David’s Adapted Gaming Controller | Case Study

David’s gaming set-up

David used to love playing football games on a games console when he was younger. He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy which meant that as consoles became more complex, a standard controller became too difficult to use. His mum contacted SpecialEffect to find out whether there were options which could help David play again.

Through video calls, SpecialEffect supported David and his mum remotely throughout the COVID-19 restrictions. An initial call took place to discuss his game of choice, FIFA.  An initial set-up was agreed, equipment was loaned and a follow-up call was booked to talk through setting up the equipment.

In this post we will share the techniques and equipment the SpecialEffect team used to create David’s custom set-up specific to his needs and abilities. By sharing David’s gaming solution, we hope to show a wider range of the options available for gaming using a set-up tailored to the individual.

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

Screenshot of Fifa 22 Accessibility menu.
FIFA 22 Accessibility Menu

Accessing the Controls

Challenge: David’s cerebral palsy makes any controlled movement difficult for him.  He demonstrated that he found fine motor movements difficult, so couldn’t achieve accurate control of small controller joysticks.  David needed access to at least the left joystick to play FIFA.   

Solution: Since David reported he felt he had the movement to use a large joystick successfully, we trialled a Pretorian Optima Joystick as its low profile design is sturdy for mounting and the joystick resistance and topper shape appeared compatible with his movements.  It is also compatible with the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), which could act as a switch interface for David’s set-up (see below). The joystick was mounted, using a Manfrotto mounting arm above and at an angle to the joystick on his wheelchair.  This position enabled David to achieve accurate control of his players in FIFA. 

Challenge: David was unable to use his hands to access any small buttons.  FIFA requires access to the ‘A’ button, at the least, on an Xbox One console.

Solution: David was able to demonstrate good head movement to the left, which he had previously used to access a head switch.  A Buddy Button switch, acting as the ‘A’ button, was mounted to the headrest of his wheelchair using Velcro. 

He was happy to trial this as a starting point.  If it becomes uncomfortable over time, a softer topped switch or alternative switch position can be explored. 

A photo of a Pretorian Optima joystick.
A Pretorian Optima Joystick with small nub topper.

Making the joystick and switch work on the Xbox One

Challenge: The switch ports that are built into the Optima Joystick would not natively work as the ‘A’ button for the Xbox One. A compatible switch interface is required to facilitate the button and joystick to work with the Xbox One.  

Solution: An XAC was used to get the Optima Joystick and Buddy Button working on the Xbox One.

The XAC is a switch interface which enables you to create a customised controller set-up. For more information, please see this video for a detailed overview of the XAC: An Xbox Adaptive Controller Overview – GameAccess

Image of the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC).
Photo of the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC)

Independence

Challenge: David wanted to be able to play FIFA independently, if possible.

Solution: David is able to successfully control a large joystick and one switch, as described above.  FIFA has a variety of accessibility features.  The joystick was plugged into the ‘left joystick’ port on the XAC to enable David to control the player’s movements. By changing the settings to ‘One Button Mode’, David can access the game independently using just one joystick and button. (More details on these settings in FIFA 21 here. )

Challenge:  David was also interested in other games that don’t have the same accessibility features as FIFA and cannot be played with a single joystick and switch. 

Solution:  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. Xbox Copilot mode would enable a family member or friend to use the standard Xbox One controller to play alongside David as the same player within any game.  Using the XAC, David’s switch could be made to act as one key control within whatever game was being played.  His partner could use the standard controller for the rest of the controls.

This article goes into detail about how Copilot works, and how to turn it on on Xbox console and Windows 10 PC: How to set up Copilot on Xbox One & Windows 10 | How To… Video – GameAccess

Photo of David with his head switch velcroed onto his head rest.
Close-up of David’s head switch

Access to other equipment while gaming

Challenge : David needs access to his Tellus device for communication at all times. He controls this using his SmartNav device, so he wanted access to this whilst gaming.

Solution: The joystick, switch and TV were all carefully positioned so that David could still access his wheelchair controls via the Tellus device whilst gaming.  

Photo of David's set-up being used to access Fifa.
Close-up of David playing FIFA

List of Equipment Used:

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

Xbox Adaptive Controller:

Xbox Adaptive Controller | Xbox

Screenshot of the Xbox Adaptive Contoller as it appears on the Xbox One when initially setting it up.
XAC screenshot from Xbox One settings

Optima Joystick | Pretorian

Image of Pretorian Optima joystick with large foam ball topper.
Pretorian Optima Joystick with large foam ball topper

Buddy Button:

Buddy Button | Inclusive Technology (other resellers also available)

Image of a Buddy button.
Buddy Button switch

Softy Top:

Softytop | Inclusive Technology (other resellers also available)

Image of a Softy top switch.
Softytop switch

We hope that reading about an individuals controller set-up gets with ideas on creating your own customised controller. More examples of custom controller set-ups can be found using the Case Study tag.

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


WarioWare: Get it together! | Controls Walkthrough Video

Show Transcript

When choosing a new game, knowing more about the game’s control layout, gameplay, options, and settings can help you decide on its suitability in terms of how accessible it will be. Here at SpecialEffect we often search for games which may have accessibility features, or a playstyle, that lends itself to playing with reduced controls. Today we’re going to look at the controls needed to play WarioWare: Get it together! [PEGI 7], a game exclusive to the Nintendo Switch console. The game features Wario and his friends playing minigames under timed conditions.

The main Story Mode can be played with a second player cooperatively, although the timer for the minigames is shorter with two players than with a single player. There is also a multiplayer mode for playing with up to four players, that can be unlocked. The control layout enables all minigames to be played with a joystick and a single button.

Each new character has a different playstyle; for example some characters can move and attack at the same time, whilst others cannot. Once unlocked the large range of characters with different playstyles allows the player to choose a character they find most easy to control. For some that could be Wario as he does not require a button to be held for long periods of time, for others it could be 9-Volt as the joystick is not required at the same time as the button.

Whilst all of the minigames can be played using a joystick and one button, access to two buttons for the menu navigation is needed. Timing of button presses and holds may also be required, however, as the game can be played cooperatively with a second person. Someone who has access to two buttons in a joystick could navigate the menus. There is no time limit for the menus.

In this video we will look at the main playstyle for each character in the game. Whilst the game indicates that a specific button will be attack (depending on the controller orientation in Story Mode), you can actually use any of the face buttons A, B, X or Y as attack, although this doesn’t work in the variety pack multiplayer games.

Using a jetpack you can use the joystick to fly Wario around the screen. By pressing the attack button Wario will charge forward in the direction he’s pointing.

Young Cricket moves using the joystick to walk. By pressing the Attack button Young Cricket will jump. To perform a higher jump, press and hold the Attack button. You can also move the joystick whilst in the air to affect where Young Cricket will land.

18-Volt is unable to walk. Instead, your joystick controls his aim to throw his discs. Aiming and shooting a disc at a gold ring will move 18-Volt to hold on to the ring. Press the Attack button again to let go.

You can control Mona’s scooter using the joystick. Mona’s weapon is a boomerang; when you press attack she will stop moving on her scooter and your joystick will then control the boomerang’s direction.

As player 1, moving the joystick will control Dribble’s car. Though you can still control Dribble to move and push objects to the left, Dribble is only able to attack to his right when you press the Attack button. Player 2 controls Spitz and the controls are similar. The joystick will move Spitz’s car to move and push in any direction but Spitz is only able to shoot to the left.

Dr. Crygor is able to use technology to swim through the air. Use the joystick to control his direction and press Attack to swim in that direction. He will only move when the Attack button is held down.

9-volt loves skateboarding and will constantly move left and right on the screen. Press the Attack button for him to use his yo-yo. His yo-yo can be timed to reach and hold on to golden rings to traverse the screen.

Mike is a robot that you can control using the joystick to fly around the screen. The Attack button will enable Mike to shoot music notes upwards.

Kat and Ana are sisters. Player 1 always controls Kat, who can only attack to the right. Player 2 will control Ana, who can only attack to the left. Both characters are constantly jumping and moving the joystick will control where they land.

Using the joystick, you can fly Ashley around the screen. Pressing Attack will let her shoot a blast of magic in the direction she’s facing.

Orbulon flies around in his flying saucer controlled by the joystick. He can lift items with his tractor beam by holding the Attack button. Release the attack button if you want to drop the item.

To move 5-Volt, you need to use the joystick to move her spirit form. Press Attack to teleport 5-Volt to that location.

Disco-loving Jimmy T. always wants to dance. Using the joystick you can control the direction of his attack. Press Attack for Jimmy to dance and attack in that direction.

After completing the main story, more characters will be unlocked. No spoilers for the plot will be included in the video, but please feel free to stop here if you’d rather not know about post-game characters yet.

Red is a mischievous creature who flies around the screen using the joystick. Pressing Attack will make Red drop a bomb directly below him.

Master Mantis walks around and jumps like Young Cricket, using the joystick and the Attack button. However, holding the Attack button will enable Master Mantis to jump onto the ceiling and walk on the ceiling instead. Press and hold Attack again to return to the ground.

Lulu can walk around using the joystick. She will float up when you press Attack. When airborne, push the joystick down to perform a Ground Pound.

Penny is a young scientist who uses her invention of a water cannon to attack. Press and holding the Attack button will shoot out water in the joystick direction. Penny doesn’t move around on her own, but the recoil from her water cannon will move her in the opposite direction to the joystick.

Pyoro can walk around controlled by the joystick. When you press the Attack button, Pyoro will stick out his tongue to attack. Depending on your position, Pyoro’s tongue may bounce off the wall at an angle if he’s too close to the side of the screen.

WarioWare: Get it together! also works with a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and a Hori Flex Controller with compatible joysticks and switches connected. For those who wish to, a Titan Two adapter can be used to enable accessible controllers such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller, so you can use your preferred joystick and button options.

Thank you for watching and please get in touch if you have any questions.

Intro

When choosing a new game, knowing more about the game’s control layout, gameplay, options and settings can help you decide on its suitability in terms of how accessible it will be. Here at SpecialEffect we often search for games which may have accessibility features or a playstyle that lends itself to playing with reduced controls.

Today we’re going to look at the controls needed to play WarioWare: Get it together! [PEGI 7], a game exclusive to the Nintendo Switch console. The game features Wario and his friends playing minigames under timed conditions.

The main Story Mode can be played with a second player cooperatively, although the timer for the minigames is shorter with two players than with a single player. There is also a separate multiplayer mode for playing with up to four players, that can be unlocked.

The control layout enables all the minigames to be played with a joystick and single button. Each new character has a different playstyle. For example, some characters can move and attack at the same time, whilst others cannot. Once unlocked, the large range of characters with different playstyles allows the player to choose a character they find the easiest to control.

For some, that could be Wario, as he does not require a button to be held for long periods of time. For others, it could be 9-Volt as the joystick is not required for that character’s controls.   

Whilst all of the minigames can be played using a joystick and one button, access to two buttons for the menu navigation is needed. Timing of button presses and holds may also be required. However, as the game can be played cooperatively with a second person, someone who has access to two buttons and the joystick could navigate the menus. There is no time limit for the menus.

Main Character Controls

In this post we will look at the main playstyle for each character in the game. While the game indicates a specific button will be Attack, depending on the controller orientation, in Story Mode you can actually use any of the face buttons A, B, X or Y as Attack. However, this doesn’t work in the variety pack multiplayer games.

Wario

Screenshot of Wario's intro screen.

Using a jetpack, you can use the joystick to fly Wario around the screen. By pressing the Attack button, Wario will charge forward in the direction in which he’s pointing.  

Screenshot of Wario's control tutorial.

Young Cricket

Screenshot of Young Cricket's intro screen.

Young Cricket moves using the joystick to walk. By pressing the Attack button, Young Cricket will jump. To perform a higher jump, press and hold the Attack button. You can also move the joystick whilst in the air to control where Young Cricket will land.

Screenshot of Young Cricket's control tutorial.

18-Volt

Screenshot of 18-Volt's intro screen.

18-Volt is unable to walk. Instead, your joystick controls his aim to throw his discs. Aiming and shooting a disc at a gold ring will move 18-Volt to hold onto the ring. Press the Attack again to let go.

Screenshot of 18-Volt's control tutorial.

Mona

Screenshot of Mona's intro screen.

You can control Mona’s scooter using the joystick. Mona’s weapon is a boomerang. When you press Attack, she will stop moving on her scooter and your joystick will then control the boomerang’s direction.   

Screenshot of Mona's control tutorial.

Dribble & Spitz

Screenshot of Dribble & Spitz's intro screen.

As Player 1, moving the joystick will control Dribble’s car. Though you can still control Dribble to move and push objects to the left, Dribble is only able to attack to his right when you press the Attack button.

Player 2 controls Spitz and the controls are similar. The Joystick will move Spitz’s car to move and push in any direction, but the Spitz is only able to shoot to the left. 

Screenshot of Dribble & Spitz's control tutorial.

Dr. Crygor

Screenshot of Dr. Crygor's intro screen.

Dr. Crygor is able to use technology to swim through the air. Use the joystick to control his direction and press Attack to swim in that direction. He will only move when the Attack button is held down.

Screenshot of Dr Crygor's control tutorial.

9-Volt

Screenshot of 9-Volt's intro screen.

9-Volt loves skateboarding and will constantly move left and right on the screen. Press the Attack button for him to use his yo-yo. His yo-yo can be timed to reach and hold onto golden rings to traverse the screen. 

Screenshot of 9-Volt's control tutorial.

Mike

Screenshot of Mike's intro screen.

Mike is a robot that you can control using the joystick to fly around the screen. The Attack button will enable Mike to shoot music notes upwards.   

Screenshot of Mike's control tutorial.

Kat & Ana

Screenshot of Kat & Ana's intro screen.

Kat and Ana are sisters. Player 1 always controls Kat who can only attack to the right. Player 2 will control Ana who can only attack to the left. Both characters are constantly jumping and moving. The joystick will control where they land.

Screenshot of Kat's control tutorial.
Screenshot of Ana's control tutorial.

Ashley

Screenshot of Ashley's intro screen.

Using the joystick, you can fly Ashley around the screen. Pressing Attack will let her shoot a blast of magic in the direction she’s facing.

Screenshot of Ashley's control tutorial.

Orbulon

Screenshot of Orbulon's intro screen.

Orbulon flies around in his flying saucer controlled by the joystick. He can lift items with his tractor beam by holding the Attack button. Release the Attack button if you want to drop the item.    

Screenshot of Orbulon's control tutorial.

5-Volt

Screenshot of 5-Volt's intro screen.

To move 5-Volt, you need to use the joystick to move her spirit form. Press Attack to teleport 5-Volt to that location. 

Screenshot of 5-Volt's control tutorial.

Jimmy T

Screenshot of Jimmy T's intro screen.

Disco-loving Jimmy T always wants to dance. Using the joystick you can control the direction of his attack. Press Attack for Jimmy to dance (and attack) in that direction.

Screenshot of Jimmy T's control tutorial.

Post-Game Character

After completing the main story, more characters will be unlocked.

No spoilers for the plot will be included below, but please feel free to stop here if you’d rather not know about post-game characters yet.   

Red

Screenshot of Red's intro screen.

Red is a mischievous creature who flies around the screen using the joystick. Pressing Attack will make Red drop a bomb directly below himself.

Screenshot of Red's control tutorial.

Master Mantis

Screenshot of Master Mantis' intro screen.

Master Mantis walks around and jumps like Young Cricket using the joystick and Attack button. However, holding the Attack button will enable Master Mantis to jump onto the ceiling and walk on the ceiling instead. Press and hold Attack again to return to the ground.

Screenshot of Master Mantis' control tutorial.

Lulu

Screenshot of Lulu's intro screen.

Lulu can walk around using the joystick. She will float up when you press Attack. When airborne, push the joystick down to perform a Ground Pound.  

Screenshot of Lulu's control tutorial.

Penny

Screenshot of Penny's intro screen.

Penny is a young scientist who uses her invention of a water cannon to attack. Pressing and holding the Attack button will shoot out water in the joystick direction. Penny doesn’t move on her own, but the recoil from her water cannon will move her in the opposite direction to the joystick.

Screenshot of Pyoro's control tutorial.

Pyoro

Screenshot of Pyoro's intro screen.

Pyoro can walk around controlled by the joystick. When you press the Attack button, Pyoro will stick out his tongue to attack. Depending on your position, Pyoro’s tongue may bounce off the wall at an angle if he is too close to the side of the screen.

Screenshot of Pyoro's control tutorial.

Thank you for reading. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the Contact Us page.


Video by: Cara Jessop

Music by:

Froggy Fraud Adventure by T.Bless (artlist.io.)

Bark Technology by YesNoMaybe (artlist.io.)


Pokémon Snap | Controls Walkthrough Video

Show Transcript

Knowing the control layout can be helpful for working out which buttons you would need to access, when looking at which game to buy. At SpecialEffect we like to break down the control schemes for a range of games, as well as highlight any possible settings and accessibility features which players might find helpful.

Today we’re going to look at the controls needed to play Pokémon Snap, a game exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and also look at the settings and options related to controls, such as the option to use Motion Control, setting Zoom to Toggle or Hold and adjust the control sticks.

The aim of Pokémon Snap is to capture photos of Pokémon in their natural habitats which makes the pacing of the game slower than Pokémon games which have battle mechanics in them.

In this video we will look at the main controls for the main part of the game, the Photo Editor controls and some of the features which can make the game more accessible. The main game involves following a track and using either the left or right joystick to move your camera around and take photos of Pokémon in their natural habitat.

With the default standard button layout, ‘Setup 1’, these are the following controls:

The Left Stick is used to move the camera and navigate through menus.

The A button can be used to take photos and select within those menus.

The B button is used to throw Fluffruit and the X button is used to Scan, or you can press and hold the X button to select your desired route.

The Y button is used to Throw Illumina Orbs.

The R button is used to play a Melody.

The ZL or the Z button is used to Zoom and the ZR button is used to Turbo.

To pause, press the + button.

The Up button on the D-pad can be used to look forward and pressing Down on the D-pad look straight behind you.

Left and Right on the D-pad can be used to navigate through menus or move the camera.

After a research trip you can choose to have the professor assess your photos. The photos can then be added to your photo decks. The Photo Editor mode lets you decorate the photos you’ve taken out in the field.

To start up the editor from the main menu select the Lab, select Your Space, choose Album and pick Saved Photos to edit. Then select Photo Editing.

From here you can choose out of the following options: in Filters you can select the filter to apply to your photo and also select the strength of the filter effect. Press and hold X to compare to the original. As you play the game you can unlock more filter options.

Within Frame Selection there are a range of photo frames you can choose from. As you play the game you will unlock more options and you can use the L and R button to navigate through the pages.

Sticker Placement enables you to apply stickers that you’ve unlocked during your research expeditions. You can select stickers, resize and decorate your photo however you’d like. You can even share your photos online and see other people’s photos and award medals to your favourites.

To navigate through the Sticker Placement Menu you press the X or Y button to flip vertically or horizontally. The ZL and ZR buttons can be used to change the overlap order. The – button can be used to remove the sticker and the A button to apply a sticker.

There are also fine-tuning sticker placement options. Pressing the + button turns fine-tuning on or off in sticker placement. The Left Stick can then be used to move the sticker. L and R buttons can be used to rotate the sticker and the Right Stick – moving it up and down – can be used to resize your sticker.

Pokémon Snap has additional settings which can make the gameplay a more accessible experience for some, depending on your preferences. You can pause the game and access the settings in the Pause Menu when you’re out researching. The game features many camera settings within the Main Settings options.

You can choose to adjust the Camera Speed and the Pointer Speed independently on a scale between 1 to 10. There are also options to adjust the control stick set-up for the left and right joysticks. You convert the joysticks vertically, horizontally or both for each step.

In ‘Preset 1’ the Z button is used for the Zoom function. In the settings you can choose to either hold ­the Z button to Zoom or you can Toggle it on or off. There are many options which can be useful within the game settings.

You can choose to turn Turbo Mode on via Hold or via Toggling.

There is also the option to turn Motion Control on as well as adjust the Motion Control Sensitivity. Controller Vibration can also be turned on or off in this setting.

Within the Button Menu options the game also features four preset button mappings which you can select by opening Settings and navigating with the R button to the Buttons heading. These are the alternative control sets. Additionally, you can choose to use either joystick to move the camera when on a research expedition.

Pokémon Snap also works with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. For those who wish to, you can use the Titan Two adapter to use accessible controllers, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller and use your own choice of joysticks or buttons instead.

Thank you for watching and please get in touch if you have any questions.

At SpecialEffect we like to break down the control schemes for a range of games as well as highlight any possible settings and accessibility features which players may find useful. Knowing the control layout can help to work out what buttons you would need to access to play the game.

In this video we are going to look at the controls needed to play Pokémon Snap [PEGI 3], a game exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. We will also go through the options and settings related to the controls such as motion control, set Zoom to toggle or hold, and adjust the control sticks.

The aim of Pokémon Snap is to capture photos of Pokémon in their natural habitats which makes the pacing slower than Pokémon games that have battle mechanics. 

We will look at the main controls for the main part of the game, the Photo Editor mode and some features which may make the game more accessible for some.

Main Game Controls

The main game involves following a track and using either the left or right joystick to move your camera around and take photos of Pokémon in their natural habitat.

With the default standard button layout (‘Set 1’) these are the following controls:

Left Stick = Move the camera (and navigate menus)

Right Stick = Move the camera (and navigate menus)

A = Take Photo/Select

B = Throw Fluffruit/Cancel

X = Scan (hold button to select route/more info)

Y = Throw Illumina Orb

ZL/L = Zoom

R = Play Melody

ZR = Use Turbo

+ = Pause

D-pad Up = Look Forward

D-pad Down = Look Backwards

Screenshot of gameplay which contains main game controls on-screen.
Screenshot of gameplay which contains main game controls on-screen.

Photo Editor Mode

The Photo Editor lets you decorate the photos you have taken in the field. To start up the editor from the main menu select Lab, Your Space, Album then pick a saved photo to edit.

Then select Photo Editing. From there you can choose from the following options:

Screenshot of photo editor mode menu.
Screenshot of photo editor mode menu.

Filters

You can select a filter to apply to your photo and choose the strength of the filter effect. Press and hold X to compare to the original. You unlock more filter options as you play.

Screenshot of the filters menu.
Screenshot of the filters menu.

Frame Selection

There are a range of photo frames to choose from. You unlock more as you play.

L/R = Move Through Pages

Screenshot of the frame selection menu.
Screenshot of the frame selection menu.

Sticker Placement

You can unlock stickers by going on research expeditions. You can select stickers, resize and decorate your photo however you would like. You can even share your photos online, see other people’s photos and award medals to your favourites.

X/Y = Flip Vertically/Horizontally

ZL/ZR = Change Overlap Order

= Remove Sticker

A = Apply

Screenshot of the sticker placement options.
Screenshot of the sticker placement options.

Fine-Tuning Sticker Placement

+  = Fine Tune On/Off

Left Stick = Move Sticker

Right Stick (up and down) = Resize Sticker

L/R = Rotate

Screenshot of the sticker placement fine-tuning options.
Screenshot of the sticker placement fine-tuning options.

Settings and Options

Pokémon Snap has additional settings which could make gameplay a more accessible experience for some, depending on preferences. You can pause the game and access the settings in the pause menu when you are out researching.

Game Menu Options:

You can choose to use motion controls to move the camera if you would prefer.

You can also turn off controller vibration.

Screenshot of main game settings.
Screenshot of the main game settings menu.

Camera Menu Options:

You can adjust camera speed and pointer speed on a scale between one and ten.

There are also options to adjust the control stick set-up for left and right sticks. You can invert vertically, horizontally or both for each stick.

Z Button in ‘Preset 1’ is used for the zoom function. You can choose to either ‘hold’ the Z button to zoom or toggle it by opting for ‘Switch’. If you are toggling zoom, press the button again to stop zooming.

Screenshot of the camera settings menu
Screenshot of the camera settings menu.

Button Menu Options:

The game also features four preset button mappings which you select by opening ‘Settings’ and navigating with the R button to the ‘Buttons’ heading. These are the alternative controls sets…

Screenshot of Set 1 button mappings.
Screenshot of Set 2 button mappings.
Screenshot of Set 3 button mappings.
Screenshot of Set 4 button mappings.

Additionally, you can choose to use either joystick to move the camera when on a research expedition.

Pokémon Snap also works with a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. For those who wish to, a Titan Two adapter (or an alternative compatible adapter) can be used with accessible controllers, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller. In this way, you can use compatible joysticks and buttons which you find easiest to access. 

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.


Video by: Cara Jessop

Music by: The Meadow – Pizzicato Version by Ian Post, from artlist.io.

Evil Controllers’ Single-Handed Gamepads | Update

Photo of Evil Lefty Controller with additonal buttons on the left hand grip and an external thumbstick.
PS4 'Righty' Controller with the extension option for the left thumbstick next to it. Three additonal buttons are on the right hand grip.
PS4 Evil ‘Righty’ Controller

We have previously covered the ‘Lefty’ and ‘Righty’ controllers from Evil Controllers in this video and the previously updated versions here on the GameAccess site. However, since then there have been further design changes to the controllers that are described here.

How does it work?

Like the previous versions, Evil Controllers’ ‘Lefty’ and ‘Righty’ controllers aim to enable a person to use the majority of the controller with one hand. Selecting the dominant hand you wish to play with will ensure that the shoulder buttons/triggers and stick click buttons on the opposite side of the controller are replicated as digital buttons you can access on the underside of the handgrip, i.e. the ‘Lefty’ will have additional controls positioned on the left side of the controller to use with the left hand, and on the right side for right hand use with the ‘Righty’.

If you choose the optional thumbstick extension, a separately-housed thumbstick can be positioned for use with another part of the body. For the ‘Lefty’ versions this is the right stick and for the ‘Righty’ versions, this is the left stick.

Photo showing PS4 'Lefty' being held in the left hand and extension option for the right thumbstick in a separtae housing being used with the back of the hand.
PS4 ‘Lefty’ Controller with the extension option for the right thumbstick being used with the back of the hand in this instance

What’s new?

The main design change since the previous models we looked at, is the change of the type of button used on the front of the controller for controlling the opposite side stick click (the button inside each thumbstick activated by a press). On the ‘Lefty’ this additional button is for the right stick click and for ‘Righty’ this is for the left stick click. The latest version features a similar button to the underside buttons which gives a larger surface area than the previous model.

Close up photo of the updated Evil Lefty Xbox One controller showing the paddle button on the left side controller arm which can act as the right stick click.
Right Stick Click button in foreground on Xbox One Evil ‘Lefty’ Controller

The thumbstick extension housing is also smaller in the latest update (similar to the ones covered in this post). The website also gives you the option of cover types which will be discussed in more detail further below.

Photo of the latest version of an Evil Lefty Xbox One controller which shows the thumbstick extension and extra paddle buttons on the left arm of the controller.
Xbox One Evil ‘Lefty’ Controller with thumbstick extension in foreground

Useful tips

‘Lefty’ controller users may find it easier to remap the face buttons (A, B, X, Y/Cross, Circle, Triangle and Square) to the D-pad when setting up the controller to bring those buttons closer for use with the left hand. This could also be used to swap the stick use over, depending on the console. See our post about remapping at system level on different consoles.

‘Righty’ controller users may not need to remap the face buttons as those may already be more accessible for right-handed use by default.

Xbox 'Righty' Controller with the extension option for the left thumbstick next to it. Three additonal buttons are on the right hand grip.
Xbox One ‘Righty’ Controller

Optional Controller Features

Evil Controllers offer many options to help you customise the controller to your needs. While their website explains these options in more detail, here are some that we commonly use ourselves:

Remapping

No remapping: the underside controller arm paddles will default as the opposite side shoulder buttons.

Remapping: the underside controller paddles can be remapped to any input without the need for extra software.

Extension Type

As with previous models, you can opt for a thumbstick extension. This is mapped to the opposite side joystick and is commonly used as a chin or foot joystick.

With the latest version, you can choose to have the joystick base flat (useful if it is being mounted onto something) or a handle base (concave base for attaching the joystick to the controller arm using appropriate adhesive) to be used in a similar way to the Ben Heck style of controllers.

Please note that using the handle base and joystick in this way reverses the joystick direction of the extra joystick (i.e. Up = Down). Evil Controllers state they can alter this default to your preferences if you contact them prior to ordering.

You can also use an interchangeable base which gives you the option for both. The photo below shows the curved option which we have glued onto the bottom of the controller’s hand grip:

Photo of the latest version of an Evil Lefty Xbox One controller with the thumbstick extension velcroed to the underneath of the right side of the controller.
Xbox One Evil ‘Lefty’ Controller

Thumbstick Extension Cable Length

When ordering the controller online, you can choose the length of cable required for the thumbstick extension.

Master Mod

Master Mod is an additional option which opens up features such as extra macros for gameplay.

Mounting the controller

Some of the people we work with find that supporting the controller and using the buttons can be difficult. The two most common ways we do this at SpecialEffect are by using:

  1. Mounting Arm – A Manfrotto Variable Friction Arm with a clamp, a small triangular mounting plate and Dual Lock tape secures the controller in place. Whilst it can be difficult to find a safe, firm surface to grip the clamp to, it can be a very flexible option. This video takes you through how to set up a Manfrotto mounting arm in more detail.
  2. Velcro Tray with Mounting Wedge – you can use these to hold the weight of the controller, allowing for the whole dominant hand to access the controller as needed. See Samuel’s case study for more information on mounting an Evil Controller in this way.

Other Platforms

At the time of writing, Evil Controllers have ‘Lefty’ and ‘Righty’ versions for PS4, Xbox One and Xbox One Series S/X controllers, but you can also use the controllers on other consoles, such as a Nintendo Switch, with a compatible adapter. Xbox One/Series controllers can inherently be used on Windows 10 PCs for controller-supported games. In some cases (such as when playing on Steam), PS4 Dualshock controllers may also be compatible on Windows.

For more information on this and other single-handed set ups, please get in touch via the contact us page.


Equipment Links (unaffiliated):

Evil Controllers update their designs regularly, so please check their website for details of the latest ‘Lefty’ and ‘Righty’ controller models:

PS4 one-handed controller: https://www.evilcontrollers.com/ps4-one-handed-controller

Xbox One one-handed controller: https://www.evilcontrollers.com/xone-one-handed-controller

Xbox One Series X one-handed controller: https://www.evilcontrollers.com/xone-series-x-one-handed-controller

How to Use The Xbox Adaptive Controller on Android

Photo showing an Android tablet with Sonic the Hedghog Classic running on it and an XAC next to the tablet.

Released on Xbox and Windows 10, the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) is a device that acts as a hub to connect compatible joysticks and buttons to create a customised controller. In a recent post we looked at how to connect the XAC to be used to play games on iOS devices following the iOS 14 update. The XAC can also be used natively as a compatible game controller for Android devices and game apps which are compatible for gamepad controller input as an alternative to touch, such as with an MFi (Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad), Dualshock 4 or Xbox Wireless gamepad controller.

This post will talk through step by step how to connect the XAC to your Android device (click on the images to enlarge them). We also have an accompanying post that highlights some XAC compatible Android games here: https://gameaccess.info/xac-compatible-android-games/ as examples to get you started playing.

Step 1. Turn on Bluetooth

Once your compatible Android device is on, you can turn on Bluetooth by opening Settings, opening Connections, selecting Bluetooth and turn On:

Screenshots indicating you need to click on the Settings icon on your Android device, followed by the connections and turn Bluetooth on.

Step 2. Turn on and sync your XAC

Turn on your XAC using the Guide button on the top of the controller (the button with an Xbox ‘X’ icon on it) and press the Sync button to the right of the Y switch port on the back of the XAC. The light on the XAC should flash rapidly and you should see Xbox Adaptive Controller listed in the Available Devices list on your Android device:

Photos showing where the sync button is on the XAC and which light will illuminate when pressed.

Step 3. Pair your XAC

Select the discovered Xbox Adaptive Controller listed on your available devices. Depending on your device settings, you may need to enter your password to pair it.

For this device, it required approval of the Bluetooth pairing request:

Screenshots indicating when Bluetooth is on and teh Xbox Adaptive Controller is syncing, you can pair the controller by clicking on the 'Xbox Adaptive Controller' in available devices and accept pairing request.

Step 4. Set up your controls

Once paired, you can plug in the combination of joysticks and buttons you require to play and open a compatible game. You should be able to play the game using the inputs on the XAC itself alongside your external joysticks and buttons connected to the XAC. Many games will require additional inputs alongside those found on the XAC itself, so joysticks and switches will need to be added for these. Different games will require different inputs. An online search may help to discover what these are, or you may need to install and open a game to find out:

Top down view of a potential set up using the XAC, Ultrastik joystick and buddy buttons to work with controller supported games.

Step 5. Finding compatible games

There is not a specific method for filtering gamepad compatible games, but you can search for them in the search bar of the Google Play store e.g. by searching “controller compatible games”:

Screenshots of a search on Google play for controller compatible games.

Please be aware certain games may cost money to buy or have in-app purchases.

As we mentioned at the start of this post, we have listed a range of games which are compatible with the XAC to play on Android within a separate post as examples and a starting point to get playing.

For more information as to what joysticks and buttons can be used with the XAC, see our posts about the XAC joysticks we use at SpecialEffect: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-joysticks-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/ and also the switches we use: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-switches-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/. 

If you have any questions, do contact us.

Xbox Adaptive Controller Compatible Android Games

Screenshot of Asphalt 9 Legends showing vehicle approaching a turn at speed.
Screenshot of Asphalt 9 Legends showing vehicle approaching a turn at speed.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) is a device that acts as a hub to connect compatible joysticks and buttons to create a customised controller. In an accompanying post to this one,  we look at how the XAC can be used on Android devices. In this post, we will be outlining some of the controller compatible games on Android which can be played with a compatible gamepad and, consequently, the XAC.

This is not an exhaustive list but should give you a good starting place for mobile game options on Android that have controller support. We will also list the touchscreen controls for comparison. Links to the Google Play store page for each game (unaffiliated) are included in their section. Please be mindful that some may cost real money to purchase.

Depending on phone capability and external hardware you may be able to stream the game onto your TV for a larger screen.


Please note that these games may contain optional in-app purchases or advertisements. In-app purchases can be disabled within your device settings to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.


Ashphalt 9 Legends

Asphalt 9 Legends is a controller compatible racing simulator game by Gameloft with various control schemes available, including ‘TouchDrive’ which lets players choose the direction the car will take from onscreen options or by steering manually in a more traditional way. Both of which are options whether you would like to use a touchscreen device itself or an XAC (or alternative compatible gamepad).

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftA9HM

Screenshot of Ashphalt 9 Legends' title screen and gameplay.

Controls


Touchscreen: Tilt to Steer, Tap to Steer or ‘TouchDrive’ are all options and all include double-tap options for 360 and Shockwave tricks. You can also adjust the steering or swipe sensitivity and turn on/off horizontal tilt in the settings menu.

Gamepad controls: Either gamepad TouchDrive or manual steering modes are also available when using an XAC (or alternative compatible gamepad). The controls are listed below with the Xbox controller inputs followed by the PlayStation inputs in brackets.

Gamepad Controls

A, RB or RT (Cross, R1 or R2) = Nitro 

B (Circle) = Respawn

X, LB, LT (Square, L1, L2) = Drift

D-pad/Left Stick = Steer (or select option in TouchDrive mode)

Right Stick = Toggle Camera

Double Press X, LB, LT (Square, L1, L2) = 360 Spin

Double Press A, RB, RT (Cross, R1, R2) = Shockwave


My Little Pony: Magic Princess

My Little Pony: Magic Princess is a town-building adventure game by Gameloft that enables a controller or XAC joystick to act as the cursor control for the game. Follow the various tasks, rescue your pony friends and design the towns as you want.

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftPOHM

Screenshot of My Little Pony: Magic Princess' title screen and gameplay.

Controls


Left Stick = Moves Cursor

A (Cross) = Select

B (Circle) = Cancel

Y(Triangle) = Collect produce from shops

X (Square)= Direction option for the Stargazer minigame


Sonic Classic

Sonic the Hedgehog Classic is a controller compatible game by SEGA. It is a side-scrolling platform game which retains the retro control features. Move Sonic left and right and jump to various platforms as you zoom through the game at super ‘sonic’ speed (sorry, that pun was too good to pass up).

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sega.sonic1px

Screenshot of Sonic the Hedgehog Classic gameplay.

Controls


Left Stick (or DpPad) =  Moves Sonic Left or Right

A (Cross) = Jump


Rayman Adventures

Rayman Adventures is a controller compatible adventure platform game by Ubisoft Entertainment. It is an adventure game in which Rayman and his friends must rescue the Ancient Eggs and revive the Sacred Tree.

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubisoft.raymanadventures

Screenshot of Rayman Adventures' title screen and gameplay.

Controls


Left Stick = Moves character

A (X) = Select/Jump

B (Circle) = Cancel/Attack

Y (Triangle) = Jump

X (Square) = Attack

Note: Joystick and buttons required in combinations at the same time.


Oceanhorn 1

Oceanhorn is an action-adventure mobile game by FDG Mobile Games GbR. The game features a joystick and one button gameplay or via onscreen touch controls. Follow the leads to uncover the mystery behind your father’s disappearance, solving puzzles and defeating enemies along the way.

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FDGEntertainment.Oceanhorn.gp

Screenshot of Oceanhorn's title screen and gameplay.

Controls


Left Stick = Move

A button = Action (either Jump/ Attack/Pick-up)


Hill Climb Racing 1

Hill Climb Racing 1 is a cartoonish driving game by the developer Fingersoft. Drive up and down hills and collect the gas canisters to increase your fuel gauge. Be careful not to drive too quickly and crash. Use the Left Stick or the D-pad to act as your accelerator and brake in this high-speed two-button race.

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fingersoft.hillclimb

Screenshot of Hill Climb Racing 1 gameplay.

Controls


On the Left Stick or D-pad

Move stick Left (or Left D-pad button) = Brake

Move stick Right (or Right D-pad button) = Accelerate


Minecraft

Minecraft is a creative open-world game by Mojang Studios. Explore infinite worlds, team up with friends and create epic buildings or play solo and mine for the rarest minerals. Some accessibility features to note include an auto-jump, remappable controls, and the ability to resize targets for Touch Controls mode.

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mojang.minecraftpe

Screenshot of Minecraft's title screen and of teh controller setting in the Android game.

Controls


Minecraft on mobile has three control settings: Touchscreen, Mouse and Keyboard (if connected via Bluetooth) and Controller mode. Since this post is mainly covering the XAC compatibility, I will only be giving the Standard controller/XAC layout. The other modes are explained in further detail within the specific game settings menu. The game also enables you to alter joystick sensitivity and remap button mappings to suit your needs.

Left Stick = Move

Right Stick = Camera control

A (Cross) = Jump

B (Circle) = Sneak/Fly down

X (Square) =Crafting

Y (Triangle) = Inventory

LB (L1) = Cycle Item left

LT (L2) = Use/Place Item

RB (R1) = Cycle Item right

RT (R2) = Attac/Destroy

D-pad Up = Toggle Perspective

D-pad Left = Emote

D-pad Right = Open Chat

Share (Touchpad) = Notifications/Mob Effects

Left Stick Click =  Sprint

Right Stick Click = Fly Down Slow


Crossy Road

Crossy Road is by Hipster Whale. Play as a chicken trying to cross an increasingly busy road (as well as a few railways and rivers added in).

Available from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yodo1.crossyroad

Screenshot of Crossy Road gameplay.

Controls


The game features few controls with the main emphasis being on timing. Move your chicken left or right to get in the correct position and, when the coast is clear, quickly cross.

You can choose to play the game entirely with a joystick, the D-pad or a combination of those and an external switch to jump forward.

Left Stick = Move Chicken left or right and up to cross

D-pad Left = Emote

D-pad Right = Open Chat

A (Cross) = Cross/Jump forward


We also have a post on how the new iOS 14 update enables the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) and its peripheral joysticks and buttons to work for games which have Controller Support and gave some examples of compatible games: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-an-xbox-adaptive-controller-on-ios-14/ 

For more information as to what joysticks and buttons can be used with the XAC, see our posts about the XAC joysticks we use at SpecialEffect: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-joysticks-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/ and also the switches we use: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-switches-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/. 

If you have any questions, do contact us.