From now on you can decide for yourself with which controller you play your games with the Google Stadia game streaming service. This is possible because of Google Stadia: Tandem Mode. We explain how that works.
When you use Google Stadia game streaming service on a PC, smartphone or tablet, you can determine which controller you use for a long time. You are never really dependent on the Stadia controller, although of course it works best with the service. However, gamers who use Stadia in conjunction with a Google Chromecast Ultra so that they can play their games on a television have not been able to enjoy that freedom so far. Google is now changing that with the so-called Tandem Mode.
The Tandem Mode of the Google Stadia controller is basically very simple. You can use the USB-C port on the controller to connect all kinds of game controllers. Then the Stadia controller processes the input, which forwards everything to the game servers.
Google Stadia: Tandem Mode explained
When you’ve connected your alternate controller to the Google Stadia controller, that secondary controller will be seen as the primary controller, as it were. A push of the button on your PlayStation or Xbox controller causes that button to be processed as if it were the main controller. You can use one of the two controllers or choose to use both. Handy for when you miss a button on the other controller, which is present on the Stadia controller.
This new functionality has two advantages. Firstly, you can now decide for yourself which controller to play with. Unfortunately, not all controllers you find here and there are supported, but the selection is large enough to find something that suits you. It doesn’t matter whether the secondary controller was initially supported by Stadia or not; as long as you can connect it to the usb-c port, it will work. One of the controllers is, for example, the Xbox Adaptive Controller: a controller intended for people with disabilities. This makes Google Stadia somewhat more accessible again.
You connect the controllers to each other with a USB-C cable. It depends on the controller you want to connect whether you need an adapter. For example, you need to use a USB-C to USB-C cable for the Nintendo Switch controller (if it is still supported). The same applies to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. If you want to connect an older Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller, you need a micro-USB adapter. Check which connection your intended gamepad has, then you know what you need.
Which controllers can you use?
As mentioned, you cannot just use any controller. You do not have access to exactly the same offer as on the PC, but fortunately the choice is still huge. On the support page Google states that the Stadia Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, Xbox One Controller, Xbox One Elite (Series 1 and 2), and Sony DualShock 4 are supported. You can always try your luck and check if another controller is supported, but the chances are slim.
In any case, it would grace Google if additional controllers are supported. For example, those of the Nintendo Switch or of the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 5, just to name a few examples. The range will undoubtedly be expanded in the future. We also hope for support for steering wheels, for example, so that we can get more out of our racing games.
We’ve written an extensive article on the options out there regarding it streaming video games. Besides Google Stadia, there are of course a number of game streaming services that you can try out.