Best answer: Currently, Google’s Stadia controller is your only option if you want to play Stadia games on your TV. For Stadia gaming on a Pixel phone or PC, any USB or Bluetooth controller you already own and love should work.
The Stadia controller is the main piece of hardware players will use to interact with Google’s new Stadia gaming service. It looks like a typical controller for the most part, but it comes with two unique buttons: a Share and Google Assistant button.
The buttons will be at the core of Stadia (once everything Google originally promised about the service is up and running). You can hit the Share button to broadcast or share a clip directly to YouTube. The Google Assistant button connects you to, you guessed it, Google’s smart assistant. There’s a built-in microphone on the controller that can process your commands and questions, along with special in-game features.
Additionally, you’ll need the Stadia controller in order to link up with your Chromecast. This is a key way to play Stadia games on your TV and you can’t reach the Chromecast without an official Stadia controller.
There’s a lot of incentive to get one. However, the good news is that you don’t need a Stadia controller in order to stream games from the cloud on other devices. Stadia on your phone or PC will work with any of your controllers as long as they connect via USB or Bluetooth.
Can I buy a Stadia controller?
With the official launch of Stadia, Google is now offering the Stadia controller both as a standalone purchase and in a Stadia Premiere Edition, $69 and $129, respectively. The premiere package comes with the controller, a Chromecast, and three months of Stadia Pro if you prefer to stream Stadia games to your TV.
A more universal controller
The features of the Stadia controller are tempting but if you aren’t sure how much you want to invest in streaming games from Google yet, USB and Bluetooth controllers are an option on PC and Pixel phone. Just plug in or pair your controller as you usually would before starting up Stadia.
If don’t already have a Bluetooth controller and you’re looking for one that can offer more comprehensive coverage, there are plenty of options. The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is one of our current favorite Bluetooth controllers. You can use it on both PC and mobile, and it gets 20 hours of use out of a full charge.
If you want to be hard-wired in and are looking for a basic USB controller, the Logitech F310 is your best bet. It works with PC, Android TV, and more.
Use for both PC and mobile
SteelSeries is known for its high-quality Bluetooth controllers and the new SteelSeries Stratus Duo is no exception. Use it for 20 hours on a single charge across all your devices and get the most out of Stadia.
When you want to be hard-wired in
Bluetooth connectivity isn’t for everyone, which is where USB comes in. Logitech makes solid gaming accessories and peripherals across the board, and the inexpensive F310 gamepad is a solid bet for anybody looking for a USB controller.