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the 6 most important questions answered (Update)

Google will stop Stadia from January 18, the company has announced. But what about your games if they can no longer run on Google’s servers? We answer the top questions based on Google’s announcements and additional information Google shared on Reddit.

Update: More is known about the Bluetooth function of the Stadia controller, which also works with Windows PCs. We’ve updated this article.

1. What about my games?

You will be able to play all your games until January 18, 2023, when Stadia will be discontinued. It is also no longer possible to buy new games. Instead, Google will fully refund the purchase price for all games users have purchased in recent years.

You should have already received those refunds, because Google wanted to have contacted every gamer via email before January 18 about the refunds, but that is quite an administrative job. You can read more about it in this more detailed article.

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2. What about in-game purchases and Stadia Pro?

Like your purchased games, in-app purchases are also refunded by Google. Things work differently with the Stadia Pro subscription. Google is not going to refund gamers monthly subscription fees because you did get access to free games during the period. Those who were still subscribed to Stadia Pro will also lose access to their games from January 18. The subscription will also be canceled automatically.

3. Will I lose my progression in games?

Not for games that are cross-play, i.e. games where a game profile can also be used on other game platforms. For example, if you install Destiny 2 on your PC tomorrow, you can take your progress with you.

And there are also certain games that let you export your saves from Stadia via Google Takeout. Takeout is a generic tool that allows you to download your personal data from Google services, such as your photos stored in the Google Photos cloud. Gamers have already managed to export their Stadia progression from certain games and then use these save files in the PC version of the same game. This works, for example, with the popular Cyberpunk 2077, which users discovered on Reddit. Still, this won’t work for all Stadia games, and you’ll lose your progress for those titles.

4. And is there anything else I can do with the controller and Chromecast Ultra?

As with your game purchases, Google will also refund any Stadia hardware purchased through the Google Store. This includes Stadia Founders Edition, Premier Edition and separate controllers. Google will also notify you of that refund via email to gamers.

You can still connect the Stadia controller to a PC via a USB cable to use it with PC games. Google also recently announced that the controller can now also connect wirelessly to your devices via Bluetooth. That works after you manually install an update for your controller.

Follow the steps below. You can only use the controller’s bluetooth function on a Windows or Linux computer. The feature does not work for Nintendo Switch or Mac.

  1. Visit this page on the Stadia website through your computer’s Chrome browser
  2. click on Switch to bluetooth mode
  3. Choose Start
  4. Accept the terms
  5. Choose Get on
  6. click on Let Chrome verify
  7. Tap the name of your controller in the dialog box and then click Make a connection
  8. Choose Next step
  9. click on Allow Chrome to download
  10. Choose the name of your controller and then Make a connection
  11. Tap on Next step
  12. Choose Allow Chrome to install
  13. Choose the again name of your controller and Make a connection
  14. Your controller will vibrate as a confirmation that the update has been completed
  15. To pair the controller wirelessly with your devices for the first time, press and hold the Stadia and Y buttons together for 2 seconds. Then you can connect via bluetooth. After pairing, the connection happens automatically every time, every time you activate the controller

5. What went wrong with Stadia?

In principle, we could elaborate on this for a long time, but our analysis is the following. From the launch of Founders Edition, Google failed to set gamers’ expectations, and Stadia didn’t include all of the features announced at the time of the announcement. Google could count on a lot of criticism and the range of games was quite limited.

In the months that followed, Google also failed to successfully market Stadia and to provide a clear story. The company also invested little in exclusive titles for its game service in anticipation of the appearance of the first exclusive games that Google developed with its own game studio.

In February 2021, about a year after its foundation, Google also pulled the plug on its own game studio. Interestingly enough, this happened a few months after Stadia’s main competitors announced acquisitions of well-known game developers. In the months following February 2021, Stadia received regular updates with new game features, but no major investments were made. In this article we take a closer look at it.

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6. Are there alternatives?

Yes, in the form of the cloud gaming services Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now, but none of them come with a formula that can offer quite the same as Stadia. That’s why we’ve covered the best Stadia alternatives in detail in this article. We look much further than just cloud gaming.

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What do you think of the path Google has taken with Stadia, and do you agree with the return that Google makes for your purchases? Which alternative to Stadia have you chosen? Let us know in the comments.

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