Google Stadia is a gaming platform that is developed, owned and operated by Google. It is a cloud gaming service that supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) streaming of video games in 4K resolution.
While the gaming service can work with any kind of HID-class USB controller, Stadia has developed its own Google Stadia controller that works seamlessly with Google’s cloud gaming platform. The platform also seamlessly connects with Google Assistant, and provides relevant google searches for the game you are currently playing, whenever you need them.
Google Stadia has many competitors in brands like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, Sony’s PlayStation Now, Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Amazon’s Luna. A recent question being asked currently is whether we can use other controllers in place of Google Stadia and how we can connect them to the Stadia gaming platform.
Currently, the Google Stadia controller is the only controller that supports wireless gaming on a Chromecast Ultra device. However, the Google Stadia controller can be connected to any compatible device that you already own.
If you don’t already own a Google Stadia controller, it definitely makes sense for you to use your current controller with the Google cloud gaming platform.
We will now compare the Google Stadia controller with the different kinds of gaming controllers currently available in the market.
Google Stadia vs Xbox Controller
The Xbox and Stadia controllers look and feel almost identical in terms of ergonomics and build quality. That being said, choosing either of the controllers is a matter of personal choice.
While Google Stadia has a more ergonomic and slim design according to some users, the familiar Sony DualShock configuration of the Xbox controller may be a selling point for some others.
Stadia, however, has much lower input latency, which is a factor of consideration for users to make a choice.
How to Connect Xbox Controller to Google Stadia
For a wired connection, use a cable to connect the micro-USB port of the Xbox controller to the device running Stadia.
To connect an Xbox controller wirelessly, follow these steps:
- Unplug your Xbox One to avoid pairing it with your controller
- Hold the pairing button on the top of the controller until you see a light flashing on the Xbox button
- Access Bluetooth settings on your phone
- Select ‘Pair New Device’
- Select the option ‘Xbox Wireless Controller’ to pair the controller with your device
- After connecting the controller, open the Stadia app
- Tap the controller icon in the top right corner
- You will see the words ‘Supported Controller Linked’, which means your Xbox controller is now linked to your Stadia app
The Xbox controller pairs effortlessly with both Macs and PCs. However, you need to use a micro-USB connection to pair it with a device while using Chrome, since wireless controllers are not currently supported by Stadia on Chrome.
Google Stadia vs PS5 Controller
Technically, the Stadia controller has higher GPU power in terms of teraflops (FLOP being an acronym for Floating Point Operations per system), as compared to the PS5 controller.
The picture quality and the gameplay performance on Google Stadia is slightly better than that of the PS5, while the PS5 has a more powerful CPU.
Therefore, the user’s personal preference depends on whether they need a richer graphic experience or a more powerful CPU. Ergonomically, both of them offer a similar experience.
How to connect PS5 Controller to Google Stadia
Take the following steps to connect your PS5 DualShock 4 controller with Google Stadia:
- Make sure that you have enabled Bluetooth on the device you’re trying to connect.
- Hold down the ‘share’ button on the PS5 controller
- Hold down the PlayStation button until you see the light blinking, indicating that the device is ready to pair
- Select the controller from your device
If you’re using a PS5 DualSense controller, it is not yet officially supported by Stadia. You can use workarounds like running it and connecting through Steam, or by using the DS5Chrome Extension.
Google Stadia vs Luna Controller
The Luna controller is slightly bulkier as compared to the Google Stadia controller.
Though the Amazon Luna gaming platform is still in an early access and invite-only stage as compared to the one-year head start that Google Stadia has already gained, both the controllers provide a cloud-based gaming experience and there’s little difference in the performance of both the services.
Stadia’s integration with YouTube with the Crowd Play feature and Stadia-exclusive features like Stream Connect and State Share make it stand out in terms of being more feature-rich.
Google Stadia vs Switch Pro Controller
As of now, the Switch pro controller supports Google Stadia only via Chrome, making it less accessible than the Google Stadia controller itself for connecting to the Stadia app.
The Stadia controller is visibly slimmer in build quality compared to the Switch Pro, and has dedicated buttons for taking screenshots and sharing them on social media, which the Switch Pro Controller doesn’t have yet.
The thumbstick layout is different on the Switch Pro and the choice of controller for the user according to the layout depends on how far apart they want their thumbsticks to be placed.
How to connect Switch Pro Controller to Google Stadia
You can link your Nintendo Switch Pro controller to Stadia on an Android device by following the steps given below:
- Hold down the synchronization button on the front until you see a blinking light that indicates that the device is ready to pair
- Go to the Bluetooth settings of the device and select the Switch Pro to pair
- Open the Stadia app and find the device management section in the top right corner. You will see a generic element is available. This indicates that you can now play games on your Google Stadia using your Switch pro controller
To connect your Switch Pro controller to Stadia on PC, you simply have to use a micro-USB cable to connect the controller with the PC. There is no additional setup required for this process, and Stadia will recognize your controller once it is connected.
Stadia Controller on Windows Laptop
The Stadia controller did not fully work on PC earlier, but was later optimized by Google to work in wired mode.
The Google Stadia controller earlier required a USB-C type cable to connect to the PC. Recently, Google has announced the rolling out of wireless functionality for the controller, which allows the user to connect a Google Stadia controller to a Windows device via Bluetooth.
To connect your Stadia controller to your Windows PC wirelessly, follow the steps given below:
1. Go to the website https://www.stadia.google.com/
2. Click on the controller icon in the upper right corner
3. Hold down the button on the controller with the Stadia Logo until the controller starts to vibrate
4. The screen will display a code which consists of a combination of buttons on the remote itself. Press the buttons according to the sequence depicted on the screen. This will link your Stadia controller to the Windows PC wirelessly
Stadia Controller on Mac Laptop
For connecting the Stadia controller to a Mac laptop, you need to check the USB type provided on the Mac.
It may or may not have a c-type port, according to which you have to use a combination of cables and a cable connector so that you can connect the type-c end of the connector on the Stadia controller with the type-c port of the Mac laptop.
Once connected, you will be able to see a steady white light on the Stadia controller’s Stadia button. You can similarly connect any other USB controller to Mac.
For playing on the Mac device, connect the device to the internet, go to https://www.stadia.google.com/, log in using your Stadia account and navigate to the game that you want to play using the controller.
Stadia Controller for Android Phone
Earlier, players on Android mobile could connect to the Stadia controller or a keyboard and mouse for playing games. According to a recent report by 9to5Google, Stadia is set to release a touchscreen controller in Stadia for mobile.
Stadia Controller for Apple Phone
You can connect your Google Stadia controller to your iPhone or iPad wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The Google Stadia controller looks like a winner in every aspect, from the ergonomics to the gameplay, the quality of the gameplay depending on the speed on internet connection that you receive.
That being said, this controller is one of the best controllers you can lay your hands on, though it is on the more expensive end. Google Stadia works flawlessly with this controller of course, but can also be run with other controllers like the Amazon Luna, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Pro and PS5.
The Stadia controller can also be linked to Windows for PC, Mac OS, Android Phone as well as Apple phone, making it a very handy and versatile device.
Did this article answer your question? Is there something more about the Google Stadia controller that you’d like to mention? Write to us in the comments below!
Sam has been a Smart Things expert for years and the author of DIY SmartThings. Recently he’s really more into Nest smart devices and has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects from converting a regular Home to completely a smart home with the background degree in Electronics.