: everything you need to know about Google's game-streaming service
Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.