Google Stadia might get touchscreen controls on Android soon

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google appears to be testing touchscreen controls for Stadia on Android. 9to5Google has analyzed the latest Stadia release on Android, and found multiple references to a “direct touch” feature. Once enabled, direct touch will allow Stadia users to tap, swipe, and pinch elements in games, or continue to use a Bluetooth or USB controller.

It’s not yet clear which games will support direct touch, although Stadia currently has very limited support for touchscreen controls in games like Monopoly that allow users to toggle a touch mode on. This new direct touch feature has only been discovered in the Android version of Stadia, but hopefully it makes its way to the web version for iOS, too.

Google hasn’t officially detailed direct touch for Stadia, so we don’t yet know how touch controls will be supported. Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service has implemented a variety of touch controls across more than 20 games, allowing Xbox players to enjoy games without a controller.

Google also appears to be readying Android TV support for Stadia. 9to5Google notes that there are explicit references to Android TV in this latest Stadia app update. Stadia launched on Chromecast Ultra devices, but support for Android TV has been missing since Stadia’s debut more than a year ago.


It’s had them right from the start, two taps and it was uninstalled.

Rather, it’s had a mobile touchscreen gamepad overlay since June of 2020.

There is already touch controls for web on iOS, albeit they are locked in place.

I already tested 3 Cloud Gaming services! Stadia, Geforce and Xcloud
And the one that showed less latency and better quality was Stadia !! they did magic !! latency is imperceptible!
but I recommend connecting the TV or PC by cable, and Wifi 5 for Smartphones

Yeah it’s been a great experience so far, if you have the speeds for it you’ll have a great time. It’d honestly be doing a lot better if Google would market it properly.

This!!! In the city I live in, in the UK, you can’t move without seeing PS5 on billboards, buses, LCD screens, newspapers etc as well as television. I’ve not seen one single Stadia advert. Guess which gaming experience everyone knows about???

Google is the world’s largest advertising company and absolutely suck at advertising their own products, in the UK at least.

No this is true everywhere. They have lackluster marketing in the US too. Most people I meet don’t know what Stadia is. And I have a Pixel, which has over 5 phones out now and people still haven’t heard of what a Pixel is. Google makes products I like but are very incompetent when it comes to marketing them.

I already have touch screen controls for a while now

Me too, but only buttons. Google is expanding it apparently.

tap, swipe, and pinch elements in games

I think the article should acknowledge that this is expanding touch controls, not introducing them.

Look, Stadia doesn’t really need to be shit on further, but … it didn’t have touch controls? On touch screen phones? And it STILL isn’t on GOOGLE PRODUCED HARDWARE like Android TV? It would be hilarious if it weren’t so typical of Google.

It did have touch screen controls in terms of a virtual game pad. I can play any game on stadia right now on my iPhone using the touch controls of a virtual gamepad.

I think what this is getting at is adapting touch controls make some games feel like they are mobile games rather than a console game with a virtual game pad. This is another example of the messaging not being clear for those who aren’t already using the product.

It would be nice if people reporting on Stadia at most places (IGN, The Verge, Polygon) actually showed that they knew something about the platform. The fact that on the last episode of The Vergecast they couldn’t even pronounce "stadia" correctly speaks volumes on how much they have no idea what the cloud gaming space is really like. IGN recently did a review of Pixel Junk Raiders (a stadia exclusive) and never mentioned once in their entire review about one of the core features the developer implemented which was state share.

The bias against Stadia in the tech journalist space is glaring and it taints my opinion of those journalists who I otherwise appreciate for their work.

If you are someone who has invested in all of the cloud gaming platforms to some extent and played a lot of hours on each then I apologize if I sound flippant. But as someone doing the same (just not a journalist) and just wants cloud gaming to succeed no matter which company it is. The solution google has put together with Stadia is really good (not perfect, but good). And it doesn’t deserve to be bashed nearly as much as it has been.

they couldn’t even pronounce "stadia"

Wow, seriously!?

Tom previously founded WinRumors, a site dedicated to Microsoft news, before joining The Verge.

The author here, Tom Warren, mainly covers Microsoft news/leans towards being a Microsoft fanboy so his worded headlines or style of writing or lack of experience following other things is unsurprising.

Indeed Stadia has had a mobile touchscreen gamepad overlay since June of last year and this "direct touch" feature is the kind of refinement to their mobile touch control support Google mentioned in their blog post.

Honestly if they just come out with an updated App for the Google TV with Chromecast (or whichever way around it is…) I’ll be dissapointed. Nothing beats the seamless Chromecast Ultra implmentation.


A Stadia app for Android TV also looks likely

Likely!? They already said it would be coming during the first half of this year.

Everyone keeps waiting (hoping) for Stadia to go away. I never thought it would. At least not in the neat future. I’ve had it for a year. I really like it.

Most people aren’t "hoping" it goes away. They just have the general expectation that it will.

I don’t know I’ve never seen something hated so much. Xbox gamers, PlayStation gamers, and PC gamers hate Stadia because it threatens their beloved hardware. Cloud gaming is the future and they know it even though they can’t admit it

Yes, these fanboys are a mixture of stupidity and ignorance! do not understand that the more companies providing services the better! which is the best for the consumer! and there are pseudo journalists who feed it by click, to earn money from these fanatics!

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