Stadia’s promise of gaming on any device has yet to truly be fulfilled in its entirety. While you can indeed play games on your smartphone, the experience is still sub-par compared to Google’s blessed Chromecast-based configuration, especially when the Stadia Controller is involved. Google did promise that it will be fixing that soon and it seems that “soon” is just around the corner with version 2.10 of the Stadia app for Android.
It’s not that the Stadia Controller couldn’t work with Android phones, just that it doesn’t work wireless like it normally does when a Chromecast is used. You need to connect it to the smartphone via a cable, which then indirectly makes the official Stadia Controller Claw almost a necessity. Definitely not the way to go when gaming on the go.
9to5Google’s APK teardown of Stadia 2.10 reveals signs of impending support for wirelessly connecting the phone and the controller at long last. To be clear, it isn’t yet happening but it does describe how pairing would be done similar to the Chromecast setup process. You’ll probably still want to use that Claw, though, since it’s the only comfortable way to join the two together physically.
Stadia 2.10 also has hints about an upcoming change to the service. With the Founders Edition accounts lapsing, Stadia is moving towards fully paid Pro subscriptions and free tiers. Appropriately, the app is showing text that distinguishes between free monthly Pro games and those purchased directly.
After a rough start, Google’s Stadia game streaming service has more or less settled down into a steady pace. Unfortunately, that pace feels to slow for fans who expected more, especially the promises that Google gave before it launched. Part of that slow progress apparently comes from developers’ and publishers’ hesitation to invest in the platform, creating a chicken and egg situation that isn’t that simple to resolve.