Xbox Adaptive Controller

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Xbox Adaptive Controller
TypeVideo game controller
Release dateSeptember 4, 2018
Introductory priceUS$99.99
PlatformWindows, Xbox One

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a video game controller designed by Microsoft for Windows PCs and the Xbox One video game console. The controller was designed for people with disabilities to help make user input for video games more accessible.


In 2015, a team of engineers at Microsoft's Xbox and gaming division began working on a prototype controller to help improve accessibility for video game input. The device was designed and refined during several internal hackathon events where they built a controller that could use third-party accessories familiar to disabled gamers. In 2017, Microsoft decided to turn the prototype into a product and began collaborating with accessory manufacturers and nonprofit groups in the gaming accessibility field such as Special Effect, Warfighter Engaged, and The AbleGamers Foundation.[1]


The Xbox Adaptive Controller has a slim rectangular frame that is about a foot in length. The face of the controller has two large, domed buttons that can be mapped to any function using the Xbox Accessories app. The face also includes a large d-pad, menu button, view button, and the Xbox home button that are featured on a standard Xbox One controller. The controller features USB ports on either side that are used to connect devices that map to analog stick functions. The back of the frame has nineteen 3.5 mm jacks that allow multiple assistive input devices to be connected; each jack corresponds to a different button, trigger, bumper or d-pad function on the standard Xbox One controller. The Xbox Adaptive Controller supports Windows 10 and Xbox One devices and is compatible with every game at a system level.[1]


The Xbox Adaptive Controller was announced in May 2018.[1] The controller was released with a retail price of US$99.99 on September 4, 2018.[2][3]

To promote the controller leading into the Christmas holiday season, Microsoft created an ad that features Owen Sirmons, a nine-year-old video gamer that suffers from Escobar's Syndrome that makes it difficult for him to hold a traditional controller. The ad, titled "Reindeer Games" (as inspired by the tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), features Owen's friends racing over to his home as he uses the Adaptive Controller to play video games with them.[4]


Time named the Adaptive Controller one of its Best Inventions of 2018.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Stark, Chelsea; Sarkar, Samit (May 17, 2018). "Microsoft's new Xbox controller is designed entirely for players with disabilities". Polygon. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Warren, Tom (June 11, 2018). "Microsoft's new Xbox Adaptive Controller launches in September". The Verge. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Stevens, Colin (September 4, 2018). "Xbox Adaptive Controller Available Today". IGN. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Graham, Megan (November 19, 2018). "Microsoft's Holiday Spot With Mccann Celebrates Inclusion (Again)". Advertizing Age. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Cooney, Samanatha (November 15, 2018). "Making Gaming More Inclusive". Time. Retrieved November 19, 2018.

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