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Friday, September 29, 2023

Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller support is coming to Linux

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Since late 2018, the Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) has been making PC gaming more accessible for gamers with disabilities and injuries. Now, thanks to the wit of one software engineer, XAC drivers will soon be coming to Linux.

With its incredible ability to adapt to each individual user’s needs, the Xbox Adaptive Controller has given those PC and Xbox users who lack the full range of movement a chance to enjoy their favourite games. That’s without having to MacGuyver game controller solutions out of random household objects, or resign themselves to not playing games at all (a true travesty).

With the help of software engineer and co-author of The Definitive Guide to Linux Network Programming, Nathan Yocom, Linux users will soon be able to enjoy the freedom the XAC’s modular gaming setup can bring, too (thanks Phoronix).

In order to bring Xbox Adaptive Controller support to Linux users, Yocom has been extending Xpad driver code that’s already available on the Linux kernel. It brings with it support for the layer button, with 4 active states mapped to an Axis control, as well as the Xbox button.

The XAC driver code doesn’t appear to be ready as yet, but updates are being added regularly and it shouldn’t be long before Yocom is ready to bring this highly adaptable accessibility option to Linux users.

So, while last year Microsoft’s inclusive lead revealed there’s a “bit of a plateau” being faced in the field of designing accessibility tech, it appears the software side is far from standing still.

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