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Xbox Adaptive Controller: Making Gaming Accessible to All

Back of Sam Graves' Xbox Adaptive Controller. There are about 20 ports for plugging in external devices.

A few years ago, Microsoft released the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) to make it easier for people with disabilities to play video games - something everyone loves! The XAC quickly became a very popular product within the disability community. It creates opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy playing video games just like people without disabilities.

Features

The XAC has two large black buttons that users can press with their hands, feet, etc. to control different aspects of the video game they are playing. The smaller buttons on the left side of the controller also can be used to perform different functions. All of the buttons can be customized in the Xbox Accessories app. 

In the back of the XAC, there are about 20 ports in which users can plug in external devices, such as buttons and switches, to use along with the XAC. There are also ports on each side to plug in joysticks, and a headphone port on the left side.

My XAC Experience

I got an XAC a few months ago and love it! I don’t have much use of my right hand, but I can press the two large buttons and an external button switch with my right hand while using a traditional controller with my left hand. Although the Adaptive Controller is designed to be used with an Xbox, you can also use it with a Playstation console, which is what I have, using the Titan Two adapter. 

Sam Graves' Xbox Adaptive Controller laying on desk. To the left is a traditional video game controller attached to a wooden platform with Velcro on top. An external button switch is plugged in to the adaptive controller. Adaptive Controller and PlayStation console are plugged into the Titan Two adapter. A television is also on the desk.

Below is a brief demonstration of me using the two controllers:

Thank you, Microsoft, for creating the XAC to help ensure equitable access to all! 

Check out more posts by Sam:

My Experience with WCAG 2.1.1: Accessing VoiceOver

Project Euphonia: Google’s Speech Recognition Project

ADA Reflections From A Wheelchair User

Planning for Wheelchair Accessibility

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