Update: You can now unlock your Stadia controller and enable Bluetooth mode. Learn more.
So, I bought my kids a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Prior to that, the only real gaming that went on in our home was mobile apps on Chromebooks and, of course, Stadia. While there wasn’t a huge selection of kid-friendly games and even fewer couch co-op titles, my kids we entirely content with playing Stadia on a semi-regular basis. I know. You probably think I’m a monster for not giving my kids a game console sooner but trust me, they have more than enough stuff to keep them entertained.
Regardless, when Google announced that Stadia’s services would coming to an end on January 18th of this year, I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and get a console. After unwrapping their Switch on Christmas morning, I quickly realized that we were going to need some more controllers to get the most out of our new Stadia replacement. I sadly looked at the two beautiful Stadia controllers on our entertainment center and thought, if only.
For months, the Stadia community has been begging for Google to release an update that would unlock Bluetooth capabilities for Stadia controllers to work with other devices. For starters, it would be ecologically responsible by reducing the number of controllers heading to the landfill. On a more selfish note, I absolutely love the Stadia controllers and I would love them even more if I could use them for GeForce NOW or perhaps even our Switch.
That reality really seemed like a pipe dream as the Stadia team never even hinted as this as an option and given the fact that Google refunded pretty much everyone’s hardware and software purchases, I wasn’t holding my breath. We’ll Google has gone and surprised us all. As a parting gift to the Stadia community, Community Manager DanFromGoogle took to official community forum to announce that Stadia Controllers would seen have the ability to be unlocked for use with Bluetooth.
In addition, many of you have expressed the desire to enable Bluetooth on the Stadia controller. We have some good news: next week we’ll be releasing a self-serve tool to enable Bluetooth connections on your Stadia Controller. We’ll share details next week on how to enable this feature.Stadia Community Manager
Details should arrive next week on how to use the self-serve tool. Hopefully, this will make the Stadia hardware a fully capable Bluetooth controller for any console or service you choose. Personally, I would use the Stadia controller over the Switch Pro controller in a heartbeat. We’ll see exactly how well the unlocked controllers when the tool is officially rolled out. Until then, the Stadia team emparted one last gift to the community in the form of the free Worm Game that is available to all Stadia users until the service shuts down next week. It’s a bittersweet farewell but the decision to unlock the controllers was a classy one by Google and I know that many are grateful. Read the full announcement and the heartfelt replies here.