Chromecast 2020 is full of new features, but an obvious omission is Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming platform. The search giant confirmed that Stadia would not officially arrive at the new flowing dongle until the first half of 2021 – but there is an unofficial way to get it now.
The lack of compatibility is particularly odd, given that the older Chromecast Ultra is currently the most important way to play Stadia on your TV. But in the end, the new Chromecast runs on Android, which means you can load apps on the site – in this case the Stadia app for Android phones.
Step 1: Get a Stadia account and play
If you do not already have one, you will need to create a Stadia account. You can do this via the Stadia website, or you can set it up via your smartphone. Since one of the sales points for Stadia is its portability between desktop, mobile and TV, you can just as easily get the mobile app.
- Link to Play Store: Stadia (free)
Stadia is notoriously unavailable on iOS. However, there is a rather ingenious solution in Stadium, a browser that exists occasionally (pun intended) to run the Stadia web app and utilizes that device̵7;s agnostic ability. So if you have an iPhone or iPad in your gadget arsenal, then you’re done.
Once your account has been set up, either buy a game or get Stadia Pro to stream some games for free as part of your monthly subscription.
Step 2: Pair a gamepad
You need a gamepad to play Stadia games on your Chromecast, so you might as well get it out of the way now. Having it connected and connected before installing Stadia provides a seamless experience to jump right into the game.
I base this guide on playing with a PlayStation DualShock 4, but which compatible gamepad, like the official Stadia controller, works here. If you have not paired a gamepad with Chromecast before, check out the guide below and come back to this article for the next step.
Step 3: Page Load Stages
Now that official support is not really here yet, you need to download the Stadia APK installation package to your Chromecast. Here is a clipping version of these instructions to get you started:
- Download the latest Stadia APK from APKMirror or another reputable source.
- Upload the Stadia APK to your Google Drive (same account used on your TV).
- Install the File Commander app on your Chromecast (use the search feature to find it in the TV version of the Play Store).
- Add your Google Drive account to File Commander.
- Enable developer options on your Chromecast (Settings -> System -> About, click “Android TV OS Build” 7 times quickly).
- Go to Settings -> Apps -> Security & Restrictions -> Unknown Sources on your Chromecast and then activate the switch next to File Commander.
- Open your Google Drive folder in File Commander, then click the Stadia APK.
- Click “Install” in the message.
If you want more help with this part, grab the Stadia APK and continue to our complete page loading guide for Chromecast:
Step 4: PLAY on
Immediately after installation, you can immediately open the app and jump in. One thing that you will notice immediately with a PS4 controller is that you can not just press “X” to get started. Instead, swipe the touch pad to bring up the mouse pointer, hold it over the Get Started button, and press the touch pad to click it.
I will note that it is a bit buggy, so I understand why Google did not launch the new Chromecast with it on board. I had a couple of force closures in the game selection screen and the cover image was slow to load. BUT once in a game it’s pretty smooth.
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