Over the past few months, one of the most visible steps made by gaming hardware manufacturers to include gamers with disabilities is the release of Microsoft's Adaptive Controller for PC and Xbox One.
The controller, which starts as a large flat base station with a large D-Pad and A and B buttons, features numerous slots for other controller types to be connected in lieu of other buttons, and allows for customised inputs to suit various player types. Developed in tandem with Special Effect, a charity specialising in custom controller solutions for disabled gamers, the controller allows for both Microsoft-developed and third party peripherals to be used to make play easier for gamers who might struggle with a traditional controller.
While only officially supported on Xbox One and PC, it turns out that as of today, the controller can also be made to work on Switch too, with a bit of additional tech and some settings tweaking.
YouTuber My Mate Vince was curious if he could get the Adaptive controller to work on systems other than Microsoft's, so he went and found a workaround. He purchased a Switch wireless controller adapter, then connected that via a USB-C to USB-A adapter, then hooked it all up to the Xbox Adaptive Controller. It wasn't able to be used wirelessly, but it was hooked up successfully. From there, he had to enable Pro Controller wired communication in the Switch menu, then do some tweaking of controller profiles on PC, and he had the controller working in Mario Kart 8.
While My Mate Vince focused on using this setup to connect a variety of USB controllers to his Switch, like a flight stick, the possibilities this opens up are wonderful to see. The idea that this workaround might help disabled gamers play on the Switch as well as the Xbox One is fantastic, and would really help more games be playable by more players. As pointed out in the video, the small size of the Joy-Cons is an issue for some players, and this might help alleviate the issue.
However, be warned, this is not officially supported by Nintendo, so you do run the risk that this support might be disabled, intentionally or not, in a future Switch update. This is great news if you already own an adaptive controller and a Switch, but purchasing either to try this might not always offer you this support.