How to Use Joysticks with the Xbox Adaptive Controller

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The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an accessibility interface created by Microsoft. There are a variety of different devices that plug into the Xbox Adaptive Controller that can help make gaming more accessible. In this video we’re going to look at some of the joysticks that plug into the Xbox Adaptive Controller that we use here at SpecialEffect. All of the joysticks shown in this video are analogue and they either act as left or right joystick, depending on where you plug them in. The joysticks either plug into the left USB or the right USB or into the X1 or X2 3.5 millimetre jack sockets. If you need more than one joystick you can plug two of these joysticks in at the same time. You can plug in two of the same joystick or two different ones. The type or number of joysticks you will need will depend on the games you want to play and your functional movement. You can use a standard Xbox One Controller alongside the Xbox Adaptive Controller using co-pilot. We often use our modified low force Xbox One Controllers where we’ve taken the joysticks and made them much easier to move. This is the UltraStik by One Switch. This joystick plugs into either the left USB or the right USB socket on the Xbox Adaptive Controller. This joystick could be useful for people with large gross movements who find the small joysticks on a standard controller too small and fiddly. As standard it comes with a ball top. However, you can also attach a MERU U- shaped top if this shape suits your hand better. This joystick comes with Velcro underneath so that you can mount it securely. The XAC Mini Joystick by OneSwitch is a standard controller style joystick. There are two options for this joystick. You can either get it with the standard joystick, or you can get a low force version which requires less force to move the joystick around. This joystick plugs into the X1 socket for left joystick and the X2 socket for right joystick. If you needed more than one joystick you could plug one in each of these sockets. This joystick also comes with a second cable which you can plug into any switch socket on the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Once you plug this in the stick click will then act to the button that you’ve plugged it in to. This joystick could be good for people with small movements, especially the lightweight version. This joystick is also useful for mounting by people’s chin. These joysticks come with Velcro underneath them so that you can mount them securely. This is Optima Joystick by Pretorian Technologies. This joystick can be used as a mouse and it can also be plugged into the left or right USB on the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The design of this joystick was updated to add Xbox mode to the existing mouse mode. If you want to use your joystick on an Xbox Adaptive Controller, make sure yours is one of the most recent joysticks. To switch between Xbox and mouse mode you need to hold the top two buttons for 12 seconds until you hear a beep. The joystick can be held in place using Velcro or you can use the threads underneath with a compatible mounting arm and mounting plate. This joystick could be good for people with large movements. It also comes with a couple of different interchangeable tops. The PDP one-handed controller is available from Microsoft. You can use this controller in either the left USB socket or the right USB socket or you could have one in each if you needed two controllers. The device has an analogue joystick and two buttons on the front. These buttons can double up to an additional two inputs when the joystick click is held. The buttons are pre-programmed to the following: so when the joystick is plugged into the left USB, button 1 defaults as X1, so up on the left joystick, and button 2 defaults as X2 which is down on the left joystick. If you then hold the joystick click down, button 1 becomes button 3 which is left stick click, and button 2 becomes button 4 which is left bumper. If you plug this joystick into the right USB button 1 is your View button and button 2 is your Menu button. If you then hold the joystick click in, button 3 becomes the right stick click and button 4 becomes the right bumper. These buttons can all be remapped using the Xbox accessories app. Evil Controllers also make XAC Thumbstick extensions. They plug into the Xbox Adaptive Controller using a 3.5 millimetre jack into either the X1 socket for left joystick or the X2 socket for right joystick. These joysticks come with either a flat or a handle mount base. The handle mount base allows you to attach the joystick to the underneath of a standard Xbox One Controller. This means you can set up co-pilot and use a joystick at the same time as a standard Xbox One Controller. This is a great option for single-handed play. You can get a handle base which either attaches to the left or the right side of the controller. Warfighter Engaged are a charity based in the U.S. who make a variety of different joysticks and peripherals to use with the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Here are some of the joysticks that we use from Warfighter Engaged at SpecialEffect. Thank you for watching this video. If you have any questions about accessible gaming please contact SpecialEffect.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an accessibility interface created by Microsoft. There are a variety of different devices that plug into the Xbox Adaptive Controller that can help make gaming more accessible. Here at SpecialEffect we use a variety of different XAC compatible joysticks with the people that we work with.

In this video we take an introductory look at the joysticks we most frequently use with the XAC here at SpecialEffect. 

Equipment Shown (unaffiliated links):

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

Ultra-Stik: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=17

XAC Mini Joystick: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=270

Optima Joystick: https://www.pretorianuk.com/optima-joystick

PDP One Handed Joystick: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/pdp-one-handed-joystick-for-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/8qhw8mlwpp1l 

XAC Thumbstick Flat Base by Evil controllers: https://www.evilcontrollers.com/xac-flat-thumbstick 

XAC Thumbstick handle base by Evil controllers: https://www.evilcontrollers.com/xac-handle-base 

Warfighter Engaged Joystix – Lu (USB version) : https://warfighterengaged.org/shop/joystix-lu

Warfighter Engaged Ministix – Tu (USB version): https://warfighterengaged.org/shop/ministix-tu 

Warfighter Engaged Ministix – Nu (USB version): https://warfighterengaged.org/shop/ministix-nu-usb

If you have any questions, please visit the “contact us” page.

Video by Cara Jessop

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Sincerely” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)