- You can play Stadia on an Android phone, a computer with Google Chrome, or a TV with a Chromecast Ultra installed.
- To play Stadia on your mobile device, you'll need to install the Stadia app, which is free to download.
- Stadia can be played directly from your Chrome browser on a computer, no installation required.
- Mobile devices and computers support a variety of controllers, but to play Stadia on a TV with a Chromecast Ultra, you'll need to be using the Stadia Controller.
- Whichever platform you use to play Stadia, you'll need to have a fast internet connection.
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Stadia, Google's new cloud-based gaming platform, was built to be "platform-agnostic." In other words, you can play Stadia on dozens of different devices, and have largely the same experience on each one.
That said, for many newcomers to the platform, it isn't immediately clear just which platforms can run Stadia. So aside from a solid internet connection — a must-have for any streaming setup — how can you play Stadia?
In short, Stadia is available on most popular Android phones, any computer with Google Chrome, and TVs with a Chromecast Ultra plugged in. And if you're using a phone or computer, you probably won't even need a new game controller.
Here's a guide to the hardware you'll need to play Stadia, so you can get started streaming your favorite games right away.
How to play Stadia on an Android phone
Stadia supports most Google Pixel phones, all new Samsung S phones, most OnePlus phones, and more. On most modern Android devices — 6.0 and later — you'll simply need to download the Stadia app to get started playing.
You can download the Stadia app from the Google Play Store for free. Once you open it, you'll be prompted to connect your Google account, and then set up your Stadia profile. Or, if you already have a Stadia profile, you can just sign in.
Like all platforms, you won't need to download any games from Stadia — they're streamed to you over the internet — so don't worry about deleting photos to make room for it.
All Stadia games played on Android support touchscreen controls, but you can also use a real gamepad, as we'll outline in a bit.
How to play Stadia on a computer
Stadia can be run through Google Chrome on Mac, PC, and Linux computers.
Using the Google Chrome web browser, simply use your Google account credentials to set up a new Stadia account, or sign into an existing one.
Once you've signed in, you can start playing games directly from your browser. Just note that Stadia requires most games to be played in fullscreen mode, and for some, will need access to your computer's microphone.
You can connect a controller from within your browser by clicking the controller icon in the top-right, selecting which controller you want to use, and then following the directions.
How to play Stadia on a TV with a Chromecast Ultra
If you're a gamer who loves to use the biggest screen in your house, this setup is the one for you.
To play Stadia on your TV, you'll need the following: A TV with an HDMI port, a Google Chromecast Ultra device, and a Stadia Controller.
First, plug the Chromecast Ultra into your TV and set it up. The Chromecast Ultra comes with its own Ethernet port — for the best Stadia experience, use this port and an Ethernet cable to link the Chromecast to your internet router.
Once you've done that, press the Stadia logo on your controller to put it into Linking Mode.
A code should appear on your TV screen — it'll look like a random combination of buttons on your controller.
Enter the code on your Stadia Controller and wait for your Chromecast to detect your controller. If the link is successful, Stadia will launch on your TV. If it's unsuccessful, you'll have to enter the code again.
If you don't see a linking code appear on your TV, this might mean that your Chromecast isn't set to "Ambient Mode." To fix this:
1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone and tap the icon for your Chromecast Ultra.
2. In the top-right corner, tap "Settings." It may also look like a gear icon.
3. Under "Device Info," tap "Ambient Mode."
4. A new screen will appear. Scroll down until you find "Stadia Controller linking code" — click "Show" underneath it. The linking code will appear on your TV.
If you're having issues connecting your Chromecast to Wi-Fi, the Google Home app can help with that too. If the controller won't connect to Wi-Fi, you'll need to use the Stadia app.
You can also cast Stadia onto your TV using the mobile Stadia app, or your computer's Chrome browser.
Although playing with the Chromecast Ultra offers the least flexibility in terms of controller support, Google has hinted that more controllers might support it in the future.
In the meantime, you can purchase a Stadia Controller for $69, or for $100 get the Stadia Premiere bundle that includes both a controller and Chromecast Ultra.
All the controllers that work with Google Stadia
We've mentioned several times that the Stadia Controller isn't the only way to play Stadia. If you're using an Android phone or your computer, you can use a variety of popular controllers.
Here's a full guide to which controllers work for which systems.
To use non-Stadia controllers on your computer or Android phone, you can connect them like you would any other controller. For examples, check out some of our articles on the subject:
- How to connect a PS4 controller to a PC
- How to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac
- How to connect a PS4 controller to an Android
- How to connect an Xbox One controller to a PC
- How to connect an Xbox One controller to a Mac
- How to connect an Xbox One controller to an Android
Other controllers, like the Switch Pro controller, can be connected in similar ways.
You should be able to use a keyboard and mouse in Stadia's browser version just by plugging them in.
Related coverage from Tech Reference:
How does Stadia work? How to stream games on Google's cloud-gaming platform
What is Stadia? Here's what you need to know about Google's game-streaming platform
How to download Steam on your PC or Mac, and gain access to the internet's largest collection of games
7 ways to increase your computer's frames per second, or fps, and improve its gaming performance
How to gameshare on your Xbox One to share your Xbox Live account and game library with friends
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