Fix & Troubleshoot: Google Stadia controller not working or connecting

Google’s very own cloud gaming subscription service has been really popular among gamers lately. Stadia offers unique, affordable features to its users that almost any device you own can be used for online game streaming. There is simply no need for you to acquire any high-end equipment. Google Stadia’s basic subscription plan which is absolutely free aims at providing a library of a variety of games to its users all across the globe.

More great games are awaiting you in the Stadia store! An internet connection of 10 Mbps is recommended for a 720 p gaming experience and for a high-quality 4K experience, an internet connection of 35 Mbps is needed.  I wasn’t kidding when I said you can stream your favourite Stadia games on almost any device!

If you are wondering if you can use any of your available devices, check below.

Google Stadia works with the Google Chrome internet browser. You can play Stadia games on your PC, Mac, and Chromebooks with absolutely no problem at all! Selected smart TVs or Android TVs like LG, and Sony can also use the Stadia app.  Google’s  Chromecast Ultra and Chromecast with Google TV are also supported. Your Android smartphones and iOS devices also support Stadia games!

As far as Google Stadia is concerned, both wired and wireless controller support is really good! If you are streaming games online on your PC, laptop, or your mobile, many of the popular gaming controllers like PlayStation 4 DualShock and the Xbox series X/S controller also work well with Stadia. Sony’s PlayStation controller works well both wired and when it’s connected via Bluetooth. But sadly, you cannot do this with the new PlayStation 5 controller.

If you want to stream the games on your Chromecast Ultra, then the only controller you will be able to use is the Google Stadia controller.

The controller that Google Stadia provides is a bit unique because you can connect it in quite a number of ways. The most common way is to connect your Stadia controller via Wifi to play the Stadia games. Apart from this, it can be connected via Bluetooth and it also has a USB-C port. Based on the type of way you are trying to connect your Stadia controller, you may face different issues. Identify which way you are trying to connect your controller and start troubleshooting accordingly.

What could go wrong when you are trying to connect your Stadia controller?

Since there are different ways to connect the controller to your PC, laptop, phone, tablet, or any compatible device, a number of things could go wrong. Below are the most common reasons you will face.

  • Network connectivity issues which is the most obvious one.
  • Any problem with the device you’re trying to connect the controller to.
  • Any software or firmware problems.
  • Issue with the USB port or cable.
  • Bluetooth issues.
  • Check if your device supports Bluetooth connection.

Try to connect the Stadia controller in of the three following ways.

Using WiFi

By using WiFi, you can connect your controller to the WiFi router. This will enable the controller to directly communicate with the Stadia servers.

Using USB cable

A good alternative to the Wifi connection is connecting via USB. You can also connect the Stadia controller to the device on which you are streaming the games by using a USB cable. By doing so, the controls will communicate with your device and the signals will be sent to the Stadia server.

Using Bluetooth 

Stadia controllers do have a Bluetooth connection but it’s only for setup purposes.

If you are facing any issues while trying to connect the Stadia controller, try these troubleshooting steps.

Connecting via Wifi

  • Restart all your devices. If you are facing a problem while you are trying to connect the controller via Wifi, the issue may be with the controller or your device or the network hardware. Restarting a device can fix a lot of problems.
  • If the device you are trying to connect the controller with is not working, try a different device for the setup. Install the Stadia app on any other compatible device and try connecting again.
  • When you are connecting using the Wifi, try connecting the controller with the router in the same room. This will improve the Wifi signs for the connection. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks are recommended.
  • It’s time to check if all your devices are updated. Any outdated software can be the reason for the connectivity issues you are facing. So check if your device’s firmware or software is updated.

Connecting via USB

  • Unplug the USB cable from your controller and plug it back in properly. Try plugging in the USB-C by rotating it 180 degrees to see if it works.
  • Also, make sure the USB ports are working properly and have no issues.
  • Try connecting a different USB cable if that’s available or a different USB port if your device has more than one.
  • Since you are using a wired controller to play Stadia games, update Google Chrome. 

Connecting via Bluetooth

You can only use Bluetooth for the initial setup before you connect the controller using WiFi.

  • For the initial setup, check if the device has Bluetooth enabled. If Bluetooth is not enabled, the Stadia controller won’t be able to connect.
  • If the controller is not discoverable, restart your controller.
  • To reset the controller, press and hold the Stadia button on the controller until it turns off. Press and hold again until it vibrates twice. Check if the controller is discoverable now.
  • If there are any other devices in your home with Bluetooth turned on, turn it off and check for the connectivity.

Google Stadia recommends connecting the Stadia controller using WiFi as the ideal way to use the controller. It is the only controller that can work wirelessly with Chromecast Ultra. During the initial launch, the Stadia controller couldn’t work wirelessly with PC or Android smartphones. But that was addressed with newer updates which now allows the controller to be connected wirelessly to Android phones with version 10 or later.