(Pocket-lint) - Google has rolled out support for Stadia to a bunch of handsets in the last few months, and one new inclusion is the OnePlus 8 series. That of course now means if you have a OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 8 Pro you can play console-quality games on your smartphone with a proper game controller.
Stadia is Google's attempt at competing with Microsoft's xCloud service and other cloud gaming platforms. Initially, it launched as a system linking a dedicated controller with a Chromecast Ultra device, with Pixel handsets also supported. Now, it's being rolled out to even more Android phones, and with the Stadia Pro subscription, it's relatively inexpensive to start playing proper games on your smartphone.
If you have a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro, you can get started right away and it couldn't be simpler to get going.
Download and set up the Stadia app
- Search for 'Stadia' in the Play Store and install it
- Open the app and hit 'Get Started'
- Confirm your Google account
- Enter invite code if you have one
- Choose your avatar and create a gamer name
- Set privacy settings
- Sign up for the trial/subscribe
So the first step is pretty simple, you just have to find and install the Stadia app in the Play Store. When you first launch it you'll need to go through a brief set up process which requires selecting your Google account, entering any invite code you may have and then choosing an Avatar. You'll also need to choose a Stadia gamer name, before continuing to play.
At this point you'll be asked for your privacy preferences. For instance, who can see that you're online, or invite you to games, or see which games you've been playing. You can have it set to no one, friends, friends and their friends or everyone. Finally, you choose to start a free trial or sign up for a subscription.
At present Stadia Pro - the paid-for subscription plan - is available for free for two-months, including access to free games. So that's a great place to start.
Set up a controller
While you can use Google's official controller if you want to, you don't have to. The latest Xbox One and PS4 wireless controllers have Bluetooth capabilities, and so you can just connect one of those by pairing it with your phone's Bluetooth.
- Put your Xbox One wireless controller or PS4 controller in pairing mode
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth & device connection
- Tap 'Bluetooth' now 'Pair new device'
- Select your controller from the list of devices
To put your Xbox controller into pairing mode, just power it on using the big 'X' home button on the front and then press and hold the small pairing button on the top edge. The home button will start blinking.
To put your PS4 controller in pairing mode you have to press and hold the PlayStation button and Share button simultaneously for a few seconds, and wait for the light to start blinking.
Once you've done that you can connect to either controller from your phone's Bluetooth menu, just like pairing up a set of headphones.
Claim some games and start playing
On the Stadia app's home screen it'll invite you to try some games, but if you hit the 'Store' tab on the bottom left, you'll get to see the full gallery of available titles. If you're a Stadia Pro subscriber, you'll get access to a bunch of free titles that your subscription gets you access to.
To get access to those games, just tap 'Claim' on the ones that you want to play.
Once you have claimed a title, you can choose to play it by simply tapping on it, ensuring the drop-down menu shows 'This Device' and hitting the big 'Play' icon in the middle. Since you're streaming those games, the games themselves don't take up any serious storage on your phone.
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Presuming you've got a controller connected, you're now ready to go. Just play.