Google Stadia Bluetooth self-serve tool now available

Stadia Controllers

As promised just last week, Googles self-serve tool is now available to enable Low Energy Bluetooth mode on your Stadia Controllers.

The End is nigh

Stadia is now in its final days before the plug is plugged, and it takes place ‘literally’ in the cloud. A good majority of players have received their refunds and there is now another silver lining, one last hurrah as it were… Google is allowing us to enable Bluetooth Mode on our Stadia controllers, meaning that we can continue to use the controller on the devices we want.

Right tool for the job

The tool is available at https://stadia.google.com/controller/ which requires Chrome 108 or greater. The process is simple enough with a wizard to guide you through the update steps. However this process is permanent and comes with a warning

Switching is permanent
Once you switch your controller to Bluetooth mode, you can’t change it back to use Wi-Fi on Stadia. You can still play wired with USB in Bluetooth mode.

There’s no need to rush and update all of your controllers straight away, you still have a day to take full advantage of the Wireless connection to the Google servers that we grew accustomed to. After January 18th you will have until the end of the year, December 31st 2023, to change over to Bluetooth mode.

The Process

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool
Stadia self-serve tool

Upon entering the self-serve tool you’ll be welcomed by the image above ‘Play wirelessly with Bluetooth’.

Firstly connect your controller via a USB-A to USB-C cable into your PC/Mac or laptop and hit Start to start the process. You’ll be asked to accept the Terms of Service and you’ll be onto the wizard

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 1 Plug In
1. Plug in your controller
Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 2 Verify Controller
2. Let Chrome verify your Stadia controller

The next step is for Chrome to verify your Stadia controller is in fact a Stadia controller and has the correct starting firmware.

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 3 Verified
3. Stadia Controller Verified

The next step is to “unlock” your controller so that it is ready to receive a new custom firmware.

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 4 Unlock Controller
4. Unlock your Stadia controller

The next step will guide you through downloading the “Bluetooth mode” firmware update.

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 5 download bluetooth mode
5. Bluetooth Download
Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 6 Download Complete
6. Download Complete

Once downloaded, all that is left is to install the new firmware in order to enter “Bluetooth mode”.

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 7 Install Bluetooth Mode
7. Install Bluetooth mode
Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 8 Installing Bluetooth Mode
8. Installing Bluetooth mode

Congratulations! Your controller is now in Bluetooth mode!

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Unlock Tool Step 9 Complete
Installation complete

How to pair

Once you have completed the process, to enable pairing mode is as simple as pressing and holding the Stadia button + the Y button for two seconds. The status light on the Stadia button will start to flash orange, you will now see the Stadia controller as an available device to pair. Upon selection, the status light on the controller will change to white confirming the connection. In future the Stadia controller will connect to the last paired device.

Stadia Controller Bluetooth Pairing Step 1
Pairing step 1
Stadia Controller Bluetooth Pairing Step 2
Pairing step 2

A few things to note

Compatibility

As it currently stands the Stadia controller will not connect via Bluetooth to PlayStation, Xbox or Switch devices. e.g.

Stadia Controller Fails to Connect to PlayStation
PlayStation Bluetooth connection error

Through our own testing we have found the following have been successful:

  • Windows Devices
  • Android (Phone, Tablet, Google TV)
  • Chromebook

Battery

The battery level can be displayed via the device that you are connected to, as shown below:

Windows 10
Chromebook
Pixel 6

Audio

Whilst using the controller wirelessly via Bluetooth, the 3.5 mm aux port will not be available to use with headphones. At this moment it is unclear as to why as this seems to be a standard for the majority of controllers. There is an option via the self-serve tool to check for Bluetooth updates. So it is possible this could change in a future update?

Remapping Buttons

The Google Assistant and Capture buttons will no longer have any function, except to factory reset the Stadia controller. Both of these buttons are free to be remapped via button mapping services.

If you do experience any problems during the update process such as not completing steps or your controller is not working, you can refer to the Bluetooth mode Help Center.


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eddyrick

eddyrick is a father, husband and software developer with an interest in cloud technologies. You can always catch him either gaming in the clouds, watching or playing football (soccer). Like his content? You can follow him on Twitter: @eddyrickgaming and Buy Him a Coffee.

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