The idea for this article

Cast your minds back to the launch of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. It’s a small game that was released on the 16th of November 2018. Why do i bring this up? I read a post on Reddit about how a man’s daughter could not play Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee due to being limited in movement – you can read the full post, here. It was a dramatic post, but it was enough to get me thinking of a possible way to allow players with limited motor functions to enjoy the Switch. I looked at the types of controllers offered by Nintendo and, well, let me just say they are lacking. There are a few variations of Joy-Cons like the Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers, for example, but nothing offered players with limited movement any real way to play. Of course, this does depend on the players level of motor control. I went to look at 3rd party controllers… it’s pretty much the same story there, too. 

At this point, after looking at controllers related to the Nintendo Switch, I basically started to think outside of Nintendo altogether and turned my attention to Microsoft and their outstanding Xbox Adaptive controller. It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Why this controller? I got this idea from the actual fact that the Nintendo Switch is considerably more versatile than we were lead to believe. I mean, you can use Bluetooth headsets while in docked mode, just plug in a Bluetooth dongle that comes with the headset and boom, you are away, and it’s the same with a keyboard. You will be surprised by the number of people that don’t know that. The Joy-Cons can sync up to smartphones and can be used there, as well. These are just two examples and, as you can see, the Nintendo Switch can do more than it says on the box. I figured, why not the Adaptive Controller?

adaptive controller

The Xbox Adaptive Controller, what is it and why is it good?

The Adaptive Controller was designed to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility. It is a unified hub for devices that help make gaming more accessible. It works with external devices, such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to create the controller for the best personal experience. The controller mapped buttons are all controlled by the individual’s preferred set up of external devices that are connected through 3.5mm jacks and USB ports. To customise the external devices, you connect the adaptive controller to a Windows 10 PC and you can change the input of the 24 buttons and ports to the desired settings. On top of the versatility, it was through partnerships with The AbleGamers Charity, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, and many community members, that the Adaptive Controller was created. 

The answer

After some more internet searching, I came across a YouTube video from a channel called My Mate Vince. It was just what I was looking for. He got the controller to work with the Nintendo Switch. Here is the video on how to get the Xbox Adaptive Controller to work. 

I got in touch with Vince and asked him for permission to use his video for this article. Please go check out his YouTube Channelhere. He has tons of videos on repairing and modding, along with loads of other fun things he does with electronics.

Summary

I started out by wanting to know if there was a possible way to allow more players to join in on the amazing fun of the Nintendo Switch. I did find that out… unfortunately, it was a lot more complicated than it should be and used items from outside the Nintendo family. As you can see from the video, there is a way to make it happen, but it’s not cheap. On top of this, there is the possibility of damages occurring as the Adaptive Controller and the Nintendo Switch are technically not compatible. This, at the moment, is the only way to get players with limited motor function the freedom to play on the Nintendo Switch. 

I am happy that I found a way to allow more people to play, but it is only a partial answer to the question. Until Nintendo decides to make something like the Adaptive Controller, this is the only thing I have found. Don’t get me wrong, it works and more can play using it, but it’s just a shame that there has to be this much work. I hope that you find this article informative and helpful, and moreover, I hope it will allow new players to enjoy the Nintendo Switch as much as the millions of gamers already playing it.

Disclaimer: This article and the information within are strictly for educational purposes. The Nintendo Switch and the Xbox Adaptive Controller are not designed to work with each other. If you wish to try anything discussed in this article or video, you do so at your own risk, and neither I, nor ‘My Mate Vince’ take any responsibility for damages or breakages that could possibly occur.