How to Convert the Stadia Controller to Bluetooth

Stadia, from Google, has given a lot to talk about since we started learning about the platform, around 2019. A few years have passed and as we already mentioned what would happen after the official announcement, now it is real that Stadia has been closed on the past 18 January 2023.

How to Convert the Stadia Controller to Bluetooth

How to Convert the Stadia Controller to Bluetooth

With the controversy of its promises ( which have come to cost complaints ) much has been said about the platform with “negative latency” from Google. In the end, like many other Google ideas, it has ended up in the graveyard of dead projects.

It is precisely because of this type of controversy and the development that it has experienced that many are not surprised by the closure, but that does not mean that the developers themselves experienced the greatest surprise among the entire population.

Now that Stadia no longer exists, a large part of those who were its users and had the controller have no idea (or had) what to do with them. Luckily, the much-loved firmware update that unlocks the controller for off-platform use has arrived.

It is ironic to think that initially it could only be used by cable, to later announce that it could be used exclusively wirelessly with a Chromecast Ultra and now we can simply activate the built-in Bluetooth to use it as another generic remote.

How to switch to Bluetooth mode Step by Step

Before we start, we are going to need a computer, it does not matter if it is portable. The important thing is that you have a web browser and that it is Google Chrome (version 108 or higher). Of course, you will also need a USB cable to connect the controller to that computer. Fulfilling this list of materials, let’s start:

1. We navigate to the official page to make the change and click on the button that says “Switch to Bluetooth mode”If the computer used is Linux, you may need to add a new “udev” rule before continuing. Here you have a small official guide, you just need to put a couple of commands.

2. In this new screen we press the button in the box on the left that says “Start ->”

3. A pop-up window will appear asking to accept the Terms of Service before proceeding. We mark the accept box and press “Start” again.

4. It is time to connect the remote control and the computer with the USB cable, as the instructions indicate.

5. Now the page will ask us for permissions to verify the connection of the controller, we simply click on the “Allow Chrome to verify” button.

Then we select the device that we want to verify. In this case, of course, it is the controller. It may not appear with this same name, but as long as we know by what name our computer recognizes it, it is enough to identify and select that one.

If everything has gone as it should, we will see a screen indicating that the command has been verified correctly and we can continue.

6. The next thing is to unlock the remote. To do this we must turn it off (we disconnect it and wait for the indicator light to go out), reconnect it while pressing the three-dot button above the assistant button and finally press these two buttons + A + Y at the same time. If everything has gone as it should, we can move on to the next step without problem.

7. Now we are going to download the update that will allow the controller to use Bluetooth mode. In this new screen, click on “Allow Chrome to download”. Doing so will open a pop-up window similar to when we verified the command. This time the title indicates that we are trying to connect to an HID device and the controller name will look different. After selecting it, we will spend a few seconds on a loading screen while the update is downloading and we will see a success message.

8. In the next and last step we will install the update that we just downloaded. Click on “Allow Chrome to install” and once again a pop-up window will appear to connect to an HID device. The name of the controller is probably “USB COMPOSITE DEVICE”.

Selecting it will start a progress bar indicating the status of the installation. When it finishes, we will see the final screen.

Using the controller with Steam

Since in the official specifications it is explicitly written that compatibility with Windows and MacOS is checked using Steam, we are going to see how to use our renewed Stadia controller in Bluetooth mode with Steam.

  1. We open Steam and access the settings. We can find it if we click on “Steam” and then “Parameters” in the upper left area.
  2. Within the settings, in the left column, we navigate to “Command”. With the new information on the screen, press the first button, “GENERAL REMOTE SETTINGS”
  3. A new window will open. We are interested in the last box in the list and penultimate general option, which says “Generic command configuration”. With marking it we will have applied the changes. In order for them to be effective and to recognize the controller, we may need to restart Steam, the controller itself or even the entire computer just in case.

Final notes

This permanent change has some consequences. In almost all cases, it will be more worthwhile to change it to Bluetooth mode than to generate more electronic waste, but it does not mean that we should know some relevant detail about how they will be.

The first thing is that with the Bluetooth mode the controls will most likely lose the vibration functionality. Not only that, we also lose the embedded audio.

This is because the controller uses Bluetooth Low Energy and is limited to itself. However, it is only when we use it wirelessly, so if audio is essential for you, you can connect it via USB and use headphones with a 3.5mm jack along with the controller.

Another important point is compatibility. There is an official list of compatible devices but they are not necessarily the only ones that we can use.

If you doubt about the compatibility with your device, it is best to give it a try. Bluetooth in general is pretty focused on compatibility, even between very old and very modern versions, so the last thing to lose is hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *