Sponsored By

Xbox accessibility update adds keyboard remapping

Xbox will soon let players with limited mobility remap their Adaptive Controller to simulate keyboard keys for games only playable on keyboard and mouse.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 17, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for Xbox.

Future Xbox updates will soon expand upon the developer's continued growth of accessibility options and features. 

One of the biggest will let players remap the buttons of their Xbox Elite 2 or Adaptative Controllers to their PC keyboard. The function is meant for those with limited mobility to use for games that only use keyboard and mouth inputs. It's currently available to Xbox Insiders, and will come to PC and console in the coming months.

Similarly, players can now able to set up their Xbox console to pair with a new Xbox controller without making direct contact. Instead, players use an Xbox media remote, previously paired controller or digital voice assistant to pair controllers and accessories, which will be particularly helpful for those with limited mobility.

For PC players, Xbox will add an accessibility settings menu for the Xbox PC game bar an incoming update on Thursday, October 19. Visual and audio-related controls will let players tweak things to their preference, and will be accessible through any widget on the PC game bar.

Finally, Microsoft released a playbook for accessible gaming events, which is intended to share "best practices" learned from working events such as E3, GDC, and Gamescom. The guide covers planning aspects such as registration, transportation, and presentations, and also comes with a video on disability etiquette training.

"Much like our Accessibility guidelines, these best practices are designed for event product teams as a catalyst for generating ideas and a set of guardrails when planning," stressed Xbox. "They can also be used when evaluating the accessibility of an event at its completion to build for the future."

Microsoft has been focused on accessibility in games for a number of years. At GDC this past March, accessibility program manager Brannon Zahand gave some tips on how developers can work with consultants within the disability community, which can be read here.

Game Developer and GDC are sibling organizations under Informa Tech.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like