The Chromecast 2020 is full of new features, but a glaring void is Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming platform. The search giant confirmed that Stadia wouldn’t officially arrive with the new streaming dongle until the first half of 2021 – but there’s an unofficial way to get it now.
The lack of compatibility is especially odd given that the older Chromecast Ultra is currently the primary means of playing Stadia on your TV. Ultimately, however, the new Chromecast runs on Android, which means you can load apps on it – in this case the Stadia app for Android phones.
Step 1: Get a Stadia Account and Games
If you don̵
- Play Store Link: Stadiums (Free)
As you know, Stadia is not available on iOS. However, there is a fairly nifty workaround in Stadium, a web browser that uniquely exists (pun intended) for running the Stadia web application and takes advantage of this device-independent capability. So if you have an iPhone or iPad in your gadget arsenal, you’re good to go.
Once your account is set up, either purchase a game or let Stadia Pro stream certain games for free as part of your monthly subscription.
Step 2: pair a gamepad
You’ll need a gamepad to play Stadia games on your Chromecast. So you might as well get it out of the way now. If you’ve paired and connected it before installing Stadia, you’re seamlessly right into the game.
I’m basing this guide on playing with a PlayStation DualShock 4, but any compatible gamepad, like the official Stadia controller, will work here. If you haven’t yet paired a gamepad with Chromecast, read the guide below and then return to this article for the next step.
Step 3: Sideload Stadia
Since official support isn’t fully available yet, you’ll need to download the Stadia APK installation package onto your Chromecast. Here is a Cliff’s Notes version of these instructions to get you started:
- Download the latest one Stadia APK by APKMirror or another reputable source.
- Upload the Stadia APK to your Google Drive (the same account used on your TV).
- Install the File Commander app on your Chromecast (use the search feature to find it on the TV version of the Play Store).
- Add your Google Drive account to File Commander.
- Enable developer options on your Chromecast (Settings -> System -> Info, quickly click Android TV OS Build seven times.
- Go to Settings -> Apps -> Security & Restrictions -> Unknown Sources Then activate the switch next to File Commander in your Chromecast.
- Open your Google Drive folder in File Commander and click Stadia APK.
- At the prompt, click Install.
If you need more help on this part, Grab the Stadia APK and check out our full guide to sideloading for Chromecast:
Step 4: GAME ON
Immediately after the installation is complete, you can open the app and get started right away. With a PS4 controller, you’ll immediately find that you can’t just tap the “X” to get started. Instead, swipe the touchpad to bring up the pointer, move the pointer over the Get Started button, and press the touchpad to click it.
I’ll notice it’s a bit buggy, so I see why Google didn’t launch the new Chromecast with it on board. I had a couple of force closes on the game selection screen and the cover was slow to load. BUT once in a game it’s pretty slick.
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