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Bluetooth support for the Stadia Controller is now live

By - | Views: 21,950

Google has put up a web-based tool to turn on the Bluetooth mode for the Stadia Controller, as we finally say goodbye.

They say it works on Chrome 108 and above but when trying to work it on Fedora KDE, it just gives a message about currently being in use by another tab or program no matter what I tried. Even setting up the special udev rules they note in the FAQ, just nothing seemed to work. I had to dust off my old Windows install to do it, where it worked without problems there.

The switch is permanent, and headphones won't work when plugged into the bottom of the controller when using Bluetooth mode. Tandem Mode will still work though, where you connect another controller to it but they both act like a single controller.

Once you've managed to enable Bluetooth, you can hold down Stadia + Y to start pairing and continue using it. I'm quite thankful it hasn't ended up as e-waste, because it's damn comfortable to hold. Easily still one of the nicest ever feeling controllers I've used.

Testing it briefly with my Steam Deck in the new Bluetooth mode — it works just fine connecting, and a quick game test showed it fine too.

Plus, the biggest and most important thing to note: there's a time limit. You only have until 31st December 2023 to enable it. Quite a while and no doubt because they just want to shut down everything consumer-side for it and be finally rid of it. 

See more on their FAQ.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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20 comments
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drlamb 17 Jan
Updated the controller I hung onto but I can't say I'll be using it over my King Kong Pro 2 (or anything with Hall effect sensors).


Nevertheless these controllers are excellent, especially for kids. Hell with the build quality and current used prices the Stadia controller may be one of the best bluetooth controllers for kids (or parents with kids - tandem mode!) ever (just needs removable batteries ). I'd already given my 3 other controllers to friend's for such purposes and I'll be sure to pass the update news along to them.

I feel a hell of a lot better about those gifts now. Thank you Google.


Last edited by drlamb on 17 January 2023 at 8:07 pm UTC
FWIW, if you have a Chromebook handy (or a laptop running ChromeOS Flex in my case), the update runs flawlessly
rkl 17 Jan
I found a post on Reddit that got me further in the process on Linux. Basically, the controller's USB device doesn't have write access for your normal user, so it comes up with that incorrect "used by another tab" message. The fix is bring up a terminal as root and find the Stadia controller's bus/device with "lsusb" and then chmod a+rw on the appropriate bus/device.

For example, with my controller plugged in, lsusb reports:

Bus 001 Device 013: ID 18d1:9400 Google Inc. Stadia Controller rev. A

So you would then run this as root:

chmod a+rw /dev/bus/usb/001/013

Now start the process and as you go through each step, repeat the lsusb command each time. I found that it changed to be a "bootloader" on a new device ID:

Bus 001 Device 014: ID 18d1:946b Google Inc. Bootloader

So I did this when i saw that:

chmod a+rw /dev/bus/usb/001/014

The snag is that these steps did get me the very final "Install Bluetooth mode" screen, but the 4-button press I'd done just before to "unlock" it caused the controller to drop off the USB entirely and it was no longer listed when pressing "Allow Chrome to install". Did anyone else see this and find a way around it?
ShabbyX 17 Jan
Quoting: rklI found a post on Reddit that got me further in the process on Linux. Basically, the controller's USB device doesn't have write access for your normal user

What were the group and permissions of the file originally? I suspect all you needed to do was to add your user to that group.

At least I saw this previously with serial ports and the dialout group.
CyborgZeta 18 Jan
Ran into the same problem. Constantly saying it was open in another tab or program.

I don't use Windows, so I guess I won't be using Bluetooth on my Stadia controller. Eh, I prefer leaving my controllers plugged into my PC anyway.
Quoting: rklI found a post on Reddit that got me further in the process on Linux. Basically, the controller's USB device doesn't have write access for your normal user, so it comes up with that incorrect "used by another tab" message. The fix is bring up a terminal as root and find the Stadia controller's bus/device with "lsusb" and then chmod a+rw on the appropriate bus/device.

For example, with my controller plugged in, lsusb reports:

Bus 001 Device 013: ID 18d1:9400 Google Inc. Stadia Controller rev. A

So you would then run this as root:

chmod a+rw /dev/bus/usb/001/013

Now start the process and as you go through each step, repeat the lsusb command each time. I found that it changed to be a "bootloader" on a new device ID:

Bus 001 Device 014: ID 18d1:946b Google Inc. Bootloader

So I did this when i saw that:

chmod a+rw /dev/bus/usb/001/014

The snag is that these steps did get me the very final "Install Bluetooth mode" screen, but the 4-button press I'd done just before to "unlock" it caused the controller to drop off the USB entirely and it was no longer listed when pressing "Allow Chrome to install". Did anyone else see this and find a way around it?

My friend was able to do this, and he was prompted to change the udev rules, after that it worked apparently.
N00byKing 18 Jan
I was able to do the update on Linux using Chromium as well, using the workaround posted by @rkl and the udev rules provided by Google; no additional steps required
hardpenguin 18 Jan
Now I want one.
Jeffrey 18 Jan
I can confirm that the combination of the supplied udev rules and chmodding works.
The device name changes so for me the easiest way to find the next device was simply comparing the new lsusb output with the previous one.
EagleDelta 18 Jan
Is anyone else having issues with Steam not recognizing the right analog stick properly?
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