Josh’s Adapted Gaming Controller | Case Study

Josh with his gaming set up.

Josh has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and wanted to play football and sports video games, so his mum got in contact with SpecialEffect to explore ways to achieve this.

SpecialEffect supported Josh remotely through video calls during the COVID-19 restrictions. An initial call with him took place to discuss the games he wanted to play, the difficulties he was having and to determine what equipment was suitable for him to initially try. This equipment was then posted to him and a second call was organised to help get the equipment set up and positioned.

In this post we share the techniques and equipment the SpecialEffect team used to create Josh’s controller. The solutions we used were combined to create a customised controller setup that was specific to his abilities, but we hope that sharing them will help show some of the range of options that are available to create a setup that is tailored to the needs of the individual.

The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (July 2021).

Controller Access

Difficulty: Josh reported that he has good use of his right hand and can play for short periods of time, using just his right hand. However, using just one hand limits how well he can access the controller and causes fatigue.

Solution: If someone has good use of one hand, using this hand to access a standard controller can give them access to a lot of buttons and often at least one of the joysticks. It is often worth using one side of a standard controller and supplementing the controls on the other side with additional equipment. As Josh has good use of his right hand, it was decided that he keep using the right side of the Xbox One controller to access these inputs (which could be improved using mounting – see section below). The inputs on the left side of the controller could be accessed using other equipment.

Close up of an Xbox One controller being used with with right hand.
Right side of an Xbox One controller being used with one hand.

Accessing Left Joystick, Triggers and Buttons

Difficulty: Josh has some good gross movement in his left hand/arm but finds fine motor movement difficult. The left joystick, LT and LB buttons on the left side of the controller are too small for Josh to access with his left hand.

Solution: Josh has good gross movement in his left arm so it was thought a larger joystick could be used for the left joystick function. Due to its size and shape, an Ultra-Stik joystick was tried with Josh.


Photograph of a OneSwitch Ultra-Stik with ball topper being held.
A OneSwitch Ultra-Stik joystick with ball topper.

For the LT and LB buttons, it was thought that Josh could potentially use larger switches for these. Two AbleNet Specs Switches were sent to Josh, which were positioned so that he could access them with his left hand.

A photograph of a Specs Switch being held.
An AbleNet Specs Switch.

Plugging in the Joystick and Switches

Difficulty: The Ultra-Stik joystick and Specs Switches do not plug directly into the Xbox One. A compatible interface is needed to get these working.

Solution: An Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) was used to get the Ultra-Stik and Specs Switches working on the Xbox One.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an interface which enables you to create a customised controller set-up. This video gives a detailed overview of the XAC: An Xbox Adaptive Controller Overview – GameAccess

A photograph of an Xbox Adaptive controller being held.
An Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC)

The Ultra-Stik joystick was plugged into the left USB slot on the XAC.

A photograph of the left USB socket on the XAC.
The left USB socket on the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC).

The Specs Switches were plugged in along the back of the XAC, where all the 3.5mm jacks are located. The Specs Switches were plugged into the LT and LB ports on the XAC as these are the buttons that Josh cannot access easily on the controller.


A photograph of some of the 3.5mm jacks on the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Some of the 3.5mm jacks along the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC).

Mounting the Equipment

Difficulty:  The equipment that Josh is using needs to be fixed to prevent it from moving around. The Xbox One controller also needs to be mounted to keep it in place so that Josh can access it more easily with a single hand. Josh plays from a variety of different chairs and a standing frame. The equipment needs to be able to move around with Josh.

Solution: A Trabasack Curve Connect was used to fix Josh’s equipment. This is a lap tray which has a flat surface that allows Velcro to be attached to it.

Fixing the equipment to this keeps it in place and using a lap tray means that the equipment can move around with Josh if he sits in different places to play.

The Ultra-Stik joystick was placed on the left side of the tray so that Josh could use it with his left hand.

The Xbox One controller was mounted on the right side of the tray so that Josh could access the right side of this with his right hand. The controller was supported at an angle using a Maxess mount. These are no longer available and so an alternative, such as firm blocks of foam and other materials that provide sufficient support can also be used effectively to support controllers on trays. Having the controller at an angle makes it more comfortable to use and the mount means that the controller is completely supported.

A photograph of a small Maxess mount being held.
A small Maxess mount.

The AbleNet Specs Switches were placed on the tray, just underneath the Xbox One controller. Josh could use his right hand to press these.

Josh’s set-up mounted on a Trabasack tray.

Setting Up Two Controllers to Copilot

Difficulty: Josh’s set-up requires the use of both a standard Xbox One controller and an Xbox Adaptive Controller, at the same time.

Solution: Copilot was turned on on Josh’s Xbox One console. Copilot is an accessibility feature available on Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles and Windows 10 PCs. It allows you to combine inputs from two Xbox One controllers. This article goes into detail on how Copilot works, and how to turn it on on an Xbox console and Windows 10 PC: How to set up Copilot on Xbox One & Windows 10 | How To… Video – GameAccess


Josh using his gaming set-up to play a basketball game.

With this set-up Josh can effectively access all the games that he wants to play. Josh has been successfully using this set-up to play sports games, Minecraft and Roblox.

SpecialEffect will keep in contact with Josh and make any changes that he needs to his setup.


List of Equipment Used:

Below is a list of the equipment we used to create Josh’s controller set-up, with unaffiliated links to the products on the manufacturer’s own websites where possible. Other suppliers are available in most cases:

Xbox Adaptive Controller:

Xbox Adaptive Controller | Xbox

OneSwitch Ultra-Stik:

Accessible Gaming Shop – Ultra-Stik – OneSwitch.org.uk

Trabasack Curve Connect:

https://trabasack.com/products/curve-connect/

AbleNet Specs Switch:

https://www.ablenetinc.com/specs-switch

If you have any questions about this controller setup, please visit the Contact Us page.

XAC Zik-Zak Joysticks

Photograph of XAC Zik-Zak Mini with MERU Cowbar top.
Photograph of XAC Zik-Zak Mini with MERU Cowbar top.
XAC Zik-Zak Mini with MERU Cowbar top

XAC Zik-Zak joysticks, made by OneSwitch, are compatible with the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC). The XAC is a controller interface which allows you to create customised controller layout by connecting suitable compatible joysticks and buttons (find out more here).

photograph of Xbox Adaptive Controller.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller.

This article covers the XAC version of these joysticks, which are also available for use with the GCM 100 with a different connection (see GCM100 Joysticks – OneSwitch.org.uk ).

There are three different types of Zik-Zak joystick, all of which plug into the left or right USB on the XAC.

Photograph of Left USB port on XAC.
Photograph of right USB port on XAC.
Left and right USB port on the XAC.

All three joysticks come with three different joystick tops:

Photograph of he 3 joystick tops that come with all of the Zik - Zak joysticks.
The three joystick tops that come with all of the Zik-Zak joysticks.

There is also the option to purchase a MERU Cowbar top. Again, this will fit all three joysticks:

photograph of MERU corbar joystick top.
MERU Cowbar joystick top.

All the versions of the joystick require good gross hand or arm movement to use them. The force required to operate them is similar to a standard strength wheelchair joystick, so they may potentially not be suitable for individuals with limited strength.

XAC Zik-Zak Metal

Photograph of XAC Zik-Zak Metal with acorn top.
XAC Zik-Zak Metal with Acorn top.

The XAC Zik-Zak Metal is a heavy duty, fully analogue joystick for the XAC. It is housed in an aluminium case and is good for individuals with strong movements who need a strong, sturdy joystick.

The joystick is 9cm high from its base to where the hand rests on the joystick top.

The joystick comes with three different toppers. As previously mentioned, there is also the option to use a MERU Cowbar topper with this joystick.

XAC Zik-Zak Mini

Photograph of XAC Zik - Zak Mini with ball top.
XAC Zik-Zak Mini with Ball top.

The Zik-Zak Mini is a fully analogue joystick for the XAC. The Mini has a plastic housing with a small, square base and is suitable for people with good gross movement who want a joystick with a smaller base for their set-up.

The Mini is 10cm high from its base to where the hand rests on the joystick top.

The joystick comes with three different toppers. As previously mentioned, there is also the option to use a MERU Cowbar topper with this joystick.

Photograph of XAC Zik-Zak Mini with MERU Cowbar top.
XAC Zik-Zak Mini with MERU Cowbar top.

XAC Zik-Zak Plastic (special order only)

photograph of XAC Zik-Zak Plastic with all available tops.
XAC Zik-Zak Plastic with Ball top attached. The other 2 tops available are also in the picture.

The XAC Zik-Zak Plastic is a special-order version of the Zik-Zak joystick. It uses the same joystick as the Zik-Zak Metal and Zik-Zak Mini, but is housed in a larger plastic box which is a similar size to that of the Zik-Zak Metal.

This joystick is a good option for individuals who need a larger joystick base for stability but do not need the durability of the metal version.

This joystick can also be fitted with the MERU Cowbar top, for an additional cost.


Links (unaffiliated):

XAC Zik-Zak Metal: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=279

XAC Zik-Zak Mini: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=320

XAC Zik-Zak Plastic: This is a special-order item, please contact: info@oneswitch.org.uk

FIFA 21 | Accessibility Options

Screen shot of Fifa title screen.

FIFA (EA) is a game that we use a lot at SpecialEffect. It has some features and settings that can make the game more accessible to some players.

In this post we will look at the options we use with players through our projects. We tested FIFA 21 primarily on the PlayStation, but the control options are also available on Xbox and PC, and the equivalent inputs are also used on Xbox and PC too (when playing with a controller). When the PlayStation controls are mentioned here, the equivalent Xbox controls will be put in brackets afterwards e.g. Circle (B).

The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (November 2020).

Accessibility Menu

FIFA 21 has an accessibility menu which has several options to help with input access to menus, including remap buttons and stick functionality.

You can access this from the home menu by going across to the Customise tab > Settings > Accessibility.

screen shot of Accessiblity menu.
Accessibility menu under the Customise and Settings menus.

You can also access it directly from the home screen by selecting the accessibility icon, and you can reach it during a match by pressing the Options button and selecting Settings.

Screen shot of Accessiblity menu on the home screen.
Accessibility menu on the home screen.
Screen shot of settings menu when the match is paused.
The Settings menu when the match is paused.

Remap Right Stick Functionality:

Turning this setting on switches the functionality of the Right Stick to the Left Stick. This allows you to navigate through many of the main menus using just the Left Stick. This only applies to the menus and will not change the controls required for gameplay.

Screen shot of Right Stick functionality in Accessibility menu.
Remap Right Stick Functionality selected in Accessibility menu.

Remap L1/R1 Buttons and L2/R2 Buttons Functionality:

Turning this setting on changes the functionality of the L1/R1 and L2/R2 buttons in many of the menus to the Left Stick. This allows you to navigate through all the setting options with the Left Stick. Again, this only applies to the menus and will not change the controls required for gameplay.


Screen shot showing Remap L1/R1 Buttons and L2/R2 Buttons Functionality selected in the Accessibility menu.
Remap L1/R1 (LB/RB) and L2/R2 (LT/RT) Buttons Functionality selected in the Accessibility menu.

Controller Settings

Customisable Controls

FIFA 21 allows you to remap the buttons in-game, so if you find a button hard to reach/press you could remap it to a one that you find easier. An example would be if you find it difficult to press Triangle (Y) for Through Ball but could more easily press Square (X), you could swap these two controls.

You do this by going into Customise > Settings > Customise Controls.

Screen shot showing the Customise Controls menu under the Customise and Settings menus.
The Customise Controls menu under the Customise and Settings menus.

You would then press the X (A) button on the control you want to change.

Screen shot showing that the Triangle button has been selected and is waiting to be remapped.
The Triangle button has been selected and is waiting to be remapped.

You then press X (A) again on the control you want to change it to.

Screen shot showing that Triangle and Square have been swapped.
Triangle and Square have been swapped.

You can also access this menu during a match by pressing the Options (Menu) button and selecting Settings, then Customisable Controls.

Bear in mind that when swapping buttons, the original function of that button will be swapped. If you are swapping a button to one you cannot activate on the controller, you will need to play the game without that button.

Control Options

FIFA 21 has four preset control options – Classic, Alternate, Two Button and One Button. The Classic control mode requires the following buttons:

Screen shot showing Classic controls for attack.
Classic controls for attack.
Screen shot showing Classic controls for defence.
Classic controls for defence.

If using all of the buttons in Classic Mode is difficult, One and Two Button Mode may provide an alternative.

Two Button Mode

We have used Two Button Mode with many of the people we have worked with. It enables you to play offline and online matches with just a Left Joystick and Cross and Circle (A and B on Xbox).

Screen shot showing Two Button Mode controls and controller layout for defence.
Two Button Mode controls and controller layout for attack.
Screen shot showing Two Button Mode controls and controller layout for defence.
Two Button Mode controls and controller layout for defence.

Your pass button, which is Cross (A), will do a ground pass or a through pass depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. If you hold the pass button you will do a lob, again depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. When you do not have the ball your pass button will become your standing tackle, and your shoot button, which is Circle (B), will become your sliding tackle.

When you are out of possession you will need to press L1 (LB) to change player. By default, Auto Switch is set to Air Balls and Loose Balls. Auto Switching can be made full Auto which means that the game will switch player for you, removing the need for L1 (LB). How to turn this option on is explained later in this post under ‘Auto Switching’.

In Two Button Mode ‘auto sprinting’ is always turned on. This means that the game will sprint for you when there is space to do so and the situation may benefit from it. However, if you have access to the sprint button (R2 or RT) you can still use this to sprint manually.

One Button Mode

One Button Mode enables you to fully play FIFA with just one joystick (Left Joystick) and one button which is Cross on PlayStation and A on Xbox.

Screen shot showing One Button Mode controls and controller layout for attack.
One Button Mode controls and controller layout for attack.
Screen shot showing One Button Mode controls and controller layout for defence.
One Button Mode controls and controller layout for defence.

In a standard game, the Left Joystick acts as player movement. When you are in possession, the Cross (A) button is used for all types of kick, including passing and shooting. The type of kick played will depend on the situation you are in, the direction you are aiming and how long you hold the button for. Sometimes you may be expecting to shoot but a pass will be played instead, but with practice you learn in which situations a certain type of kick will likely be played.

When out of procession the button will act as both sliding and light tackle depending on the circumstance. When out of possession the game will auto switch your player to the individual nearest the ball.

When your player has the space to run it will automatically sprint whether you are in or out of possession.

To select One or Two Button Mode, go into Customise > Settings > Customise Controls. You then, by default, use the R2/L2 (LT/RT) to scroll through this menu until the controller mode you want is selected. If you then press Back (Circle on PlayStation or B on Xbox) the game will automatically save this mode selection.

Screen shot showing Customise Controls menu under the Customise and Settings menu.
Customise Controls menu under the Customise and Settings menu.

If using the R2/L2 (RT/LT) buttons for the menus is difficult you can change this to the left joystick by going into the accessibility menu which is mentioned previously in this post.

In both One and Two Button Mode you still need to press the Options (Menu) button to start the game in the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. On Xbox Series S/X, PS5 and PC versions, the match will load without the skills training. The Options (Menu) buttons will be needed to pause the match, however, to access the in-game menu.

Screen shot showing that the Options button is required to start a match after the game has loaded.
The Options (Menu) button is required to start a match after the game has loaded, even in One and Two Button Mode.

One and Two Button Mode will work for offline and online play. It will also work in all the different game modes in FIFA (Volta, Career etc.) but you might find you need some additional buttons in menus and certain game modes.

*Update* Jan 2021 – A video was created by SpecialEffect Occupational Therapist Joe on FIFA 21’s One and Two Button modes, which has been added here:

Transcript can be found at the bottom of this post.

Auto Switch Player

Auto Switching is a controller setting that enables you to dictate how much the game helps you to switch player when you are not in possession of the ball. The three options are Manual, Air Balls and Loose Balls, and Auto. If you have your controller set to Classic, then Auto Switching will default to Air Balls and Loose Balls. This means that the game will switch player during Lobs, Crosses and Loose Balls. In all other situations you will need to press the L1 (LB) button to change player.

If you want to play in Classic Mode but find switching your player difficult you can set the game to switch player for you. You can find this option under Settings > Customise Controls > Auto Switching and scroll right to select Auto.

Screen shot showing Auto Switching changed to fully Auto in Controller Settings.
Auto Switching changed to fully Auto in Controller Settings.

In One and Two Button Mode the game will automatically carry out Auto Switching. This means that the game will choose the best player for you to control.

Timed Finishing

Timed Finishing has the potential to increase a shot’s accuracy and power and can enable you to score from positions that may not be possible with standard shooting. To trigger a timed finish, you need to be able to press the Shoot button twice, with good timing. The precision and timing of the second button tap determines the result; a perfectly timed tap will increase the shot’s accuracy, while a poorly timed tap makes the shot more likely to miss.


Screen shot showing Timed Finishing turned On in Controller Settings
Timed Finishing turned On in Controller Settings.

Tactical and Legacy Defending

Tactical and Legacy are two different types of defending available in FIFA 21. Tactical Defending gives you the ability to time your tackles and maintain your position. However, timing and player position are a lot more important in this mode.

Legacy Defending gives you the familiar defending controls of past FIFA titles. The position of players is less important, and it is the easier of the two defending options, but it is also easier for the AI to predict your movements. If you are a beginner, it might be worth starting with Legacy Defending and then moving onto Tactical.

These options are only available in offline play.

Screen shot showing Legacy Defending selected in Controller Settings.
Legacy Defending selected in Controller Settings.

Assisted Passing Options

You can change how much assistance your various passes have. The pass options that can be altered are Ground, Through Ball, Shot Assistance, Cross and Lob. There are three levels to choose from: Manual, Semi and Assisted. Having Assisted turned on means that pass direction and power will help you play passes into the receiver’s path and avoid opponent players. Having Shot Assistance set to Assisted means that shot direction always aim towards the goal.

Screen shot showing Passing options all set to fully Assisted in Controller settings.
Passing options all set to fully Assisted in Controller settings.

Game Settings:

There are some game play settings that can be changed to make the game more accessible. These options are available for offline play and when you are playing against the computer. To access game settings, from the home screen, go into Customise > Settings > Game Settings.

On the first Match screen there are a couple of game settings that might be helpful to change.

Difficulty Settings

If you are new to paying FIFA or have a new controller layout, you can change the difficulty of the game. There are six difficulty levels to choose from and the options go from Beginner through to Legendary.

Screen shot showing Difficulty Level changed to Beginner in the Game Settings menu.
Difficulty Level changed to Beginner in the Game Settings menu.

Game Speed

This option allows you to slow down or speed up the gameplay to suit your needs. By default, the game is set to Normal, but you can also select Slow and Fast.

Screen shot showing Game speed set to Slow in Game Settings menu.
Game speed set to Slow in Game Settings menu.

To move through the Game Setting menus by default you need to use R2/L2 (RT/LT). However, you can change this to Left Stick in the Accessibility menu which is mentioned in this post.

Sliders

If you move through the Game Settings menu by pressing R2 (RT) you will come to the User Gameplay Customisation menu and CPU Gameplay Customisation. These menus use sliders which enable you to speed up and slow down how quickly your team and the computer do things such as sprint, take shots etc.

By changing these sliders, you can give yourself an advantage by speeding up your team and slowing down the computer.

Screen shot showing the User Gameplay Customisation menu in Game Settings.
The User Gameplay Customisation menu in Game Settings.
Screen shot showing The CPU Gameplay Customisttion menu in Game Settings.
The CPU Gameplay Customisation menu in Game Settings.

In the User Gameplay Customisation menu there is also an option for Power Bar. This modifies how quickly/slowly the power bar fills up when you pass or shoot. If you seem to be putting too much power into your shots and they are flying over the goal, it might be helpful to turn this down.

Screen shot showing the Power Bar option in User Gameplay Customisation Menu.
The Power Bar option in User Gameplay Customisation Menu in Game Settings.

Practice Arena

If you are not used to your controls or are new to FIFA, a good place to start is in the Practice Arena. This game mode allows you to run freely around the pitch and practice dribbling, shooting and free kick skills. There is no time pressure, and you can take as many shots at goal as you like.

Screen shot showing the Practice Arena.
The Practice Arena.

To access the Practice Arena, go to the main menu and select the Play tab.

Screen shot showing the Play tab selected in the Main menu of Fifa.
The Play tab selected in the Main menu of Fifa.

When you are in the Play menu, go down to the bottom right and select Skill Games.

Screen shot showing Skills Games highlighted in the Play tab
Skills Games highlighted in the Play tab

When this menu is highlighted by default, use the Right Stick and scroll across until Practice Arena is visible. You can then select it.

Screen shot showing Practice Arena highlighted in the Skills Games menu.
Practice Arena highlighted in the Skills Games menu.

If using the Right Stick is difficult you can change this to use the Left Stick by going into the Accessibility menu which is mentioned in this post.

We hope that this post has been useful. If you have any questions, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Transcript for Video:

FIFA is one of the games that we are most commonly asked for help with playing and the default controls require the use of the majority of the controller. However, there are two other control schemes: Two Button Mode and One Button Mode that can potentially help make the game accessible to many players by reducing the number of inputs required. This video will look at how these control schemes work on Xbox, Playstation and also PC if using a controller. The Nintendo Switch version of the game plays differently and will not be covered in this video. If you are going to be playing with either Two or One Button Modes you may find that it could also be helpful to reduce the number of inputs required to access the in-game menus. For example, by default, to access the practice arena you use the Left Stick to get to the Skill Games Menu and then have to use the Right Stick to move across to Practice Arena. Other parts of the menus require the use of the triggers such as moving from Settings to choose your preset in the Controller Settings menu. Within Settings if you go to Accessibility you can remap the Right Stick functionality. This means that you can navigate through many of the menu options with just the Left Stick. Press Cross or A to select this option. You can also remap the bumpers and triggers needed in the menus to the Left Stick, meaning that you can navigate through Game Settings and the Customise Controls screens using the Left Stick. Press Cross or A to select this option. There are several opportunities to select your control scheme, such as just before a match or by pausing mid-game. Here we will change from Classic Controls to Two Button Mode in the main menu. Go to Customise, then Settings, then Customise Controls. Move across until Attack appears. Now press Down and you can move from Classic to Alternate and then across to Two Button Mode. You will see that Circle will be as Shoot, Cross or A is Pass and Left Stick is to Move Player. R2 or Right Trigger to Sprint is optional as within this game mode Auto Sprint is enabled. This means that the AI will decide when would be best to start sprinting. L1 or Left Bumper can be used to Change Player, but it is possible to remove the need to use this button which we will look at a bit later on in the video. When a match is loading you will first enter a training game. You do not need to play this – you can wait for the game to load. Once the training game is finished you do need to press the Options button to move to the match. Left Stick is used to control player movement as well as direct and aim passes and shots. If you press your Pass button which is Cross or A, you will do a ground pass or a through pass depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. If you hold the button down you will do a lob, again, depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. Circle or B act as your Shoot button and the longer you hold the button down the more power you will put into your shot. When you do not have the ball your Pass button will become your Standing Tackle and your Shoot button, which is Circle or B, will become your Sliding Tackle. If you find pressing R2 or Right Trigger difficult the game will automatically sprint for you at times that it deems to be appropriate such as when there is space to run into when attacking or tracking back in defence. By default the game is set to automatically switch to the nearest player if you do not have the ball when the ball is in the air or if the ball is loose. This means if the opponent has the ball you need to press L1 to switch player. If you wish to have it set so that the game switches automatically for you in all situations, then you can go to Settings and change this to Auto. You can still override this by pressing L1 if you want to in certain situations. Career Mode gives you the option to play as a single player so you would not be controlling the entire team. When playing this mode you can press or hold the Pass button to call teammates to pass the ball to you. If you press the Shoot button when the teammate has the ball they will take the shot. If accessing two buttons during gameplay is difficult then there is the option for One Button Mode. You can select this mode in the same way that you would on Two Button Mode either via the main menu, just before a match or by pausing the game. Go to Customise Controls, move across until Attack appears, press Down to select the Preset and move across to find One Button Mode. When loading a game you will still need to press the Options or Menu button to get past the training game. When in gameplay Left Stick is Player Movement and the Cross or A button will act as Action. When you’re in possession the Action button is used for all types of kick including passing and shooting. Left stick is used to direct and aim passes and shots as well as move your players. The type of kick played will depend on the situation you are in, the direction you are aiming and how long you hold the button down for. In many situations if you have the ball it will act as a ground or through pass. In some situations, by holding the button down, you may be able to do a long pass or a lob but if the AI feels that a ground pass is more appropriate it may override this and do a ground pass instead. Once you approach the goal your Action button now becomes the Shoot button. Sometimes you may be expecting to shoot but a pass will be played instead but with practice you learn in which situation certain type of kick will likely be played. When you don’t have the ball the Action button will alternate between acting as either Defender Press or Sliding Tackle depending on the situation. As with Two Button Mode, Auto Sprint will be enabled by holding down R2 or Right Trigger will allow you to manually sprint if you choose to do so. As with Two Button Mode pressing L1 or LB will enable you to automatically switch player when you don’t have the ball. However, if you set this to Auto you may find that there isn’t a need to press this button. You can also play Career Mode matches with one button controls and when playing as a single player pressing or holding your action button will call teammates to pass the ball to you or take a shot, depending on the situation they are in. There are some situations that even when using two button or one button control schemes the game may offer prompts to press other buttons. An example would be during a free kick. However, it is possible to play matches on FIFA 21 without using any more than either one or two buttons and a single joystick. If at any point you would like to pause the game when using either two button or one button controls, you will need to press the Options or Menu button. In order to have full control of menus please note that you do need access to at least one joystick and two buttons and also that the Options or Menu button is required to start matches. These control schemes can help to make the game more accessible for many players. We hope that this video has been helpful. If you would like to play FIFA 21 but find that accessing one or two buttons and one analog stick on a standard controller is difficult there are a range of other ways to play that might work best for you. If you would like to speak to SpecialEffect about video game accessibility, then please get in touch.

How to Use an Xbox Adaptive Controller with a Nintendo Switch

Photograph showing an XAC plugged into a Titan Two plugged into an Nintendo Switch console.
Photograph showing an XAC plugged into a Titan Two plugged into an Nintendo Switch console.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) is a device designed by Microsoft that enables gamers with limited mobility to access games on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. It does this by allowing gamers to use compatible switches and joysticks to create their own customised controller.

A lot of the gamers we work with want to access other consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. In this post we will look at how to use the XAC with a Nintendo Switch using a Titan Two device.

Note that at the time of writing, the XAC will not work with the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Step 1: Setting up the Nintendo Switch

You need to make sure your Nintendo Switch is set up to use wired controllers. You do this by turning on Pro Controller Wired Communication.

Go to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Pro Controller Wired Communication > OK

Screen shot showing Pro Controller Wired Communication in settings menu.
Screen shot showing Pro Wired Communication set to On.

This post gives you a step-by-step guide on how to do this: https://gameaccess.info/nintendo-switch-console-settings-for-using-a-titan-two/

If you detached the Joy-Cons to change this setting, place them back on the Nintendo Switch. If you used the Switch in handheld mode to change this setting, place the device back in its dock with the Joy-Cons attached.

Important: if the Joy-Cons are connected wirelessly to the Nintendo Switch when you plug the Titan Two device in later, the setup will not work. To stop this from happening make sure the Joy-Cons are attached to the Switch in the dock and any spare Joy-Cons are switched off.

Step 2: Connecting the devices

To get the XAC working on Nintendo Switch you need an adapter called a Titan Two:

Photograph of Titan Two adapter
A Titan Two adapter.

The Titan Two should work straight out of the box, however it is a good idea to check it has the latest update on it. This post explains in detail how to do this: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-update-a-titan-two-adapter/

The Titan Two comes with a small Micro USB lead:

Photograph of Micro USB lead that comes with Titan Two.
The Micro USB lead that comes with the Titan Two.

Plug this into the OUTPUT slot on the top of the Titan Two:

Photograph of Titan Two adapter showing the OUTPUT slot.
397The OUTPUT slot on the Titan Two adapter.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller comes with a USB–C lead. Plug one end of this into the XAC:

Photograph of the XAC showing the USB-C socket.
The USB – C socket on the back of the XAC.

Plug the other end of this into INPUT A on the Titan Two device:

Photograph showing the USB-C being plugged into INPUT A on the Titan Two.
Plugging the other end of the XAC’s USB – C lead into INPUT A on the Titan Two.

Plug in any accessibility devices into the XAC that you use.

Once you have plugged everything into the Titan Two, plug the other end of the OUPUT cable into one of the USBs on the Nintendo Switch dock.

If it is helpful for your gaming you can add a second controller which will plug into INPUT B on the Titan Two. This controller will work alongside the XAC as player one. This means it can be used to supplement your setup or it can be used by someone else if you need help using some of the buttons/joysticks:

Photograph showing a Titan Two with both USB input being used.
A secondary controller can be plugged into Input-B on the Titan Two

The Nintendo Switch does not need a verifying controller so you can plug in a variety of different controllers to use alongside the XAC. Here are some that we frequently use:

– Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
– PowerA wired Nintendo Switch Controller
– PS4 Controller
– Xbox One Controller

Note that if you are using a non-Nintendo controller then its buttons will be labelled differently to those which will be prompted in-game.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the Contact Us page if you have any questions about using the Titan Two Adapter on consoles.

Equipment Links (unaffiliated):

Titan Two: https://www.consoletuner.com/products/titan-two/

Xbox Adaptive Controller: https://www.xbox.com/en-GB/accessories/controllers/xbox-adaptive-controller

Lucy’s Adapted Gaming Controller | Case Study

Lucy playing using her controller set up.
Photograph of Lucy playing with her set up.

Lucy has a C6 spinal cord injury and hadn’t tried playing games with a standard controller since her injury. She got in touch with SpecialEffect as she wanted to be able to access console games.

She came to the SpecialEffect Games Room (pre-Covid_19 restrictions) and our occupational therapists worked with her as part of our Loan Library project.

In this post we’ll share the techniques and equipment the SpecialEffect team used to create Lucy’s controller. The solutions we used were combined to create a customised controller setup specific to her abilities, but we hope that sharing them will help show some of the range of options that are available to create a customised controller setup tailored to the needs of the individual.

The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (September 2020).

Controller Access

To start the visit, we had a conversation with Lucy about what games she wanted to access and told us she was interested in playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (PEGI 12) on the Nintendo switch.

Difficulty: Lucy had not played games since her injury and due to having no movement in her fingers was unsure how she would access the Nintendo Switch. Lucy has good movement in her shoulders and full movement with her biceps, and full wrist extension.

Solution: A conversation took place with Lucy about her functional movement and what she finds difficult. She demonstrated her movements and it was felt that she might be able to use some parts of a standard controller. Lucy tried a PowerA Nintendo Switch controller, and as she has good movement in her arms and some wrist extension, she was able to use the joysticks and the ABXY buttons on the face of the controller.

Mounting the Controller

Difficulty: As Lucy was unable to grip the controller and hold it in place, the controller moved around too much when she was playing.

Solution: The PowerA Nintendo Switch controller was mounted onto a Trabasack Curve connect tray using Velcro.

The Trabasack Curve Connect tray has a surface that enables Velcro to stick to it. To give Lucy’s hands room to move around the controller, a piece of foam was placed underneath the controller to lift it off the tray. Different thicknesses of foam were tried until Lucy found the height comfortable.

A close up of foam under the controller used to raise it.
The gamepad was supported by a foam block to lift it up from the tray.

Accessing Buttons and Triggers

Difficulty: Lucy wasn’t able to press the four buttons on the back of the controller (R, L, ZR and ZL).

Solution: Lucy was shown the different types of switches that were available. Specs Switches were the most appropriate for her: they offer a fairly large surface area for people who need to use gross movements to press the them but don’t want a switch as large as a Buddy Button.

The Specs switches were fixed to the Trabasack tray using Velcro. They were positioned carefully where Lucy could easily use them but still access the joysticks and the buttons on the PowerA controller.

Lucy using the controller.
Lucy reaching to use one of the AbleNet Specs Switches.

Connecting to the Console

Difficulty: An Xbox Adaptive controller (XAC) was needed to get the Specs switches working with the Nintendo Switch. The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an interface which enables you to create a customised controller setup.

An Xbox Adaptive Controller being held.
An Xbox Adaptive controller, which Lucy’s switches were plugged into.

Solution: A Titan Two device was used to get the XAC working on the Nintendo Switch. The XAC and the PowerA controller were plugged into the Titan Two which was then plugged into the Nintendo Switch. The Titan Two device allowed the PowerA controller and the XAC to be used simultaneously.

Photograph of a Titan Two adapter.
A Titan Two device that allows the gamepad and XAC to be combined and used on a Nintendo Switch console.

Before using a Titan Two on the Nintendo Switch, ‘Pro Controller Wired Communication’ needs to be turned ‘on’ in the ‘Controllers and Sensors’ settings of the Switch. This post explains step by step how to do this: https://gameaccess.info/nintendo-switch-console-settings-for-using-a-titan-two/

The Specs switches were plugged into the RB, LB, RT and LT switch slots in the XAC.

By the end of the visit Lucy was able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. We will keep in contact with her and will alter her setup if needed.

Lucy using her controller.

List of Equipment Used:

Below is a list of the equipment we used to create Lucy’s controller set up, with unaffiliated links to the products on the manufacturer’s own websites where possible. Other suppliers are available in most cases:

Xbox Adaptive Controller:

https://www.xbox.com/en-GB/accessories/controllers/xbox-adaptive-controller

https://gameaccess.info/279-2/

Titan Two:

https://www.consoletuner.com/products/titan-two/

https://gameaccess.info/nintendo-switch-console-settings-for-using-a-titan-two/

Trabasack Curve Connect:

https://trabasack.com/products/curve-connect/

AbleNet Specs Switch:

https://www.ablenetinc.com/specs-switch

PowerA wired Nintendo Switch controller:

https://www.powera.com/product_platform/nintendo-switch/#cont1-p

If you have any questions about this controller setup, please visit the Contact Us page.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening ׀ Controls

The games's title screen screenshot
Screen shot of title screen

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (PEGI 7) is a top-down, action-adventure game available on the Nintendo Switch. It is a remake of the 1993 game which was available on the Nintendo Game Boy.

You play as the character Link, who gets stranded on Koholint Island. To progress through the game, you must defeat/avoid many enemies, solve puzzles and win boss fights. The aim is to collect eight instruments which you will use to awaken the legendary “Wind Fish” so that you can escape the island.

In this post we will take a look at the controls used to play. It is possible to play this game with access to just the left joystick and seven buttons. The right joystick can be used to zoom the map in/out, but you do not need this to play the game.

Controls

Default Controls:

Many of the controls are doubled up and can be accessed by pressing different buttons. For example, you can either press Z or ZR to use your Shield.

Screen shot of system menu showing controller layout.

Left Joystick = Move

A = Confirm/Lift

B = Attack

X/Y = Item: Items get acquired through the game; the Item you need to be equipped with will depend on the mission.

L/ZL = Dash: you must unlock this power before you can use it.

R/ZR = Shield: you need to hold this down at the same time as pressing B to attack your enemy.

+ = Subscreen: this shows Items, Map, and System. You need to use L/R to move between screens. ZL and ZR will also work.

 = Map: you can get to this in the Subscreen as well. As you progress through the game you will unlock more sections of the map – most of it is not visible to begin with.

There is only the default control scheme in Link’s Awakening. If you want to change the controller layout it is possible to do this at a system level. This post explains how to do this:  https://gameaccess.info/how-to-change-button-mappings-on-the-nintendo-switch/


Gameplay

Getting started with Link’s Awakening:

When you first load up the game you will see this screen:

Screen shot of first game screen when you need to press L + R together.

You need to press L and R together to progress into the game.

Once you select a new game you will be asked what difficulty you want to play as:

Screen shot of difficulty options.

Normal: this is the classic difficulty setting. The game does not give you much guidance on how to solve puzzles and where to go on the map to progress. You need to be accurate with your joystick and have good timing with button presses to solve puzzles and defeat bosses.

Hero: in this difficulty setting you take twice as much damage, with no heart drops. It is recommended for advanced players.

Once you get into the game, the first weapon you are given is a shield. You can use this to repel enemies. To activate this, you need to hold down R or ZR.

Screen shot of Link using shield

Later on in the game you will be given a sword; you press the B button to use this. To use this at the same time as the shield you need to hold down R or ZR at the same time as pressing B to use your sword. You can use your sword separately from your shield and vice versa. It is useful to be able to block enemies with your shield while fighting them as this can help reduce the damage you take.

Screen shot of items menu.

As you progress through the game you will acquire different items and weapons. To equip these, you need to go into your Items menu by pressing +. Use your left joystick to move over the Item you want and press X or Y to assign the weapon to that button. You will need different Items for different challenges within the game. Some of these Items you will acquire through the game story. Some Items you can buy (bow and arrows, bombs) or acquire through side quests (boomerang).

If you have any questions about the settings or how to customise the set-up for your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the Contact Us page.