Gamers who bought the Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, or Premiere Edition had to take the news that Stadia is shutting down very badly. That also applies to anyone who purchased Stadia games beyond their Stadia Pro subscription who will permanently lose access in just a few months.
Google may have badly mismanaged Stadia, but we're relieved that it's managing the refund process more professionally. Google will fully outline the Stadia refund process "in a few weeks," so you can't actually get your money back yet. But the company has promised that "most hardware purchases...made directly from Google will not need to be returned."
You'll get your money back for Stadia hardware if it appears in your Google Store order history. Unfortunately, it appears Google Controllers bought through Best Buy won't be reimbursed; it specifically says that "physical locations (Google Store, Best Buy, etc.) will not be able to process any returns or refunds" and only mentions Google Store purchases as refundable.
Thankfully, all Stadia users will get 100% reimbursed for all Stadia purchases, including add-ons. Google doesn't say when, only that it hopes to have "the majority of refunds processed back to the original payment by January 18, 2023," and that the process may vary by country.
On that note, you won't get your money back for subscriptions like Stadia Pro or Ubisoft+. Unlike "permanent" purchases, you technically got your money's worth for monthly subscriptions. Google will refund any automatic subscription payments made "on or after September 29, 2022," however.
You can see how much you're due to get back on the Stadia Purchases & Subscriptions page. And if your old Google Pay info is out of date, you may want to add a new Google Wallet payment method to your Google account preemptively, so the company has a way to reimburse you.
To summarize, starting in a few weeks, you'll be able to process your Stadia refund for purchased games, as well as your controller and any associated hardware, if you purchased them directly from Google. And you'll still get to keep your Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller if you want to. For more info, the Stadia refund FAQ page has all the most important details.
If you're wondering what to do with your Stadia controller, you can technically use it for other gaming platforms. You'll just have to use a USB-C cable to connect it to your PC or Android phone since Google didn't design it with Bluetooth connectivity to other platforms in mind. Some Stadia fans are hoping Google makes the controller's software open-source, but there's no guarantee that's a priority for the company.
Keep your Stadia Controller alive
The Stadia Controller has been successfully used for both Xbox Game Pass for Android and for Steam gaming on PCs. This cable will connect your controller and phone for some on-the-go gaming, while this or an Amazon Basics USB-C to USB cable will make it PC-ready. This cable is affordably effective and comes in different lengths depending on your needs.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.