Google Stadia’s Bluetooth Controller Upgrade Goes Live as Service Shuts Down Today

Google has released yesterday the Bluetooth update tool for its Stadia controller, which will allow gamers to continue using the controller after Google’s cloud gaming service shuts down today. The browser-based tool enables Bluetooth Low Energy support on the Stadia controller while permanently disabling Wi-Fi connectivity to Stadia’s servers.

In an FAQ, Google explained that you have until the end of the year to enable Bluetooth mode on your Stadia controller. “Further updates to the Stadia Controller will not be offered after the Stadia servers shut down on January 18, 2023. After the shutdown in January, you have until December 31, 2023 to update the controller so it can use Bluetooth mode,” the FAQ reads.

To enable Bluetooth connectivity on your Stadia controller, you’ll need to plug it into a PC or Mac with a USB-C cable, open this page on a Chromium-based browser, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the firmware update. Be aware that your controller will need to have at least 10% of battery before you can install the firmware update.

Once Bluetooth mode has been enabled on your Stadia controller, you can connect it to play games on a PC or mobile device with a Bluetooth Low Energy adapter. Google says that it has only tested Bluetooth compatibility of its Stadia controller with Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS 13, Steam, ChromeOS, and Android.

As of this writing, Google’s Stadia servers are still online but the cloud gaming service will be sent to the Google graveyard later today. Google has already refunded all game and hardware purchases made on its Stadia store.

It’s good that Google isn’t making its Stadia controller completely useless after shutting down its cloud gaming service. In addition to Bluetooth connectivity,  the Stadia controller will also continue to work as a regular controller when plugged into a device with a USB-C cable.

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