Google is giving people an extra year to convert dead Stadia controllers to Bluetooth — and this lifeline is definitely worth it

(Image credit: Google)

Google Stadia is long gone, and officially shut down back in early January. Part of that demise meant that Stadia’s Wi-Fi-enabled controllers stopped working. Thankfully there is an option to convert those controller connections to Bluetooth, and Google initially gave users until the end of this year to get it done. 

Now, though, it looks like that deadline has been extended by an extra 12 months.

Google has offered refunds for Stadia hardware and software, as a result of the service’s closure. But anyone that kept hold of their controllers can keep using them on other devices, provided they switch from a Wi-Fi connection to a Bluetooth one. That way it’ll work with PCs, phones, tablets, and even a Mac. 

This change is permanent, and means you can never go back to using the Stadia controller via Wi-Fi. Not that you’d want to, because in that state it’s about as useful as a fancy-looking rock. Potentially nice to look at, or to use as a paperweight, but ultimately not that practical.

As Ars Technica points out, converting a Stadia controller to Bluetooth isn’t as easy as downloading some firmware. Instead Google is using a specialized update page with a “WebUSB” API setup, and while this doesn’t require downloading any specialist update software it means the whole Bluetooth conversion process can’t be replicated by a third party. So once Google’s deadline expires, you’re out of luck.

You can never go back to using the Stadia controller via Wi-Fi. Not that you’d want to, because in that state it’s about as useful as a fancy-looking rock.

Good thing, then, that Google’s giving everyone an extra 12 months — extending the deadline to December 31 2024. So if you have a Stadia controller (or find one on sale for a very good price) you’ve got some time to prevent it being turned into ewaste. 

Currently the controller is available for $45 on Amazon, which is not the greatest price for something that’s almost obsolete — but it’s a lot less than the original $69 price tag. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth buying and converting to Bluetooth.

The whole conversion process  takes about three minutes, according to Google, and you should ensure your controller has charged for at least 30 minutes. Simply plug your controller into your computer with a USB data cable, and open up the conversion page in a Chromium browser.

The browser will walk you through everything and has a feature that lets you check whether your Stadia controller has been converted to Bluetooth or not. Once it’s actually done, pairing mode is initiated by pressing the Y button for at least two seconds, at which point the status light will flash orange.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.