How to Use a Controller on Google Stadia

Mobile Accessories

You don’t necessarily need fancy gaming devices such as a high-end gaming PC or a flagship mobile phone just to play Google Stadia games. But do you know what you will need? A Google Stadia controller.

Although you can also do away with it when playing Stadia, using a mouse and a keyboard when on PC or the touchpad preview on mobile phones won’t give you as many advantages. Controllers have better ergonomics than keyboards, at least for gaming. On the other hand, Stadia’s on-screen controls on mobile phones are less tactile and may even go unresponsive that can break your gaming experience.

The bottom line is using a mobile game controller for video games or, for that matter, Google Stadia games, would increase the odds of you winning. In this article, we are listing down every compatible mobile controller for Stadia and how you can use it on the cloud gaming service.

Also read: What Is Google Stadia: Everything You Need to Know

 

Inside This Article

  1. The Best Google Stadia Controllers
  2. Google Stadia Controller
  3. Dualshock 4 Controller
  4. Xbox One Controller
  5. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

 

The Best Google Stadia Controllers

As of writing, eight mobile controllers, including keyboard and mouse, are officially supported by Google Stadia. However, you might also be able to use other popular mobile controllers depending on the model. For instance, Razer Kishi and Razer Raiju both work but with significant latency. For a richer experience, we recommend using the mobile controllers recommended by Google Stadia themselves. You can use them using the standard Bluetooth or via wired connections.

Compatible Controllers Connection Type Compatibility Next Step
USB and Wi-Fi
Chromecast Ultra, Google Chrome, Android 10
USB and Bluetooth
Google Chrome, Android 10
USB and Bluetooth
Google Chrome, Android 10
USB
Google Chrome, Android 10
USB and Bluetooth Google Chrome, Android 10
USB Google Chrome, Android 10
USB and Bluetooth Google Chrome

 

How to Use Stadia Controller

The Stadia Controller is the Google-manufactured game controller specifically for its cloud gaming service. It is the only controller that is compatible with Chromecast Ultra, although Google hinted that it is about to change. You can buy this separately for $69 or bundled with Chromecast Ultra for $99.99.

Before you can connect your Stadia Controller to Chromecast Ultra, you should link it first to your home Wi-Fi using the Stadia App. To do this:

A white mobile controller
Photo by Google
  1. Press on the Stadia logo located in between the joysticks of your controller.
  2. Look for the controller logo on the Stadia App and enable location and Bluetooth when prompted.
  3. Select your controller on the Stadia App and wait for your controller to vibrate.
  4. Allow privacy notices on the Stadia App and input your Wi-Fi Network password.
  5. If the Stadia Logo on your controller is blinking with white only, then you can continue syncing it with Chromecast Ultra. If it’s blinking with orange light, then you might be having an issue with your Internet connection.

Once you’re done connecting your Stadia controller to your home network, all you have to do is to press the Stadia logo on your controller again. This will put your devices in linking mode. A combination of the Stadia controller’s buttons will appear on your TV — all you need is to punch this code to the controller.

If there isn’t any code appearing on your TV screen, you must check on your Google Home App if Chromecast is set to Ambient Mode. From Google Home App, select Chromecast>Settings>Ambient Mode. Tap on Edit Ambient Mode and set Stadia Controller linking code to “Show”. You may disable this feature after linking your controller to Chromecast Ultra for the first time because it will auto-connect after that.

 

Update

Google previously announced in a community portal that they are also bringing Google Stadia to Chromecast with Google TV, and even to LG TVs, sometime in the second half of 2021. This could mean that you may be able to enjoy Google Stadia on a larger screen without relying too much on additional hardware.

 

How to Use DualShock 4 Controller on Stadia

DualShock 4 Controller is the standard of a good mobile controller. It’s the answer to the pain of pairing a Dualshock 3 to devices other than PlayStation. But aside from wider Bluetooth compatibility, it has refined features that you may also enjoy when playing Google Stadia games. It has precision triggers for better controls, an interactive touchpad, and a built-in speaker. Combine them all and that makes the best controller Sony has ever made.

The fastest way to connect a DualShock 4 controller when using Google Stadia on a mobile phone or tablet is through Bluetooth Settings.

white Dualshock 4 controller
Photo by Sony
  1. Enable Bluetooth on your mobile phone.
  2. On your DualShock 4, press on the PlayStation logo and share button simultaneously until the light bar flashes some funky white lights.
  3. On your phone’s Bluetooth settings, select the DualShock 4 controller that is ready to pair. The pairing is successful if a word beside your controller’s name says connected.
  4. Open the Google Stadia app and tap on the controller icon at the upper right corner of your screen. It should show that a DualShock 4 controller is linked.

Connecting a DualShock 4 controller to Google Stadia when you are on a PC is also very simple. Just like when connecting it to a mobile phone, you should also enable your computer’s Bluetooth first. Next, press the PS logo on your controller, wait until your computer detects it, then pair them. When your computer says it’s connected to the DualShock 4, launch Google Stadia on a browser and press any button on the controller. The pairing is successful if Stadia responds to the commands you input through the controller.

 

How to use Xbox One Controller on Stadia

The Xbox One controller is another favorite game controller because of its sleek and lightweight design that will allow you to withstand hour-long gaming sessions. Regardless if it’s an Elite or just the Standard edition, connecting it to a mobile phone or computer to play Stadia games is fairly easy. If you were able to pair a PlayStation controller to Stadia before, you won’t find any problem using an Xbox One controller because the process is not that different.

white xbox one controller
Photo by Microsoft

To connect it to a mobile phone:

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your Android or iOS phone.
  2. Turn on your Xbox One controller by pressing the Xbox button.
  3. Put it on link mode by pressing the sync button between the shoulder bumpers of the controller. It is ready to pair if the Xbox button is flashing white lights.
  4. On your phone, select the Xbox One controller to pair with.
  5. Start playing on Google Stadia App.

You may simply use a USB connection to play Stadia games with a controller on a PC. But if you want to play with a controller wirelessly, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on Bluetooth on your Mac or Windows PC.
  2. Follow the second and third steps above when connecting Xbox One controller with a phone.
  3. Once your computer detects your Xbox One controller, select and connect it.

You may start playing Google Stadia on your computer using your Xbox One controller.

 

How to Use Switch Pro Controller on Stadia

If you already have a Switch Pro controller, you’re in luck because you can also repurpose it as a Google Stadia controller. Doing it is far from being complicated.

black Switch Pro controller
Photo by Nintendo

To connect a Switch Pro controller to a mobile phone:

  1. Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone.
  2. Press on the sync button of your Switch Pro controller for a few seconds. You can find it between the shoulder triggers of the controller, near the USB-C port. If the lights below your controller are moving, it is ready to connect.
  3. Go to the Bluetooth page of your phone and pair it with the Switch Pro controller.

If you want to use your Switch Pro controller for playing Stadia games on your computer, you may connect them directly using a USB connector. Google Stadia should detect it automatically when you start playing through the Chrome browser. Otherwise, you can connect it wirelessly via Bluetooth.

  1. On your Mac or Windows computer, enable Bluetooth.
  2. Follow the second procedure for connecting a Switch Pro controller to a mobile phone.
  3. On your computer’s Bluetooth page select the controller to link with.

 

Play Google Stadia Games with a Controller

When you connect a controller to your phone or computer once, Google Stadia will auto-connect to it the second time around unless you forget that controller on your devices. But if you hate going to the trouble of connecting them via Bluetooth, linking your controllers to your devices using wired connections is a lot easier and faster. Needless to say though, you have to give up playing from farther distances when you do this.

If you are contemplating which Google Stadia-supported controllers are best to use, it’s not a surprise that our eyes automatically go to the Stadia controller. Aside from the fact that is custom-made for the cloud gaming service, it allows you access to other features that other controllers don’t have. For instance, it has a dedicated button for capturing gameplays and a Google Assistant button to allow Google to do tasks while you are in a game. In terms of comfort and ergonomics, the Stadia controller is built with an almost similar design to other controllers, so there’s nothing big that would set it apart. In the first place, winning comes hand in hand with skills.

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