The Stadia Controller is one of the best gaming controllers that I have ever used. I will admit, I am not a big gamer but do I appreciate good design and the Stadia controller is a design achievement. If you bought a Founders or Premier Edition bundle, you will have received one of these controllers in your bundle; but what if you want to just buy a controller without the bundle? Unbeknownst to me, the Stadia Controller is apparently available to purchase on the Google Store but you need to know where to look.
First of all, who needs a Stadia Controller? At this point, only those who have Founders and Premiere Edition have access to Stadia and can use the controller that was shipped to them when streaming to a TV with Chromecast Ultra, wired to a Chromebook, or to select Android phones. But these gamers also received a Buddy Pass and so there are many people – like me – who have received this pass and want to use a Stadia Controller without having to borrow one from their friend who bought the bundle. For these Buddy Pass gamers, spending $69 for the Stadia Controller will expand gaming options and will help them take full advantage of all the platform has to offer.
So, if you already have Stadia and want an extra controller for multi-player on the TV or if you have a Buddy Pass and want a controller, you can buy just the controller on Google’s Store and don’t have to purchase a bundle. The product page is not linked on the main ‘Gaming’ page but is buried in the accessories section. You can access the page by clicking the link here.
It is important to note, some other third-party controllers like the Playstation DualShock 4 and the Xbox One can be paired and will work Stadia on a laptop or phone (not Chromecast at this point), but I would definitely recommend using the Stadia Controller, especially if you want to take full advantage of the special features like screen capture and the Google Assistant. The full list of compatible controllers and screens is available here.
I am assuming the controller will be more prominently featured on the Google Store and maybe available to purchase at other retailers when the free-to-play version, Stadia Base, is released in February.