Adaptive Gaming Equipment Review: Xbox Adaptive Controller

DISCLAIMER: I can only speak to what is accessible to me and my disabilities, which include Left-side Hemiparesis (severe weakness and lack of functionality in the left upper and lower extremities), visual impairment, and audio processing issues.

After my stroke, I was at a loss looking for adaptive gaming equipment. Eventually, I found a few things that helped me indulge in my favorite past time. Now, I can play most games one-handed with just two new items.

For my console gaming fix, my good friend gifted me the Xbox Adaptive controller for Christmas, and another friend gifted me the switches, which are necessary for use of the controller, but sold separately. I had to buy a joystick in addition to those as well. Overall, the adaptive controller is quite expensive, so it’s not feasible for everyone. I am very fortunate to have generous friends who are doing well for themselves.

The Xbox adaptive controller can be used on PC, as well. I also heard it can be adapted to work for the Nintendo Switch, but I’ve never tried it. Basically, the Adaptive controller lets you build a custom controller. I use my right hand on the joystick and press the buttons with my right foot, but you can customize it to fit for you in any way you can think of. For example, in the following video, a young man attaches the buttons to his wheelchair so he can press them with his head.

The other piece of equipment I purchased was much more affordable and on Amazon. I purchased a vertical (ergonomic) mouse with a thumbstick. This mouse allows me to use the thumbstick in place of WASD and space. it also has two extra buttons on the side, which I can use to remap other keyboard commands. Most games use E or F as the primary action.

For example, when I play Overwatch, I change the following keybinds:

-E > MB4
-L Shift > MB5

For everything else, like Q, I have to use the keyboard, which takes extra time, so my ultimate ability timing isn’t the best. Moral of the story, don’t play Overwatch with me unless you’re okay with carrying.

If you want to see how I get on with gaming one-handed, I stream on the Real Women of Gaming Twitch channel on Fridays at 1pm Eastern Time every week.


Published by Vanri The Rogue

Hey guys! I'm Vanri. Vanri the Rogue. I enjoy all types of games. I grew up with NES, SNES, N64, Playstation and a Virtual Boy in my house. I love RPGs mainly, but I will always be up for trying new games. My favorites include the Fable series, Final Fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, Betrayal at House on the Hill and so many more.

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