While the games industry has recently taken some excellent steps forward in terms of accessibility, one area that still has a way to go is recognizing the needs of those with limited mobility. Especially when it comes to PlayStation. Thankfully, the community is stepping up, thanks to innovative ideas like this 3D printed controller adapter, allowing for one-handed PlayStation 5 gameplay.
YouTuber Akaki Kuumeri designed an adapter to the PS5 controller that allows players to use the DualSense with one hand. The design of the PS5 controller adapter was constructed as a part of The Controller Project, an online competition run by PrusaPrinters, with the goal of designing non-destructive attachments to gaming controllers for people with disabilities.
Kuumeri posted a YouTube video demonstrating how his PS5 controller adapter works in action while playing Rocket League, Yakuza 0, and Grand Theft Auto V. Using the “rubber shoe” at the bottom of the controller that balances it, Kuumeri’s adapter can move the left thumbstick, mirroring the gyrating motion that the left hand would create to move a character around on screen, while the controller rests on any surface. That could be a desk, the arm of a chair, or the player’s left thigh. (A reversed version allows it to be used on the other side of the controller.)
The shoulder buttons for the PS5 controller are migrated to the right side thanks to the adapter, making it possible to hold down L2 (traditionally the aiming button in shooter games) at the same time as pressing down on R2 to shoot. This Monster Hunter-esque claw motion will involve the generous stretch of one’s index finger to pull off.
To make up for the loss of the directional pad of the DualSense controller, Kuumeri built another easily clipped add-on to his adapter which attaches the d-pad across the top of the face buttons, in a cascading fashion. While attempting to maneuver his car in Rocket League, Kuumeri admitted that this add-on is “a bit unwieldy,” and suggested that players can leave it off if they so choose.
“With this, you can play your favorite games one-handed. I mostly made this so I can play It Takes Two,” he said, demonstrating how he can play the two-player game on his own, with two one-hand modded controllers.
Kuumeri was inspired to create controller mods after seeing the one-handed mods by Ben Heckendorn, an online repairer and builder of electronics.
“I’ve had this idea of replicating some of those functions with just a snap-on piece of plastic,’’ Kuumeri says in the video.
To further add to the accessible possibilities of his adapter, Kuumeri posted a link in the description of his YouTube video for folks to 3D print their own version. If people need a left-handed version, all they have to do is 3D print a mirrored versions, which Kuumeri demonstrates how to assemble.
Microsoft has already made some great strides in this area, with the Xbox Adaptive Controller. While Sony has been late to the game with regards to releasing its own official adaptive controller, it’s cool to see gamers take the initiative with the construction and freely downloadable blueprints for accessibility modifications.