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Google Stadia Controller: Bluetooth software utility arrives for limited time

Google Stadia Controllers can be updated until the end of 2023. (Image source: Google)
Google Stadia Controllers can be updated until the end of 2023. (Image source: Google)
Google is now allowing people to enable Bluetooth on their Google Stadia Controllers. Unfortunately, there are a few catches, including a time limit for updating your Google Stadia Controllers.

Google has delivered on its promise to enable Bluetooth connectivity for Stadia Controllers, having shut down the game streaming service on January 18. As expected, Wi-Fi connectivity for Stadia Controllers ended with Google Stadia; Bluetooth is now the sole option for a non-wired gaming experience if you plan to continue using a Stadia Controller. While Google appears to have simplified the process of enabling Bluetooth mode, there are several factors to consider before doing so.

For some reason, Google will only offer the upgrade path until December 31, 2023. The company has not clarified this decision either, despite providing plenty of explanations and FAQs about other potential issues. Additionally, switching is permanent, with the update appearing to disable Wi-Fi connectivity entirely. Moreover, only devices with Bluetooth Low Energy mode will be compatible with the Stadia Controller in Bluetooth mode. Similarly, haptic feedback may only work when paired to a device running Android, ChromeOS, macOS 13, Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Furthermore, wired headphones will not work when using the Stadia Controller in Bluetooth mode. Instead, you must use the controller in USB mode for wired headphone functionality. Thankfully, Tandem Mode will continue to work for connecting a second controller, while Assistant and Capture buttons can be remapped where necessary. For reference, the Stadia Controller will enter Bluetooth pairing mode when its Y and Stadia buttons are pressed and held for two seconds. Google provides the update facility online, which the company states will only work with Chromium browsers based on Chrome 108 or newer.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 01 > Google Stadia Controller: Bluetooth software utility arrives for limited time
Alex Alderson, 2023-01-20 (Update: 2023-01-20)