Stadia Controller has finally gained support for USB-C audio, which has caused 1990 stir among players, but it doesn’t seem to be the only thing Google has done for that port. The company is looking into using the USB-C port to connect some third-party wired controllers to wireless Stadia controllers. While supported Stadia platforms such as Android and PC allow you to use cable USB game controllers, this is different for Chromecast or other devices that only accept wireless input.
Previously, the Stadia controller needed to be wirelessly connected to another, which excluded many third-party controllers and input devices. Players can now connect the controller to the Stadia controller via the latter’s USB-C interface, but there is one important detail to keep in mind.
When connected through this Tandem mode, Stadia can only see the wirelessly connected Stadia controller. Any input from the secondary controller passes through the Stadia controller and is considered to come from the master controller. Although the Stadia controller and additional input devices can be used at the same time, Stadia can actually see only one combined input stream.
This seemingly odd arrangement is primarily designed to make it easier for players to choose from, allowing them to connect to devices such as Xbox Adaptive Controllers. Although it can also be used to connect to other controllers, the main purpose is to be barrier-free and “cooperative” mode, not to allow a second player to connect to Chromecast-based Stadia without a wireless controller. In other words, it’s actually enough to have each Stadia controller wirelessly connected to Stadia into Tandem mode.
Another problem is that Tandem Mode is not free to accept any third-party game controller and has a whitelist that only accepts products. But it’s experimental, and it’s expected to expand the list in the future.