clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Father mods Xbox Adaptive Controller so daughter can play Zelda: Breath of the Wild

New, 10 comments

What did you do over the weekend?

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Xbox Adaptive Controller - left angle view from above Samit Sarkar/Polygon

Rory Steel’s daughter suffers from a rare condition that makes it difficult for her to play video games. So, over the long weekend, he ginned up a custom controller so that she could push Link around in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Steel’s daughter Eva suffers from a condition which, her father tells Channel 103, makes it difficult for her to play games with a traditional controller. So he purchased a plastic tackle box, some oversized buttons, and a pair of stand-up arcade cabinet sticks and got to work. By Sunday morning he’d rigged Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller (XAC) to send inputs to Nintendo’s tiny Joycon.

The magic component is a USB adapter that plugs into the side of the XAC, bridging the gap between Xbox and Nintendo hardware. Similar units are available online for as little as $25. The results put a big smile on her face, and earned plaudits from Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming Phil Spencer, who called the project “incredible.”

This is just the sort of homebrew that Microsoft envisioned when it created the XAC in the first place. The device not only includes a set of oversized control surfaces but hardwired connections for adding additional components. The tricky bit was all the soldering. Thankfully, Steel has a background in technology; he’s the head of the Digital Jersey Academy, a center for digital excellence on the island of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency.

“So rare in this day and age,” Steel tweeted about the Adaptive Controller, which allows those with physical differences a “world without boundaries.”