An Xbox Adaptive Controller Overview

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The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a device created by Microsoft so that gamers with limited mobility are able to access games on their Xbox One or Windows 10 PC.

So, this is the box that itcomes in.  Microsoft have added some accessibility features to the box tomake it easier to open.

So, they’ve got these two tabs at the front which you can pull and then it’s got a little pull open tab that you can then lift the box open with.

So, inside the box you’ve got your XboxAdaptive Controller and again they’ve
made it easier to get out by includingthis tab that you can just slide the
device out with.

You then have anothertab that you can lift out and that has the USB C charging wire in it. There are also some instructions as well.

This is the Xbox adaptive controller itself. On the front you’ve got two large
buttons. These default as the A buttonand the B button. These three buttons
here are all found on your standard Xbox One controller. You’ve got a View button.
We’ve got the menu button. The Xbox Home button. You’ve got a D-pad and we also
have a Profile shift button.

So along theback of the device there’s a row of switch ports that correspond to thebuttons on the Xbox One controller. These ports enable you to plug in externalaccessibility switches. You’ve got a sync button.

On the end you’ve got the USB Csocket where the USB C charge goes in. On the side you’ve got a USB for a joystick,which will act as the left joystick. You’ve also got a headphone jack and onthe other side you’ve got a USB socket that you can plug an externaljoystick in and this will act as the right joystick.

Some external joysticksthat you can use on the adaptive controller require a bit more power. Thisis where this DC power port on the back comes into play.

So on the base of the Xbox AdaptiveController there’s a couple of different
options for mounting it.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller can be usedwirelessly. However, it does come with a
USB C charging lead. To sync the XboxAdaptive Controller wirelessly, press the
Home button so the light comes on. Press the Sync button on the front the Xbox so
that light flashes and then press the Sync button on the Adaptive Controller
and the lights should sync up.

And that’s now synced. To use theAdaptive Controller on a Windows 10 PC
you can either sync it via Bluetooth oryou can use this Microsoft adapter which
also has a Sync button on the side of it.

All of the switch ports on the back ofthe Adaptive Controller can be remapped
in the Xbox Accessories App. This includes the two big black buttons on
the front of the Xbox Adapter Controller.

You can also remap a button so that itacts as a shift button. This means you
can have one switch that has two functions. The profiles that you make
with your button remapping save to thedevice itself so this means that you
could remap all your buttons on aWindows 10 PC and then use your profiles
on your Xbox One if this is easier foryou.

You can also remap so that buttons will act as joystick directions for bothleft and right joystick. The Xbox Adaptive Controller can be used as a standalone device with accessibility switches plugged in and joysticks. Youcan use any accessibility switch with a 3.5 millimeter jack on the Xbox AdaptiveController. These are the three main
switches that we use here at SpecialEffect. The first is the Buddy Button.
This is good if you have larger movements and you find pressing the
small buttons on the standard controller difficult.

The next one is the Spec Switch. This is similar to the buddybutton just a little bit smaller and it requires the same amount of pressure topush. This is a good option if you just want something not quite as big as the Buddy Button if space is maybe a little
bit limited.

So, the final switch is theUltra Light Switch. This switch requires very little force to activate it so it’sa really good option if you have limited strength in your fingers. If you find thebuttons on the Xbox one controller too hard to push this would be a really goodoption for you.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows you to plug the switch in every button on a standard Xbox controller. These switches are pluggedinto RT and LT for accelerate and break for this game.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller can also be used alongside a standard Xbox One
controller using “Copilot.” This means thatyou could use a standard Xbox One
controller and supplement any buttons or joysticks that you cannot use with the
Xbox Adaptive Controller.

So, to set up Copilot, press your Xbox Home button and go to Xbox Accessories. You then select the menu with the three dots below configure. Ensure that your controller is assigned to the profile that you want to play as and then go down to ‘Turn on Copilot’ thenyour controller and the Xbox Adaptive controller all work as one player. Here is an example of using the Xbox Adaptive Controller alongside a standard Xbox Onecontroller using Copilot.

We are using the game Fortnight to demonstrate this. The A, B, X & Y buttons have been mapped over to the D-padand the joysticks have been swapped so that in the game the left stick is doingthe camera. We then have three switches plugged into the Xbox AdaptiveController. The blue switch is doing up on right stick to make the character runforward, the yellow switch is plugged into RT on the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the green switch is  plugged into RB in the Xbox AdaptiveController.

Thank you for watching this video. If you have any questions please get in contact with SpecialEffect.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a controller interface which enables you to create a customised controller setup. In this video Occupational Therapist, Frankie, shares some of the ways the team at SpecialEffect do this.

SpecialEffect article on How We’re Using the Xbox Adaptive Controller:…

Links to equipment mentioned (non-affiliated manufacturer direct links):

Xbox Adaptive Controller:…

Joysticks/ Controllers: Standard Xbox One controller joystick (by connecting to the Adaptive Controller using Copilot):…

Ultrastick:… &… &…

Switches SpecialEffect currently use:

Atec Ultra Light HD Switch:… (our US supplier:….)

Ablenet Buddy Button: (our UK supplier:… )

Ablenet Specs Switch: (our UK supplier:… )


Maxess Tray:…

Mafrotto Variable Friction Arm:… (& clamp:… & mounting plate:…)

If you have any questions, please visit the “contact us” page.

Video by Cara Jessop


Rain by Dom Raven Serious Showcase by Kevin MacLeod

“Loopster” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0…