Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller is a gadget for people with disabilities or limited mobility to more easily use third-party peripherals. It came out earlier this year, and it was widely lauded for its build quality and its configurability. It has 19 ports on the back that can each be used to mimic a controller input with a third-party device, including those that let you control functions with your mouth or even your feet. So in the event that a person can’t use certain fingers or no longer has the limb required to hold a controller or press a certain button, they can plug in a third-party device to more easily access that function.
Microsoft designed the device so it could be used on basically any piece of hardware, but other console makers have yet to adapt the device to work outside the realm of the Xbox One and Windows PC. Now, a YouTuber by the name of MyMateVince has figured out a way to get the device working on the Nintendo Switch with the help of a nifty adapter and some software troubleshooting.
In the video above, MyMateVince details how the Mayflash Magic-NS wireless controller adapter, which costs around $20 on Amazon, lets the Switch communicate with the Microsoft Adaptive Controller. From there, he goes through a few different calibration processes for different third-party peripherals, explaining how an Xbox controller has a different button layout than the right-facing Switch Joy-Con controller. That means you have to either remap them using Microsoft’s app or mentally flip the layout in your head while using the controller.
You’ll also have to calibrate accessories, like joysticks, in the Switch settings because the mobility may not translate fully through the Adaptive Controller. (It seems that Switch motion controls do not work at all, which isn’t a big issue except for games that really can’t be played without them, like the recently released Pokémon Let’s Go games.)
It’s not a perfect method, and MyMateVince spends nearly 20 minutes going through the whole process. But it’s certainly doable, and it’s a viable solution to getting the Adaptive Controller working on a Nintendo device. Of course, if Nintendo and Sony put in the necessary work to properly support the device, we wouldn’t need these kinds of workarounds. But sometimes all it takes is a bit of DIY ingenuity to get the ball moving. Hopefully, Nintendo and Sony tackle this issue sooner rather than later.