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How The Stadia Controller Can Be Useful After The System's Death

After trying to break into the video game industry in 2019 with the Stadia, Google finally called it quits and announced, in September 2022, the upcoming death of the service. With the end finally here and Stadia shutting down on January 18, fans are saying goodbye as they scramble to save their games with the help of Stadia devs coming to the rescue. However, thanks to one final update, players will have something beyond save files to show for their time with the Stadia.


In a tweet posted the day before the shutdown, Stadia unveiled a parting gift to fans. A firmware update has been developed, allowing Stadia controllers to connect to other devices through Bluetooth, making the controllers usable for wireless gaming going forward.

This update means that, even after the Stadia has gone, its controllers will live on, serving as a functional memorial to the former service. Fans are celebrating this update and thanking the Stadia team for its efforts even as they acknowledge their sadness and the bittersweet nature of the moment.

Many Stadia players are jumping at the chance to take advantage of this update, but they should be aware of a couple of points.


Stadia controllers will work on select devices

First, the update page notes that updating the controller to enable Bluetooth will disable Wi-Fi connections, making it useless on Stadia. So, fans who want to get a few final hours out of Stadia before it disappears on January 18, 2023, will want to hold off until the service permanently retires. Further, this update will cease to be available on December 31, 2023, so users should be sure to take advantage while they can. It would be a shame to put it off and then forget until it's too late.


It's also important to know which devices the Stadia controller will work on after the update. The Stadia Help Center clarifies that the controller is compatible with Steam on Windows 10 and 11, Steam on MacOS 13, ChromeOS, and Android. Finally, players should be aware that connecting through Bluetooth will disable the controller's ports for use with audio devices – although they'll still work when connecting through the USB.

Despite these caveats, fans still welcome this update, and it will be the final legacy of Google's short-lived gaming service. Stadia may have died, but it seems fans (and the Stadia devs) will ensure the controllers will live on.