At SpecialEffect we often use the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which we call the ‘XAC’.
The XAC acts as a switch and joystick interface, allowing us to create customised controllers for the individual.
When using it on Android, it gives an alternative option to using the touchscreen to play games.
In this video, we are going to look at some controller compatible games on Android that may be a good starting point to try some games using the XAC. For more information on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, please check out our other video on this and the ‘XAC’ tag on the SpecialEffect GameAccess site.
We will be introducing games from the Google Play store that have controller support and compatible with the XAC and going through the main controls. We will be looking at some games that require fewer inputs as a starting point, but also some that use many of the inputs available on a controller. We will also note some of the motor accessibility features in the games, that could help make them more accessible to players using the XAC.
Oceanhorn is an action-adventure game where you explore the islands of Uncharted Seas. The game uses a reduced control scheme to allow you to play using just one stick and two buttons. The joystick (Left Stick) is used to move your character. Pressing either A or X is attack and holding, then releasing, either of them does a special move. A or X are also interact, such as to open a trunk, or a door, or to push an object, which requires holding the input. You can also press A or X when next to a throwable object to pick it up and then you press it again to throw it, whilst using the Left Stick to choose the direction.
You can play the first chapter for free and then you can purchase the game to continue.
Limbo is a puzzle-platformer. Again, the game uses a reduced control scheme to allow you to play using just one joystick and two buttons. Left Stick is used to move, A is used to Jump and B is used to hold. You will need to use touch to navigate some of the menu inputs.
You can play a demo of Limbo before purchasing the full game.
Sonic the Hedgehog Classic
Sonic the Hedgehog Classic is a platformer. To play, you use the Left Stick (or D-Pad) to move Sonic, Tails or Knuckles left or right and use A for jump. Much of the menus can be controlled using the controller, but some screens may need touch input.
You can play an Ad Supported version for free or purchase an Ad Free version within the game. However, the Ad supported version will require small arrow and cross icons to be selected using touch to close Ads.
Rocket League Sideswipe
A 2D version of the 3D console and PC game Rocket League, Rocket League Sideswipe keeps the objective of getting the ball into the opponent’s goal. The game uses Left Stick to move Left and Right when on the ground and to move Up and Down whilst in the air. A is used to Jump and B is used to Boost. Use of the touch screen is needed in menus and to bring up menus in-game.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends contains a range of accessibility options as well as being compatible with the XAC.
By default, TouchDrive mode will be enabled, so during a race you will move the Left Stick or D-Pad to choose a path within the decision window from the options that appear onscreen, such as taking a left or right turn or taking a jump. You can switch to TouchDrive controls by using Up on the D-Pad or go to the Settings menu. They also appear in the screen before a race.
If using Manual controls, instead of choosing a path, you will manually steer using the Left Stick or D-Pad. As with TouchDrive controls, the car will accelerate automatically.
Using either Manual or TouchDrive controls, you also use A, Right Trigger or Right Bumper to use Nitro. You can double tap them when your Nitro is full for a Shockwave. You use X, Left Trigger or Left Bumper to Drift. Drifting helps fill the Nitro metre. B can be used to respawn. Double pressing Left Trigger, Bumper or X performs a 360.
The Menu button is used to open the in-game menu.
You can navigate the menus using the Left Stick or D-Pad and the A button is used to select. B can be used to go back and X is a shortcut for some options. Some menus require the Bumpers to tab through them.
You can adjust the steering sensitivity too in the Controls Settings menu.
The game is free to play, but credits are awarded if you watch Ads and the game contains in-app purchases.
Brawlhalla is a fighting game. The aim being to knock your opponent into one of the blastzones.
Left Stick or D-Pad is used to move, A to Jump, B or Y are Heavy Attack, X is quick attack and pickup, Bumpers Throw Items and Triggers are used to Dodge and Dash. Right Stick selects Emotes. The Menu button brings up the in-game menu. The majority of the menus can be navigated using a controller with the occasional selection, such as customising the touch controls or disabling the controller, requiring touch input. You can also remap the controller inputs.
Brawlhalla is free to play, with the option of in-game purchases for items like characters or cosmetics.
Sky: Children of the Light
Sky: Children of the Light is described as having no pressure as you explore the 7 realms of its kingdom. Right Stick is used to Look and for navigating in-game and other menus. Left Stick is used to move when on the ground or steer when in the air (Up to fly high and Down to dive low) and the camera does follow you automatically as you move, so Right Stick is not needed all the time to look. The camera also automatically pans to items of interest. A is used to jump when pressed and to rise up to fly, when held for a short duration. Y opens the interaction interface and A can be used to select items within it. Y is used to level up your wing and claim new abilities. Pressing X brings out your light and interacts with nearby objects and people when an onscreen prompt appears.
The Menu button opens the in game menu. When lost, pressing B will call and your Light will reveal the path. Right Bumper toggles your flight style. Left Bumper opens your currency. The View button opens the chat function and keyboard, but touch is required to use this.
The game is free to play, but you can purchase cosmetics.
Dead Cells is a roguelike-Metroidvania where you make your way through procedurally-generated levels defeating enemies and collecting power-ups and weapons along the way.
Controllers are fully supported and many of the inputs on the controller are used. These are Left Stick to Move, A to Jump, B to Roll, X to use Primary Weapon and Y to use secondary. The Triggers do left and right skills. Left Bumper is Heal and Right Bumper is Use. The Menu button is Pause and the View button Views the map.
You can remap these buttons and trigger inputs to different actions and also alter the Left Stick deadzone.
Dead Cells can be purchased in the Google Play store.
In Minecraft you build and explore in infinite worlds. Minecraft for Android has full controller support (except when using the chat keyboard).
The controls use the full controller inputs. These are Left Stick to Move and Right Stick to Look and Aim. A to jump or fly, Right Trigger to Attack or Destroy, Left Trigger to use item or place block. X is to Craft and Y is for your inventory. You also use A, B, X, Y, Bumpers and Triggers within the inventory to navigate and select. B is used to Sneak and Fly down. The bumpers cycle left and right through items. Down on the D-Pad Drops items and Up on D-Pad toggles your perspective. Left does emotes and right open the chat. Left Stick Click Sprints and Right Stick Click Flies Down Slow. Options that can be changed for playing with the controller include remapping these controls, adjusting Sensitivity, and also an Auto Jump option. You can also play in Creative mode with unlimited resources before trying Survival mode.
Minecraft can be purchased in the Google Play store.
This is just a small selection of the games available in the Google Play store, which have full or partial controller support.
You can find controller compatible games by searching for them in the search bar of the Google Play store.
Please be aware certain games may cost money to buy, have in-app purchases, include adverts or age restrictions.
We hope that this video has been useful. For more information as to what joysticks and buttons can be used with the XAC, check out the XAC tag on the SpecialEffect GameAccess info site.
In Episode 3 of this short series looking at access to Android games, we will be highlighting some games that can be played using the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC). Originally created for Xbox and Windows 10/11 PCs, the XAC can also be used to play games on Android, as an alternative option to using the touchscreen or a standard controller.
The XAC is a switch and joystick interface that allows us to create customised controllers for individuals, by connecting joysticks and accessibility switches that are appropriate for a particular individual when positioned correctly..
We will be introducing games from the Google Play store that have controller support and that are compatible with the XAC. We will start by looking at games that require fewer inputs as a starting point, and then some that use many of the inputs available on a controller. We will also note some of the motor accessibility features in the games that could help make them more accessible to players using the XAC.
0:00 | Intro
1:21 | Oceanhorn
2:17 | Limbo
2:50 | Sonic the Hedgehog Classic
3:37 | Rocket League Sideswipe
4:06 | Asphalt 9: Legends
6:02 | Brawlhalla
7:03 | Sky: Children of Light
8:40 | Dead Cells
9:41 | Minecraft
Episode 2 in this ‘Android Access’ series looks at connecting an XAC to an Android device: Episode 2
Episode 1 looks at examples of touchscreen and controller options and settings in some Android games that may help improve the motor accessibility of a game for players. This may also be of interest to game developers looking to improve the motor accessibility of their game for players: Episode 1
Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) – For additional information on the, use the ‘XAC‘ tag on the GameAccess website.
Music in Episode 3: Eminence Landscapes by Ian Post, Skipping by Ian Post, Little Eyes (Instrumental Version) by Yehezkal Raz, Binary Love by Stanley Gurvich, When the Sunrise (Instrumental Version) by Yehezkal Raz, Ripples by Palm Blue and Tomb by VESHZA (all artlist.io).