Stadia leaves players a PC controller gift before bowing out

Google Stadia will soon bite the dust, but its gamepad will live on as a fully fledged Bluetooth PC controller, thanks to an upcoming firmware update.

Google Stadia controller on pink backdrop

Stadia is almost a distant memory, but a final gift from Google means it’ll live on as a PC controller. That’s right, the streaming platform’s gamepad will soon work with a conventional rig, whether you use it to play Steam games or explore your accumulated collection of Epic Game Store freebies.

We’re somewhat spoiled for choice when it comes to the best PC controller options, but there’s something charming about the Google Stadia gamepad. Perhaps it’s the orange accents under its analogue sticks, or maybe it’s that white and black colour sceme that gives it a contrasty flair. Nevertheless, it’d be a shame to see the peripheral go to waste once the streaming service bites the dust, and it looks like that thankfully won’t be the case.

Tweet from Google Stadia account announcing bluetooth controller update

In a recent tweet, Google confirms that a new “self-service” tool will unlock the Stadia controller’s Bluetooth functionality, meaning you should soon able to pair it with your PC, laptop, or even the Steam Deck. The tech giant hasn’t revealed whether it’ll release the tool after the service ends on January 18, but it’d save the pad from being confined to a dusty old drawer in a day’s time.

Prior to the announcement, there was a risk that the Google Stadia controller would effectively become e-waste, destined to end up in a landfill if not returned to the company. Now that the gamepad has somewhat of a future ahead of it, there’s a chance it’ll become widely used on PC platforms, offering up a similar layout to the PlayStation DualSense while fitting in with other white peripherals and parts.

If you’ve not got a Stadia controller already lying around, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to snag one second-hand for cheap. Over on eBay, pads are selling for around $30 USD, which isn’t too bad when you consider its build quality and striking aesthetic.