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‘TouchStadia’ adds touchscreen controls to Google Stadia for Android

As it stands, to play Google Stadia on your phone you need to connect a game controller via USB or Bluetooth, but what if you’re in a pinch and all you have is your phone? An indie developer has created TouchStadia, a way to play Stadia with on-screen controls from any Android phone via Google Chrome.

Despite being one of its founding principles, Google Stadia’s launch has not exactly been a shining example of offering the most ways to play and devices to play on. For example, the only place you can play wirelessly with the Stadia controller is on Chromecast Ultra. Other Chromecasts and even Android TV devices do not (yet) support Google Stadia at all.

Meanwhile, Android phones are limited to only Pixel, Samsung, ASUS and Razer phones, and even then you’re explicitly required to have a controller connected via Bluetooth or USB. Over the weekend, developer Drake Luce shared a solution to both of these restrictions in a new project, TouchStadia.

TouchStadia is built on web technology, using browser APIs to create a touchable visual overlay over your Google Stadia stream, adding buttons and making the left and right halves of the screen into giant invisible thumbsticks. To make this possible, TouchStadia requires you to use Google Stadia’s web app instead of the Android app, which means there’s no restriction on what phone you can play from.

Unfortunately, to enable it, you need to copy and paste a bit of JavaScript code into your address bar every time you load Stadia, which is a bit inconvenient and also potentially unsafe. But for the brave ones who are just truly eager to play Stadia with on-screen controls, TouchStadia definitely works. Luce also provided a quick video run-through of how to get TouchStadia’s on-screen controls running, and how it looks and works once enabled.

If you like the idea of touch controls and would like to try it on something other than a phone, TouchStadia is also available as a Chrome extension for the desktop version of Chrome — perfect for Chrome OS tablets and the Microsoft Surface. This version is a bit safer as it’s hosted on the Chrome Web Store and bypasses the need to manually run any potentially sketchy JavaScript on your phone.

As you may guess though, on-screen controls are not great for most games — least of all first-person shooters which typically require a high level of precision and rapid access to the triggers. However, for indie titles and platformers, there’s no reason TouchStadia wouldn’t work in a pinch.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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