The time is nigh, Stadia fans, we’ve reached the eve of the Stadia service shutting down and after tomorrow it’s gone for good, but now you can activate Bluetooth mode on the controller so it’s still usable wirelessly.
When Google launched Stadia all the way back in 2019, the controller was only usable over WiFi, or with a wired connection using a USB-C cable. The Stadia controller did contain Bluetooth technology but there was no way to activate it. It was only there for users to connect the controller to their Stadia account using the Stadia app. But then did nothing.
Since the beginning Stadia users have been clamoring for Google to enable Bluetooth. And the time has finally come. Earlier this month Google noted it would be setting up the capability to enable Bluetooth on the controller. At the time it said it would share more details closer to January 18. Well, today Google just dropped the tool that allows you to enable Bluetooth. The process is pretty straightforward, but we’ll walk you through it anyway.
Why activate Bluetooth on the Stadia controller?
The only reason to enable Bluetooth is so you can continue to use the controller wirelessly. But Google does mention that once you enable Bluetooth mode, it’s a permanent thing. You won’t be able to re-activate WiFi mode. This is important for one reason and one reason only. If you use the controller to play Stadia games on your TV using the Chromecast Ultra, you’ll need WiFi mode.
That being said, if you’re planning to dive into some games on Stadia for one last hurrah, don’t enable the Bluetooth mode just yet. This way you can enjoy the games on your TV as normal and activate Bluetooth later. Google says the tool is sticking around until December of 2023, so you have time to activate Bluetooth the day after Stadia goes offline for good.
How to enable Bluetooth
Google has put out a website and tool that allows this process to take place. There are quite a few steps though. So let’s go through them.
Head to the official website
Start by going to stadia.google.com/controller/. This is the site you’ll need to be on to start this process.
Click the “switch to Bluetooth mode” button
Now click the button at the top of the page that says “switch to Bluetooth mode.”
Click the start button and accept the terms of service
On this page you should see two options available for you to work with. Switch to Bluetooth mode and Check mode and updates. The second option is for checking to see if your controller is already in Bluetooth mode or if there is an update available for it that allows this switch. Neither of these should be things you need to worry about if you haven’t gone through this process yet.
The only reason these might be useful is if you have other people in the home that use the Stadia controller and may have already activated Bluetooth mode on your Stadia controller(s).
Plug in your Stadia controller using a USB-C cable
Make sure your controller is connected to your PC using a USB-C cable. This can be the one that came with the controller, or any other USB-C cable that you have lying around as long as it transmits data. Google stresses that you need to make sure your controller has been charged for 30 minutes before starting this process. This is a requirement. If your controller is dead and has not been charged for at least 30 minutes, you will not be able to complete this process.
If your controller does a need a charge, the tool will let you know. Simply unplug the controller, charge it for 30 minutes, then come back to this next step.
Let Chrome verify your controller
On this next screen, you’ll need to let Chrome verify your controller. After clicking the verify button, you’ll see a small device list pop up next to the URL bar. Find your Stadia controller and click on that. Then click on the Connect button.
Unlock your Stadia controller
The next step is to unlock your controller. You simply need to unplug it, which will turn it off. From there, plug it back in while holding the three-dot button. Google says the status light should remain off here. And if it turns on, to unplug the controller and try it again.
Next, you’ll need to press four buttons at the same time. This will be the three-dot button, the Google Assistant button, the A button, and the Y button simultaneously. Then click Next to continue to the next step. If everything goes right, you should see a message from upir PC pop up about setting up a device. The controller will have no feedback whatsoever. No lights and no vibration. So watch for the PC notification.
Download the Bluetooth mode update
Now you just need to let the Bluetooth mode update download. Click allow Chrome to download to start the process. Look for the device list to pop up near the URL bar again, only this time you should see SP Blank RT family. Select that and then click connect. After it’s done you see the screen change to download complete. Click the button to move to the next step.
Install the update
This will be the last step for you and then Bluetooth mode should be activated on your Stadia controller. Click the button that says allow Chrome to install. Here you will see the device list pop up next to the URL bar one more time and you’ll need to select USB Composite Device here, then click connect and let the tool do its thing.
Once finished you should see a screen that says the installation is complete. And that’s that. If you have more Stadia controllers you can go through these steps again for those as well.