In addition to picking up USB-C headset support, the Stadia Controller now has an experimental “Tandem Mode” that helps expand accessibility and input options. It also lets you use third-party gamepads somewhat wirelessly when playing on the Chromecast Ultra.
Tandem Mode lets you connect another gamepad to your wirelessly paired Stadia Controller over USB-C. As such:
When you press buttons on the secondary controller, it will act as though the primary controller’s buttons are being pressed.
Google says you can “use either controller to play games on Stadia, or both at the same time.” Tandem Mode is “an early, experimental version of this feature that is intended to expand the input device options for Stadia players.” It currently supports other Stadia Controllers, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Xbox One Elite Controller (Series 1 and 2), and Sony DualShock 4.
A prime accessibility example is using Tandem Mode to play semi-wirelessly with the Xbox Adaptive Controller on a Chromecast-connected television. In the future, this could be used for Rock Band/Guitar Hero-esque games that require a third-party accessory. It also opens the door to more second player experiences.
When playing with your Stadia Controller wirelessly on any supported screen, you can also use the second controller at the same time to better accommodate your accessibility needs, either by yourself or collaboratively with a second player. Tandem Mode complements other accessibility features.
Instructions to use the Stadia Controller in Tandem Mode are as follows, while Google has a full FAQ:
- Turn on your primary Stadia Controller.
- Connect your Stadia Controller to the screen you want to play on, using the screen’s linking code.
- Make sure the secondary controller is charged and turned off.
- Using a USB cable, connect the secondary controller to your primary Stadia Controller’s USB-C port.
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