This modded Nintendo Switch controller is a big win for accessibility

A neon red Joy-Con on a table in the foreground, with a Nintendo Switch screen and blue Joy-Con lying on the table in the background, slightly out of focus
(Image credit: Enrique Vidal Flores via Unsplash)

A modder has created a one-handed Nintendo Switch controller that should make its games accessible to a broader range of players.

Hardware modder Akaki Kuumeri's bespoke Nintendo Switch controller looks unorthodox at first glance. But in practice, it'll allow gamers with physical disabilities the chance to play the console's games in a much more accessible way.

The modded pad works in tandem with the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con controllers, which are slotted in either side, not unlike the plastic charging grip that comes bundled with every console. The difference here is that you use just one Joy-Con, and an assortment of switches in the center of the pad are used to access the d-pad or face buttons depending on which suits your dominant hand, as demonstrated in the video below.

The one-handed Joy-Con controller is available to buy on Akaki Kuumeri's Etsy store for $200 (around £175 / AU$288). The modder has a solid track record, too, with a near-perfect rating after 200 reviews from other modded adapters for the DualSense and Xbox Wireless Controller.

Accessibility is the name of the game

Kuumeri's modded pad, on further inspection, looks like it stands to help out disabled gamers who may have limited use of one hand. In doing so, such a device could help them play the best Nintendo Switch games that they wouldn't otherwise have easy access to.

And while the price tag looks a little high, remember that Kuumeri's operation is relatively small when stood up against corporations like Nintendo or Microsoft. Similar pads like the Xbox Adaptive Controller have been criticized for being more expensive than traditional devices. But we're dealing with larger companies here who could stand to developer cheaper accessibility-minded controllers.

It's impossible to say for sure, but Kuumeri's device might be similar to something Nintendo had once considered for its flagship console. According to former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, the company was at one time developing an accessibility-focused controller of its own. Since Fils-Aimé's departure, however, progress on the device's development remains unknown.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Writer

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Rhys has a strong love for all things gaming, including everything from triple A blockbusters to hidden indie gems. For Rhys, the highlights of the work are being able to test out top-notch gaming hardware, from controllers and headsets to VR and beyond. When he's not on the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14 and Sea of Thieves. Or taking massive Ls in Mario Party Superstars.