how to make your controller bluetooth compatible

how to make your controller bluetooth compatible

Google Stadia promised it, it did it: you can turn its controller into a simple Bluetooth controller. Here is the procedure to follow.

Google Stadia is now dead, but when the end of the service was announced, a question remained unanswered for a long time: what will happen to its controller? This one isn’t bad after all, but has a big problem: it’s made to connect to Google’s servers over Wi-Fi, and its Bluetooth module is only intended to help with the first pairing.

For use your Stadia controller on any platform, in particular the PC or Android, it was therefore necessary to use it wired… or to use circumvention tools which were far from easy to handle for the general public. Google then announced that an update would unlock the controller’s Bluetooth capabilities, and it’s now available. Let us help you convert your Stadia Controller to use it on the devices you want.

How to turn on Bluetooth on Stadia Controller

Note one important thing before you even start the procedure: the official tool offered by Google will only be available until 12/31/2023. After this year, if you do not perform this update, your controller will be blocked on connections to Google servers… which no longer exist. This is one of the great weaknesses of this maneuver: it is only available onlineso there is no possibility (for the moment) to do it without going through the Google site.

Before any procedure, obviously have the Stadia controller(s) you want to convert to Bluetooth, as well as aa USB-C cable allowing it to be connected to a PC or Mac. You will also need the chrome browser, or a browser using Chromium like Microsoft Edge or Opera. Remember to recharge your controller before launching hostilities: you will need minimum 10% battery (i.e. approximately 30 minutes of charge) to be able to continue.

Here are the steps to switch your Stadia Controller to Bluetooth mode:

  1. Connect to the official Google Stadia website dedicated to the procedure, and choose “Switch to Bluetooth mode” by clicking on Start.
  2. Accept the terms of use, and continue.
  3. Connect your Stadia Controller to your computer
  4. Click on “Allow Chrome to verify”, then on the name of your controller which will be displayed in a new window, and finally on “Connection”
  5. If your controller does not have at least 10% battery, a message will invite you to recharge it before starting the procedure again
  6. If your controller has enough charge, Chrome will validate your controller. Click on “Next step”.
  7. Stay on site, but unplug your controller
  8. Press the “…” button on your controller, and keep it pressed while you reconnect it to your computer
  9. Release the “…” button while leaving the controller connected
  10. Press the “…”, Assistant (the little bubbles), A and Y keys at the same time. The controller won’t respond, and that’s normal.
  11. Click “Next Step” on the official website
  12. Click on “Allow Chrome to download”, then on your controller (which will have a type name SF Blank BT Family) in the new window that opens and finally on “Connection”
  13. The update is rolling out to your Stadia Controller, which is now Bluetooth-enabled

The procedure is irreversible. But since the Stadia service is over, there’s no reason not to realize it to give this controller a new life.

Pair and use your Stadia controller in Bluetooth mode

Obviously, this controller was never created to be used other than with the Stadia service. To pair and use it, some good practices are to know.

First of all, after this update, the controller will automatically turn on in pairing mode. But if you later want to connect it to another device, you will need press the Stadia and Y buttons at the same time for at least 2 seconds. The status light will flash orange to confirm that you have entered pairing mode.

Also: if most of the buttons are standard and will be recognized as you imagine, like this Stadia button that will default to a Home button like an Xbox controller, two of them are very special. The Screenshot and Google Assistant buttons were particularly tied to the past ecosystem. Know that these buttons are not assigned by defaultbut that you can link them to any action yourself in each of your games.

In the future, it is possible that Google will offer an update to the Bluetooth protocol of this controller, to correct potential bugs for example. If you want check that an update is available, or you have successfully converted, you just need to log in to the same site and choose “Check mode and check for updates”. The following steps will therefore be similar to the installation procedure.