You can download Google Stadia on any recent Android smartphone – while “ official support ” is for most Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Google Pixel, Asus ROG and Razer phones, thanks to “ experimental support ”, you can use any other handset on the same operating system.
This means that, unless you have an Apple iPhone or a really old Android phone, you can play Google Stadia, and thanks to the free trial, it won’t cost you right away either.
If you’re a gamer who wants to access Google Stadia on your phone, you’re in luck because unlike TVs where you’ll need the Stadia controller, you can use the phone app with your PS4 or Xbox One controller. Some gamepads also work, like the Razer Kishi.
The process of connecting your game controller to your smartphone and then complying with Stadia can be a bit complicated, so we’ve put together this guide to help you through all the steps of the process.
How to set up the Google Stadia app
On your compatible smartphone, go to the Play Store and download the Google Stadia app. It shouldn’t be too difficult, you probably know how to get apps on your phone. It’s worth pointing out that if you don’t have a Google Account, you might find it more convenient to set it up on stadia.google.com and simply log into the app afterwards.
In the app, you should be able to see the interface of Google Stadia and all the games you have once you’ve purchased them. Whether or not you are going to play Stadia on your phone, you have to download the app to play games and browse the library, so it should get pretty familiar.
Originally, you had to purchase the Google Stadia Premiere bundle to be able to play on mobile (unless you have a promo code), which included the controller, as that comes with three months of Stadia Pro. Now you don’t need Stadia Pro to play Stadia.
How to connect a controller to your smartphone
You can’t play Google Stadia on smartphones with your fingers, you need to get a controller. If you already own a console, that’s easy, but if not, you may need to purchase the Stadia Controller online.
Not many people know that you can connect a gamepad to your smartphone, but it’s actually quite easy and useful if you’re a mobile gamer too. You can connect a DualShock 4 controller (from a PS4) and Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers (no point guessing what they’re from), or the actual Google Stadia controller. The Switch Pro controller, as well as the keyboard and mouse, will not work, although you can use it for Stadia on computers.
One option for connecting your controller to your smartphone is through a USB connection, and it should be noted that this is the only option for some controllers – you can check which one here.
Since your smartphone will have a USB-C or microUSB port, you’ll need an adapter before you plug in your controller, which will likely have a USB 3.0 socket that you’ll use to charge it into the console. You’ll have to shop around for this, but it should provide a stable connection.
Discover all compatible smartphones and controllers on the Google website by clicking on here.
The other option you have for connecting your smartphone to your controller is Bluetooth, which works for the PS4 controller as well as the standard Xbox One and Xbox Adaptive controllers. Make sure your controller is disconnected from your console before attempting to operate it on your smartphone.
Put your controller in pairing mode: you can do this by holding the Options and PS buttons on the PS4 controller (the latter is the small round center button, not the large trackpad), or on the Xbox controller simply by holding the button Sync for a few seconds.
On your smartphone, find the Bluetooth menu by swiping your finger down from the top of the screen and long-pressing the Bluetooth icon. Make sure your device is in scan mode, pressing “ Scan ” if it isn’t already, and the wireless controller should appear.
It’s worth pointing out that sometimes you have to press scan multiple times and turn Bluetooth off and on again, as it’s not always an easy pairing process. Your controller will stop trying to pair after a while also if it hasn’t paired properly, so if that didn’t work, remember to restart it. After a while, if your controller is not yet paired with your console, the controller and phone should pair. Now for the controller to work with Google Stadia.
How to get your controller working on Google Stadia
Even though you can pair your controller with your phone, it’s not always easy to get Google Stadia to recognize it. We recommend that you make sure your smartphone is updated to its latest version, which will be Android 10.
In the Google Stadia app, tap the controller icon in the upper right corner of the screen (right next to the account icon. If your phone is up to date and the controller is successfully paired, you should see the controller here, and you can select it to pair the devices.
It’s worth pointing out that during our testing processes we had some issues with this step, but updating to Android 10 fixed the issue. Google says you need to be on the latest operating system to use a Bluetooth connection, although we’ve heard reports from people on Android 9 who have managed to use a USB connection to work anyway.
Either way, we recommend that you update to Android 10 just for its benefits, and all officially compatible smartphones have the upgrade anyway, so there’s no reason to stick with it. to Android 9.
If everything worked, your PS4, Xbox, or Stadia controller should now be recognized by the app and you can go straight to your game. If you need a suggestion on what you want to play, we have a list of best Google Stadia games for you to review, and more are added all the time.