The Steam Controller, as well as the new Xbox One Elite controller from Microsoft, are truly revolutionary for disabled gamers in that they allow complete button re-mapping and customization, letting those who don’t have full use of their hands reach and use the controls necessary to play a game. The Steam Controller especially allows levels of customization never seen before, and one user demonstrates this by creating a layout for playing the hit game Skyrim with one hand, fulfilling a request from another disabled player.
Starting off, Chris Hepburn’s control layout uses the right haptic pad for camera movement, as it would be on a normal controller. The right trigger also stays as it would, with a single press used to attack, however, holding the trigger in activates the blocking position, something that would normally be mapped to the left trigger.
The A, B, X, and Y buttons remain unchanged, seeing as how they can be accessed by the right hand’s thumb. But the really impressive adjustment is how moving the character is implemented, an action that would regularly be controlled via the left pad. Instead, the player just holds in one of the paddle buttons on the bottom of the controller, and uses the motion sensing capability: tilting the controller up, down, left, or right to move in the corresponding direction.
Finally, crouching is activated by pressing in on the right haptic pad, and item management is handled by using the traditional analog stick on the left. This requires the player move their hand from the right side of the controller, but activating that menu pauses the game’s action anyway.
In his demonstration video, Hepburn mentions that using a pillow or other cushion under the controller while playing help to reduce the weight. He took the effort to come up with the layout after someone requested a configuration that would allow their father, who can only use his right hand, to play Skyrim.
Steam Controller users can find the layout with the configuration ID 553140965, or by searching for “Skyrim (Right hand only version) by hepburn3d.” In a post on Reddit, Hepburn says he hopes the controller “means more one handed people and other people with disabilities can play more games they love. I can’t imagine not playing my games so would love more people to get to play theirs and more.”