Stadia today is announcing a brand-new feature called Phone Link. It’s a feature that transforms your phone into a controller for TVs. As part of its initial launch, Stadia would only support TV gameplay through the Chromecast Ultra. And the only controller that would work for a while was the Stadia controller.
That has since expanded to include more TV endpoints and, more recently, numerous other controller types. So you can now play Stadia on Chromecast Ultra, Android TV, and Chromecast with Google TV. Officially. And while using the Stadia controller or another supported third-party controller.
However, you may not always have a controller on you. Maybe you just didn’t have room for it in your bag. Or maybe it needed to charge. That’s where Phone Link comes in, letting you use your phone as a touch gamepad to play Stadia games on any of those TV endpoints. As well as add compatibility of third-party controllers to Chromecast Ultra.
Stadia Phone Link will begin rolling out today
If you’re eager to try this new feature out for yourself, you may or may not have to wait a little bit. Google is beginning to roll out Phone Link today. But not everyone will have it immediately.
The rollout will start with 1% of Stadia users. From there, Google says that all users should have the feature within a few days. So by mid-week, most or all users will have the capability to use their phone as a touch gamepad for TVs.
Google is making Phone Link compatible with both Android and iOS users too. So literally everyone will have access to it regardless of which of the two mobile platforms they’re on.
Google wants to make Stadia a gamer’s most flexible platform
Google has said time and again that it’s committed to making Stadia a place where everyone can play games. Part of that mission is making Stadia itself as flexible as possible.
Which includes making it available on as many devices as possible and having a way to play those games. Phone Link is the latest part of that. And later this year it’ll include the ability to access Stadia through LG Smart TVs.
For now, if you’ve already got a TV you play Stadia games on, check out Phone Link and give that physical controller a rest.