The Xbox Adaptive Controller has been making headlines recently for good reason. It’s the first video game controller designed specifically by a first-party to make gaming accessible to those with physical disabilities since Nintendo’s Hands Free controller for the NES. It’s a huge step forward, and makes it possible for people with limited mobility to play games on an Xbox One or Windows PCs. A major part of the design is a set of ports for adding tailored inputs, and SparkFun built a giant joystick to demonstrate that functionality.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller itself is a big slab with a pair of large A/B buttons, a D-pad, and a few smaller buttons for basic console functions. Those are enough to navigate the console menus, launch apps, and play a few simple games, but aren’t adequate for most modern games. The idea is that gamers will use the ports on the back to add additional first or third-party controls, like buttons or joysticks, that fit their individual needs. SparkFun’s build illustrates how those work with a massive rideable joystick.
This build is great, because it shows just how easy it is to build accessories for the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The joystick has just four micro switches in the base — one for each direction — and button on top. Those are connected to the digital inputs on the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and don’t require any additional hardware to work. You probably don’t have any need for a gargantuan joystick, but this is a good build to inspire makers and accessory manufacturers to create controllers that help disabled gamers do what they love.