A man plays a game with his friend using the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
via Microsoft
Accessibility Spotlight

5 Accessible Game Controllers We Love

Anthony Gibson
Anthony Gibson

It’s an amazing world out there, where controllers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and configurations to enable almost anyone to enjoy the best that games have to offer.

Accessible controllers have been in production for decades, mostly from smaller startups building for individual use cases. But we have now crossed into a new era where even the industry giants like Microsoft and Sony are launching full programs and products that make gaming more accessible than ever before.

We are truly living in an accessible controller renaissance thanks to the tireless efforts from accessibility advocates and dedicated hardware engineers!

Even if you’re not living with a major disability, you might find yourself with a cast on your dominant arm, creating a temporary disability. Imagine if that meant you couldn’t play your favorite game for months on end.

And for millions of gamers around the world with disabilities, this isn’t a temporary experience: having an accessible controller that adapts to a person is the difference between leading new quests in an online community of fellow gamers, and sitting on the sidelines.

Thankfully nowadays there is both widespread platform support for third-party controllers, as well as many different hardware options to choose from. Today we explore some of our favorite accessible game controllers that are currently available for purchase, lets get started!

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Top down view of the Xbox Adaptive Controller with added accessories connected to the controller.
via Xbox

We love the Xbox Adaptive Controller for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly, it brought the conversation around games accessibility into the mainstream spotlight in a big way. Designed with a wide range of inputs and configuration options, the Xbox Adaptive Controller enables a new world of possibilities for gamers with limited mobility to play their favorite games on Xbox or PC.

The controller is built to support a wide range of assistive switches and has allows for full remapping to create the perfect gaming setup for yourself. You can even connect it with another standard Xbox controller with the Copilot feature, which links the 2 controllers to together to act as one and let family or friends join in the gameplay.

With the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a gamer can game with one hand and one foot, or one hand and their shoulder, or even one foot and their chin.
- James Shields, Microsoft

Earlier this week on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Xbox shared new updates to the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Long-term support for controllers like this is critical not just for gamers, but for the industry as a whole, to create longstanding examples and higher standards of supporting gamers with disabilities.

Sony Access Controller

Top-down view of a Sony Access Controller and all included accessories
via Sony

Another major and recent addition to the space is the Sony Access Controller, a circular and fully customizable controller that has an almost endless amount of adjustments that enable a super wide range of customization for gamers. We’re big fans of the unique industrial design here that allows you to remove buttons, rearrange inputs, and even relabel inputs as needed.

The Sony Access Controller also supports connecting to another DualSense Controller, so you can also use this to combine the two controllers into acting like a single controller to provide even more flexibility to a gaming setup.

The best part about this Access Controller is I’m able to modify it to each game. That competitive advantage I lost when I became disabled came back because I was able to program the controller to my liking, and press a lot of these buttons that were harder for me to press.
- Cesar Flores, Accessibility Consultant

ByoWave Proteus Controller

Demonstration of the Proteus Controller from ByoWave
via ByoWave

Created by a team of lifelong friends with a personal understanding of how important it is to have accessible game controllers, the Proteus Controller from ByoWave is by far one of the most unique controllers we’ve ever seen. This fully modular controller kit lets you create the perfect game controller for you and whatever game you are playing.

The Proteus Controller is more than just super original hardware design – it's wildly functional too. Want a joystick with a D-Pad on the side? No problem. Want to totally remix where joysticks and buttons are? Piece of cake!

What we really love about the Proteus Controller is how flexible and creative it is as an input platform. Knowing that the device was Designed for Xbox instills a ton of confidence in us that the remixable parts of the Proteus Controller is more than a gimmick – it's an entirely new approach to every gamer being empowered to fine-tune a controller to fit their needs, their style, and ultimately, whatever game they're playing!

While not yet fully available, you can pre-order the Proteus controller today on the ByoWave website.

GLYDR controller

Promotional image of the GLYDR foot controller, showing a person playing games while resting their feet on the controller.
via the GLYDR Kickstarter

GLYDR is another new entrant to the market with a controller that makes it feel like the future has finally arrived. It works by extending your current controller with a well crafted foot-based controller that can be connected to almost any game on your PC with dedicated software that enables input mapping.

The team behind GLYDR has spent years iterating and testing the design of the controller to build a something that is both easy to use and durable for extended gameplay. It can be used for almost anything you can imagine: from controlling movement in Fortnite, to making a VR experience even more immersive.

Expecting to launch later this year, check out the GLYDR Kickstarter for more info.


Two Black men use QuadSticks to play video games.
via AbleGamers

Last but certainly not least is one of the most innovative controllers around: The QuadStick is a hands-free way to play video games that is specifically designed to provide people with living with Quadriplegia and other motility-limiting disabilities with a hands-free way to play video games.

The dynamic control scheme gives a range of inputs that can be mapped directly to controller schemes on almost every major game platform. Players can also connect it to other accessible controllers like the Xbox Accessibility Controller for extended options and input support.

We love the QuadStick for bringing games to folks who might not be able to use the other controllers earlier in this post. Games are for everyone, and while a lot of accessibility can be tuned and handled with software, sometimes the most responsive and useful approach is thoughtfully-built hardware.

Learn more about the Quadstick on their website.

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It’s an amazing time to be a gamer with so many different accessible controllers available to the public. Not only are major industry giants like Microsoft and Sony helping games be more accessible than ever, but more indie projects like GLYDER and ByoWave are breaking onto the scene with new and super unique controllers that are incredibly accessible and look awesome.

Have an accessible gaming story to share? Or just looking for an inclusive community that shares your love for games? Come hang out on the 🔗 Good Trouble Discord and join a welcoming crew that talks about accessibility, games, and more! You might even catch a teaser for our top-secret new game project too!