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Stadia users can now unlock their controller’s Bluetooth

But you may want to wait until Stadia shuts down tomorrow night.
Photo of the Stadia controller, propped up on a table
Jessica Conditt / Engadget
Will Shanklin
Will Shanklin|January 17, 2023 3:18 PM

Google has released the online tool it promised to enable Bluetooth support on the Stadia controller. This gives the cloud-streaming gamepad a second life, so owners can use it with PC, iOS or Android devices, preventing the platform’s central accessory from becoming a glorified paperweight. Stadia will shut its doors for good on Wednesday at 11:59 PM PT.

Owners of the Stadia controller can visit this web-based tool to unlock Bluetooth. The process is quick, simple and easy to follow. First, you’ll need to connect your controller to your computer using a USB-C cable and ensure it’s charged to at least 10 percent. Then, you can open the tool in Chrome and follow the website’s instructions.

Google announced in September that it would shut down its cloud gaming service. It refunded all game and hardware transactions starting in November, and several game studios stepped in to assist with porting progress. For example, IO interactive released a promised Progression Carryover tool for Hitman players, and Ubisoft is offering free PC copies of its games purchased through Stadia.

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Not now

I dusted off my Stadia controller to test out the tool. After half an hour of charging (it had been in a box for two years), I connected it to my MacBook, fired up Chrome and had no problems completing the process. After finishing, you can hold down the Stadia button and the ‘Y’ button to pair it with compatible devices.

The Bluetooth tool disables the controller’s WiFi, required for Stadia gameplay, so you may want to wait until after the closure if there's a chance you’ll want to play one last time. You could even seize the opportunity to try the Worm Game Google released last week as a “thanks” to its loyal users. Stadia had its share of enthusiastic and dedicated fans; they just fell short of the numbers needed to keep the service afloat.

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Stadia users can now unlock their controller’s Bluetooth