My brother can only use one hand and using a normal game controller is impossible for him. I have a business in technical product innovation, so I decided to build a protype of a single handed game controller for him.

Continue reading for all the details of the build.


Step1 -- Getting the gamecontrollers
I needed several gamecontrollers to get to know it’s internal workings. I bought 4 different controllers to be able to select the one that was the easiest to modify.

4 gamecontrollers

Also the controllers where needed to figure out how to make it controllable with just one hand, the right hand.

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71 Responses to “Single handed game controller”

  • Emile says:

    Ik kwam uw site op Tweakers tegen en zag daar uw controller. Ik ben echter een linkshandige eenhandige en ben dan ook meer geïnteresseerd in controllers/trackballs die voor linkshandigen geschikt zijn.

    Ik heb tot nu toe alleen tweaks gezien voor rechts/een-handige controllers, wellicht zijn die eenvoudiger te bouwen dan links/een-handige? Kunt u inschatten of zo iets ook mogelijk is?

  • Hasse says:

    In de basis maakt het niet uit of je zoiets voor links of rechts handigen doet. Bij deze gamecontrollers is het wel zo dat je rechts andere knoppen hebt dan links. Daar moet je dan even opnieuw over na denken dus. Maar er zijn zeker wel mogelijkheden voor hoor!

  • ous says:

    Good for you sir… way to be a great brother :)

  • Steve says:

    This is awesome, man. Brother of the year. Good work.

  • 1magine says:

    awesome. As a parent I’m proud of you, as one who deals with the disabilities of others, i am thankful and so impressed, and as human consumer – - well I’m a little ticked off that there is not a single manufacturer of one handed controllers on the market.

  • Paul says:

    As an older brother who loves games and hacking stuff together I have to say this is one of the most awesome things ever.

  • worto03 says:

    nice one – what a top thing to do for your bro!

  • boskie says:

    Brother of the year for sure man.
    Hope it works great.

  • Joe says:

    I hope your bro has a blast with his new controller! He is very blessed to have a loving and innovative sibling, or should I say “Smash Brother” ;)

  • Grus74 says:

    Hi!

    Just a thought, do you need two buttons on the front/bottom of the controller? Since you moved one button you could place an analog stick instead of the button on the front where you now click with your index finger. This since an analog stick still gives a little better response in some games imho. I guess if you made a custom/rebuilt shell you could move an analog stick there and still get two buttons below to be used with middle and ring finger aswell.

    Still, the best hack I’ve seen in a long time!

  • Jay says:

    You are one great brother you know that. Great job! It is unfortunate that your brother is handicapped. I can sort-of relate, but I do know that my brother wouldn’t go to this much trouble to see me smile again. It’s great that your brother can enjoy the games that we enjoyed as kids.

  • Alex says:

    This is some great work. I have cerebral palsy on my left side and only have use of my right hand. Not to undermine your custom controller, but your brother may be able to use a controller like I do. I exclusively use my right hand on almost any controller I have come across since the NES.
    With the GC I lay my right hand on the controller horizontally fingers pointed left. If he can grip the left side of the controller with his left hand that might help.

    Pointer for analogue/dpad
    Thumb for face buttons/C stick
    Middle finger for L
    Pinky for R/Z

    If that doesn’t make sense I could take a picture in a bit.
    I do the same thing with PS3 and Xbox controllers as well. It can get a bit tricky when you need to use the right or left shoulder buttons at the same time, but I’ve found that that’s rare. The shoulder grooves also don’t help much since the angle the fingers are at are perpendicular instead of parallel. It’s pretty uncomfortable at first but I’ve been doing it for 19 years or so with few problems. This doesn’t work for the Wii of course. I drafted up a custom remote/nunchuck combo for myself, but I’m not much of a hardware modder. Maybe on of these days.

  • Gilhelmi says:

    You should get a U.S. Patent for this Idea/Technology. Talk to a reputable Patent Attorney that work in the videogame industry.

  • undeded says:

    Awesome! My brother lost fingers on his left hand and Ive been thinking about how to mod one for him. I’m trying to learn about microcontrollers starting from scratch. Money is tight so I’m salvaging parts. I’m learning but it takes time. Have you thought about making these for sale? There might be profit if you could market to prosthetic and rehab specialists. Lots losing limbs from warfare, etc. I also have a friend that recently had hand amputated and hate to see him lose any more fun. I figured out a simple way for him to hold cards so we can still play. I think there is more need for these than we realize. Maybe you can find a philanthropist willing to fund a startup. If I happen to run into a millionaire (yeah right) I will keep you in mind. I’ve added you to my bookmarks. Kudos and blessings to you as a brother and human being!
    undeded

  • Linda He says:

    We are the supplier of game accessories. Our cmpany name is Targetever Industrial Co.,Ltd.
    Contact me for your inquiry. Hoping we can cooperate with you.

    Best rgds
    Linda He
    Targetever Industrial Co.,Ltd

  • Lucas says:

    I am working for an accessibility office at a university and one of the students I work with has expressed interest in trying out one of these controllers. Is there any way we could talk about how to possibly commission you to make one of the left hand?

    Cheers and fantastic work!
    Lucas

  • Canookian says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but once more shouldn’t hurt: you are a SAINT. The motion-sensor is a particularly phenomenal idea (next to the entire concept of the controller, that is).

    I was wondering, though, if it’s possible to mod the controller for someone who can only use their left hand. My friend has a few games mastered, but she can’t really do button combinations or use the back buttons (she’s a complete video game fanatic, though).

    If you can spare the time, could you give me a few tips on what to do? I’m not too technologically advanced, but I’ll be working with friends that are for this project.

    Thanks for being awesome :)

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