Technology

Stadia fans are refusing to let its controller die with the streaming service

Following the recent news that Google is shutting down Stadia in January, fans of the service are finding ways to save its controller from an e-waste fate by connecting it wirelessly to other systems. While the Stadia controller can already be used with PC, Mac, and smartphones via a wired connection, a wireless connection via Bluetooth is currently restricted to the soon-to-be-defunct Stadia platform. That hasn’t stopped fans developing workarounds.

One method involves using an Android device as a transmitter. Last year, YouTube creator LateStageTech demonstrated how his app, Wiredless Pro, lets users connect wired controllers to an Android device, which then sends the signal wirelessly to a PC. Then, this October, YouTuber Benjaninja demonstrated that this method works with Stadia controllers, albeit with a few caveats. In Benjaninja’s demonstration, neither of the Stadia controller’s trigger buttons were recognized, which could restrict the number of games playable using this method. The need for the Stadia controller to be physically connected to an Android device is also less than ideal for those who want to avoid a wired connection completely.

Google is exploring ways to open up the Stadia controllers wireless Bluetooth connectivity

Another method has been created by engineer Parth Shah, though it’s only available on PC and requires a little more work. As reported by Digital Trends, Shah’s approach requires users to install Python 3 onto their PC and download version 1.2.0 of his software from GitHub. Then, they can follow Shah’s guide to download the ZIP file and run a file within named server.exe. A Stadia icon will appear in their PC System Tray, which provides an URL you need to type into a browser on the Android device connected to the Stadia controller. This method still frustratingly requires a wired connection from the Stadia controller to an Android device, however, all buttons appear to be functional in Shah’s demonstration.

Some Stadia users have asked Google to open up the Bluetooth capabilities built into the Stadia controller to make these connections easier. Google has acknowledged these requests and is looking into a possible firmware update to make it a reality. For now, at least, a wired connection remains a functional alternative to ensure the controllers don’t become e-waste.

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