Stadia Tandem Allows Secondary Controller Connection for Accessibility

Ben Bayliss3 minute read

Stadia, Google’s game streaming service, is often the butt of jokes across the gaming community. However, it does allow those with a decent internet to stream a large range of games, and it also has a good focus on accessibility. Examples listed on the support page include the Chromecast Screen Reader and listing accessibility options on the store page for each game. Now there’s Tandem.

Tandem mode is a new feature available on Google Stadia (Thanks for the tip Ian Hamilton!) which works in a similar way to Microsoft’s Co-Pilot. What this means is that the user can use a supported alternative controller while using Stadia on the Chromecast Ultra. Our coverage on the service saw the controller not being wonderful to handle.

This doesn’t just allow you to use a different controller, but it also allows you to use a secondary controller at the same time. This can allow for interesting combinations such as using an Xbox Adaptive Controller to move a character and using the Stadia controller to move the camera.

To use this feature, you’ll have to turn on your primary Stadia controller, connect it to the screen wirelessly using a linking code, have the secondary controller ready, and turned off. And then using a USB cable, connect the secondary controller to the Stadia controller’s USB-C port.

For those concerned about connections, the support page details the requirements. “For the side connected to your primary (first) Stadia Controller, you’ll need a USB-C connector or a USB A-to-C adapter. For the side connected to your second controller, you’ll need a USB-C or Micro-USB connector.”

Google Stadia Tandem guide showing USB connections to secondary devices

Tandem mode is noted to be early and experimental at the moment but has a decent set of supported devices already. At the moment you can connect the following controllers as secondary devices.

  • Another Stadia controller
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller
  • Xbox One controller
  • Xbox One Elite (Both Series 1 and 2)
  • Sony DualShock 4 controller

With the feature in the early stages, I would imagine that support for the upcoming Xbox Series controller and PlayStation DualSense controller would be on the way at a later date.

More details state that a USB splitter is not supported, meaning Tandem mode only supports 1 secondary controller. And those wanting to use a headset need to use the primary Stadia controller’s 3.5mm jack and not the secondary controller.

Google also states that it’s interested in feedback to make the experience better for players. Those wishing to leave feedback can use the Stadia app available on mobile, tap their avatar, locate the Feedback section then send their feedback over, ensuring they use the word “Tandem” in said feedback.

Google Stadia is available, but to get the Chromecast Ultra and controller, you’ll need to purchase the Premiere Edition which includes those devices. A new Chromecast with Google TV was announced this week, but Stadia support won’t be available for that until early next year.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+,, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at:

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