Google is shutting down Stadia tomorrow. But just before it does, the company has rolled out a new support tool that allows owners of the Stadia Controller to use it as a Bluetooth controller. Meaning that the controller won’t be entirely useless after the cloud gaming service shuts down.
Once installed, it will deactivate the proprietary Wi-Fi connection previously on the Stadia Controller and allow you to connect to devices that support Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). Once the update is installed, you can pair the controller to a supported Bluetooth LE device by pressing the Stadia button and the Y button concurrently for two seconds until the status light shows an orange flash.
Important to note, though, that this update will permanently disable the Wi-Fi connectivity on the controller. So, hold off on updating your controller if you want to play games on Stadia one final time before the service is shut down tomorrow.
An interesting tidbit on the Stadia Controller support page notes that the Bluetooth support tool is available for a limited time. Specifically, reading that after Stadia officially shuts down on January 18, Stadia Controller users will have “until December 31, 2023, to update the controller so it can use Bluetooth mode.”
Google rolling out a Bluetooth support tool to extend the lifespan of the Stadia controller is a nice move in reducing e-waste. Previously, another method of using the controller beyond the Stadia Cloud gaming service, as noted by YouTube creator LateStageTech, users that own the gamepad (or a wired controller) thanks to Wiredless Pro.
This Android app allows an Android device to function as a transmitter for a wired controller and send a wireless signal to a PC. Certainly, it was a lot of loopholes to hurdle through, so Google announced last week that it would release a Bluetooth support tool for its controller circumvents this issue.
Alongside the rollout of the Bluetooth support tool, Google also released one final game on the platform. Since announcing that it was closing down Stadia last September, Google did say it was refunding “all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store.”
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.