Now that orders for the Google Stadia Founders Edition and Premiere Edition have begun to reach their final destinations, it was only a matter of time before someone tore into the Stadia hardware to see what makes it tick. Forewarning: If you're still waiting for your own Stadia gear to arrive, you may want to look away. What follows is a painful montage of a Stadia Controller's journey to irreversible destruction, but its sacrifice sheds some light on why this controller wasn't built with modders (or repairs) in mind.
What should've started as a simple pop of some plastic clips led to PC hardware and gaming YouTuber Gamers Nexus taking a Dremel to his Stadia Controller just to pry it open. Nestled within the Stadia Controller are the typical array of plastic buttons, rubber inserts, springs, a single LED light for the Stadia button, and a 2,000 mAh battery. Google has yet to release proper playtime estimations per charge for the controller, but it's said to outlast the PlastStation DualShock 4. An internal Wi-Fi chip, which connects directly to Stadia's servers to reduce lag during game sessions, is also unique to the Stadia Controller.
Even after the device was sliced open, Gamers Nexus confirmed that the clips used to keep the hardware together are simply not forgiving enough to allow the average user to open the controller for modifications or repairs, like when the battery eventually dies out. Google's safety and regulatory guide for the Stadia Controller reflects this sentiment, stating: "Do not attempt to repair your Stadia Controller yourself. Disassembling the device may cause injury to you. Unauthorized repairs or modifications could result in permanent damage to the device and may affect your warranty coverage and regulatory authorizations."
Given the lengths a seasoned teardown expert had to go through to get his own controller open, Google's not kidding around. So if your Stadia Controller starts to act up, you're better off replacing it than attempting to repair it yourself.