Google Stadia Controller Review

Google’s Stadia Controller has launched along with the service, and we thought we’d share our thoughts on the device shortly after it went live.

We got our hands on the Stadia Controller earlier this week and found the design to be nice. It almost feels like the Xbox One Controller and the DualShock 4 had a baby when you first cradle it in your hands. It mixes the heft of the XB1 with the parallel analog sticks of the DS4.

I found the buttons to be a bit of a disappointment, as the flatter style buttons just don’t feel “as nice” as the two big boys. Battery life is decent, although nothing nearly as good as we see with the Switch Pro Controller or Xbox One with traditional batteries. I got eight hours on mine, which is maybe a shade longer than the DualShock 4.

The controller does work well with a phone mount, which is what you’ll need if you want to play Stadia on your smartphone. I used it with my Pixel and found that the experience was among the best I had with the tech. Everything was well-balanced, and I was able to boot into The Division 2 and play in my car with no issues at all.

I will say that the service isn’t the best thing, as a lot of users are reporting some latency, while others are struggling to get their invite codes to get in on the service. Still, for me, I didn’t see many issues at all, but I will say that performance lags behind my PC or Xbox One X when it comes to input.

While there may be issues, it’s clear that the controller isn’t the biggest one. It’s not an amazing piece of tech, but it certainly gets the job done.