Benheck’s new single handed “Access” controller revealed

Resigned to the fact that people know me as Benheck I put it in this article’s title, to save other web sites a little time rewriting their links. How considerate of me.

Black is the new white!
For a larger version with no captions click here.

Anyway, today I’m going to show you all the prototype for the new single handed controller I have designed and built, which I’ve been calling the “Access Controller”. This is actually the second prototype, a more refined version of the first. Alongside the new Elite-based Xbox 360 laptop (yes, it is coming) this has consumed most of time in recent months, hopefully explaining the drought of new projects.

Here’s the basic principle: You lay this controller on your leg, table or arm of a chair and all the buttons are available on the top surface. The gag is that each of the five sections is removable and you can plug them anywhere you want. This not only makes the controller work for both left and right handed use (simply mirror the layout) but it also allows the user to optimize the button placement on a game-by-game basis. Even if the user has partial use of both hands it should still be easier to work with than a standard controller.

Side view of the controller
In this configuration example the thumb controls the left analog (player movement) where the forefinger is on the right analog. The middle or ring finger can press the analog shoulder buttons.

More details and photos follow below. This unit is currently in pre-production for manufacturing thanks to the folks at and will first appear as a wireless model for the PS2/PS3, with an Xbox 360 version pending. If you’re interested in obtaining one of these or simply wish to express interest please email them directly at All other normal inquiries (photo permissions, interview requests, offers to send me free beer) can go to my usual address using the link over on the right.

Sorry, can't show you the guts this time

Here’s a shot of the controller casing before the guts were put in, along with a module. Each module is about 3/4″ thick with a pin header on the bottom. This header connects to a signal bus inside the main unit, which provides each module hole with every possible signal required by the game controller. This allows any module to be placed wherever the user wants and it will retain its original function.

I call shooting things at this angle the

End view of the controller, top. By designing something that would fit the curve of a leg, specifically the top of a thigh, it ended up being shaped like a big hip flask! This wasn’t the original intention (as I am not a fan of hard liquor) but as the controller came together it resembled something I couldn’t quite my finger on it… Until one day when it just hit me. Anyway, fun story for you all.


It's all curves and I've got no brakes!

Bottom of the unit. The prototype was an Xbox 360 controller, and as mentioned the first production units will work on the PS2/PS3. The battery position may change, might be 3 instead of 2, but they’ll be in this general area, flush inside the case with a door.

Well that’s about all I have to say about this unit at this time, more details as they become available. Again if you’re interested in this project please email Michael directly using the link above.

Bonus fun story: One day, to test this unit, I sat out on my porch to play Uno on Xbox Live Arcade. I can see the TV in the living room through the sliding glass, so it’s quite doable. So I’m sitting there, drinking a beer with one hand, playing Uno using the controller with the other. But I didn’t put the headset jack in the prototype. So I go into an Uno room and some dude is like “Hey it’s Benheck!”, since, well, my gametag is Benheck. But I can’t say anything because I have no mic. So after a bit the guy is like “Oh, the great and might Benheck is too good to talk to us!” And then I get booted.

So the moral of the story is use your microphone on Uno or you’ll get booted. But fear not, if we do an Xbox version of this controller it WILL have the headset jack, so you’ll be good to go.

88 thoughts on “Benheck’s new single handed “Access” controller revealed”

  1. I like that design! It reminds me of a PS2 controller I had that you could switch the button layout.

  2. Saitek’s Cyborg Rumble Pad lets you reverse the position of the d-pad and the left analog stick at will, but that’s all it lets you screw around with on the controller. But hey, it lets PlayStation fans play PC games the wrong way. 😉

    This looks pretty nifty, but I can’t really think of a way that someone who’s sans an arm would have direct access to as many buttons on this controller as they would on your other one-handed controllers. Honestly, I don’t see how they (they being one-armed people, as opposed to the “they” involved in proxy wars and all that Nevada airstrip business) could be anything more than barely competitive in the game with this controller, on account of having to use each finger on their hand independently to control one of the pieces, with perhaps two fingers on one of the pieces (I can’t say they’d normally have two fingers on two of the pieces these days, considering the amount of games that require instant access to both the face buttons and the right analog stick). Also, it seems that regardless of the layout of the pieces, one will really have to stretch out their hand (again, they being the aforementioned one-armed people) to get some good access to all of the pieces. Also, is it at all feasible to lay your fingers just across the bumper buttons on the piece with them and the shoulder buttons? There are certainly a number of games that require an L1+R1/LB+RB input to make something happen. I do have to say, though, that driving with one finger rolling on and off both of the analog shoulder buttons in tandem looks like it’d be a wickedly fun challenge.

    Jesus, making this post coherent (which it barely is, if that) was an absolute nightmare for some reason.

    P. S. – Heh, I just realized that the controller’s actually called “Access”.

  3. Ecksem Diem put it perfectly. I really think that if your picking a one handed controller to be manufactured your previous two seemed make a bit more sense since this one wouldn’t work that well with FPS’s which are more than half of the 360’s games. On the PS2 I guess this will work pretty well for alot of games since i cant think of to many that require all the buttons. How much are these going to go for anyway? The person who booted you has balls but you have to tell us all his gamertag so we can harass him.

  4. I have a friend who plays with normal controllers like this! He puts them in front of him and puts a finger on each individual button/stick. BTW – he pwns. I think this is a design that may take getting used to, but would definitely work.

  5. I’ve been waiting for a decent left-handed keyboard for almost 30 years. I’ve been watching artificial limbs development creep along. (That brings a weird image to mind. Like everything else, electronics, vehicles, etc., we need a new battery technology.) It looks like this game controller will beat all.

  6. “Oh, the great and might Benheck is too good to talk to us!” hahahaha great stuff

  7. I have one hand, and use the pad as normal,

    except sitting on the floor, holding the pad between finger and thumb,

    first finger for left d-pad and analogue stick
    second finger for back, guide, start
    little finger for right analogue and ABXY

    third finger and thumb to hold the pad and use the floor as rt / lt / rb / lb

    Im looking forward to trying one out, good work

  8. i want something similar i use the hori fighting stick it has too many limitations since i have no real hand movement i get tore up online tekken….. i’d prolly crush this product, there is a lot of quadriplegic gamers looking for something similar –nme

  9. I like the ability to rearrange the location of all the buttons/sticks. btw, I tried to register on the forum as “jordanaction” and “Jordan Action” and still am getting no email confirmation. If someone could help me out, that would be great.

  10. man i hope to get one of these the minute it comes out. i have a friend who was an avid gamer and he was involved in a bad accident and lost an arm and started pc gaming alot & pwns but with the ability to game on the consoles out would be a dream come true. i’d like to thank you for your work on these, and hope you come up with more innovative controllers for single handed use.

    ps. you own. :]

  11. Dear BenHeck,

    THANK YOU! As a disabled gamer this controller ill be a godsend to me. While I have two hands to work with, my fingers are deformed and webbed together due to a really rare skin disorder. Even with surgeries to remove the webbing they always come back and usually worse than ever. With this controller I’ll finally be able to play Halo 3 and Gears of War. The only reason I was able to play Halo 1 and 2 was because I found a rare controller that allowed you to remap the buttons yourself, which of course didn’t work with the 360. I will be first in line for this controller and thank you once again for your time and effort in making this. I know you’re a busy man, but if you ever would like feedback from a disabled gamer I would love to help. Thanks again!

    Matthew Porter

  12. Great, it’s a great new for all the gamers 🙂

    That can help so many people, it’s a really great invention.

    You do have nobel price 😀 !

  13. Hey to all fellow one handed gamers. I have been following this production since announcement and personally find that after looking at the design, i would be more comfortable using just an original un-modded 360 pad. Just ova a year ago i lost use in my left arm due to a RTA on a motorbike. Already a gaming fanatic i thought ” Well thats my gaming out the window”. That was July 2006. April 2007 i asked myself would it be poss for me to adapt to a normal 360 pad. After a week of adjusting the pad to a comfortable gaming position i was able to play pgr3 and crackdown just aswell as my mates. Slowly creeping back onto online gaming i then realized was not all that bad. Im not here to comment on a negative point towards the design, time and effort undoubtably put into this work, but i just want to say that as i have adapted this way i would find it hard again to adapt to a whole new design. An example to say how well i think iv adapted is, my gamerscore was 8000 from when my crash was to when i bought a new 360. And is now approaching 24000. Any other one handed gamers out there on a 360 feel free to add me on your friends list.

    P.s As you probably guessed my gamertag is OneHandBand1t

  14. I could definitely use that. When you use one hand for along time you function totally different at trying to solve a problem, and since the buttons are interchangable id probably move the triggers down to the thumb with the two analog sticks sitting next to each other on top.

  15. Ben, Put some rubber strips along the bottom of that controller. I think the last thing a person with physical disabilities wants to do is pick the darn thing up off the ground after it’s slid off his leg, arm of a chair, or table.

    Little rubber feet might work for the last two, but a couple of long rubber strips would provide good grip on a leg. imho, I liked your other one handed controller better, but I like how this one is modular…I just don’t like the layout it forces on ya.

  16. Hello.
    I saw your controller and I’m very excited. With limited function in my left arm Ive always
    depended on homemade solutions. Right now I use a modified xbox controller along with a
    mouse to aim with, as playing FPS without a mouse on a PC is a disadvantage…
    Ill link to some pics of my current setup.
    On this I used Lego, as it has many different parts with the option to change without breaking
    and screws with glue to secure it.
    With it I can push both triggers with one hand, be it the right or left hand. Also Ive lengthened
    the sticks to make them lighter and more accurate, for me that is.
    I look forward to testing your controller.

    My controller:

  17. Saweet!! Just one thought, make a version with the sockets rotated 90° and market it as an arcade controller.

    If you can make the commercial version do that it would kick ass even more. I suppose I can always hack it 90° on my own anyway ;).

    I think it is cool, but is it better for FPS’s than the last one? It seems like it might be harder to move/strafe/look and change/reload/fire all at once than your old one. (PS, just ruminating, I can’t even play FPS’s on consoles, I am lost without a mouse and WASD)

  18. I’m so pleased, Ben! I wondered if your superb controllers would find support – fantastic to see that they have. So many people get in touch with me after the discontinued Dragonplus DuoCon2 RPG controller, but are frustrated because they are so hard to get hold of – this will give renewed hope for comfortable gaming to many. Well done!

  19. Love the idea of the modular controller — how cool would it be if you could replace either or both analog sticks with arcade-quality joystick parts? Or split out the face buttons into 2-4 separate modules with one arcade-quality button each? (losing the D-pad and/or shoulder buttons)

    It’s like a Lego controller!

  20. Hey, I play with one hand and I don’t see this as being very practical. Not putting it down or anything. Just giving my opinion as someone with only one arm to play with. I play with my regular 360 controller mounted to a board and levers attached to the triggers that come over to my pinky and my thumb. While my pointer and ring finger control the toggle’s. And I just reach over and hit y,b,a, or x when I have to. I compete with the best of them in Rainbow, Graw 2, and the COd4 Beta when it was out. I’m currently playing Ace Combat 6 and it’s a little tough flying and shooting at targets, but it’s doable. Hit me up if you want any information on my way of gaming with one arm. TIMEISMONEY22 is my live gamertag also.

  21. this thing will totally work.. i could see how for some the xbox controller [unmod] would seem as something more efficient, but for someone like me and what seems like alot of people on here, if youve lost the use of an arm and its been like that for years, theres nothing you cant figure out. a motorcycle accident which resulted in my nerve roots getting ripped from my spine, rendered my left arm completely paralyzed, limiting my efficiency in fps games or gaming in general. this was a great idea ben and i look forward to testing this thing out. thumb for left analog, middle for right analog, little finger for the abxy, and ring for the triggers. whambam. agree/disagree??

    sign me up!

  22. As a disabled gamer (right side paralyzed), I feel I should put my 2 cents in. Having just purchased an Xbox 360 in June, I am somewhat of a n00b to the online scene. I find that games like Two Worlds, Jade Empire, Overlord and Beautiful Katamari wouldn’t need a controller like this. All you have to do (and I do this now) is get a rubber pad like the ones to open stuck jars with, lay it on your lap and lay the controller on that. I use a normal controller that way. To everyone else, this controller looks sleek and shiny. When I look at this controller, I see it sliding all over my lap. Give me a controller that has some friction & traction.
    With that being said, I would STILL purchase this because I could place the trigger buttons EXACTLY where I could get the most use and I could finally play me some Halo! I’ve always liked 1st person shooters and I could never get used to moving and firing with the right trigger. Try it sometime, you’ll see what I mean. Lots of games are set up exactly the same way and the only ones I actually purchase are the ones that let you re-map the buttons. I have had a little more luck with PC games, PS2 and the Wii (yes! I play Metroid with 1 hand!) but now I can get into my Xbox 360 so much more. They have a 1 handed controller for the PS2 so its about time someone caught up.

  23. i don’t see how this would work it looks like way too many buttons for a person only using one hand. it would be cool for uno and all because you could eat and drink when playing but for an fps i think i would get pwned

  24. Interesting concept. Using the idea for interchangeable pots is a good one for some people, however it may prove hard to space them apart in “the perfect places” for a mass market as opposed to players with more specialist needs, especially as there is no set hand size.

    Interchangeable pots could be a good application too for portables (got me thinking)… If you have a multiple portable system, a different pot could connect to a different games system via different sets of contacts (and also power it as well as provide the controls) making manual switching less important… eg joystick inserted one way works with system 1, turn joystick other way around, works with system 2.

  25. kick ass! i think the black adds to it and the fact that u can repsition the buttons. i would buy one but im only 14 and when ur parents dont pay u for chours, it sucks. im down to $20! only a 20. sry : (

  26. No offense but the previous iterations of this concept seemed much better designed than this current one slated for manufacture. This one is especially good . The new one is bulkier by a good margin and also seems as if it would be difficult to use well. In my opinion you’d be much better off manufacturing right and left handed versions of the prototype I linked above.

  27. My girlfriend’s left arm is partly paralyzed. Ever since I got the X360 we’ve wanted to play together. So far no luck.
    Your controller looks like a definite candidate to resolve this problem. The day she beats me at Viva Piñata will be worth every cent 🙂

  28. Dude!

    This is freaking awesome. How are you making the case? It looks like CNC of some sort. Is this one like some of the other controllers you make?

    Ivan Irons

  29. Would this help your buddy any?:

    I received it about two days ago. Shipping was fast & inexpensive

    While the buttons positions can’t be rearranged, it comes with software that allows all the buttons to be programmed for specific commands.

    I purchased it mainly for World of Warcraft, but it can be programmed for other games.

    The software has a menu that you enter the commands in, so no programming knowledge is required.

  30. About the position of the buttons, would it be possible to place the analog sticks on the left/right side of the unit instead of on the top. I’m referring to the anatomic structure of the thumb itself doing fine movements on a horizontal plane (as in controlling the aim of a gun). The thumb does not sit flat like the fingers do. It sits vertically. Seems to me it’d be much easier to control if the stick could be positioned similar to the side buttons on a mouse.

    Just a thought from a single-handed player…

  31. What can I say? Gimme! I’ve been using an Ascii Grip V2 – my wrist gets really worn out from supporting the weight of the controller, and the wire is wearing out at the base! Plus there are a lot of buttons that are useless because of placement.. X_x
    Thanks for your work, Ben, and Godspeed!

  32. Im a Halo junkie myself and I have a cousin that games but cant play Halo because hes paralyzed on one side of his body so I wanted to see if there was anyone doing anything about it online. Im glad to see that there are individuals like yourself using innovated thinking to come up with ways to make the once impossible, possible for the many gamers out there (like my cuz) that can benefit from this. simply put -You Rock dude. Good luck in all your future projects! …oh yah and how long till it comes out for the 360?

  33. hi yah,

    i wanna ask about the one hand controller im left handed coz im got the stroke. how much and where to get it coz i wanna see it so i know what is look like. i appriciate your reply in my wife’s email address.

    thanks very much!

    paul holliday

  34. Hi, I lost the use of my left arm some years ago. i love playing the PS2 and would like a go at the X box but up till now there has been no way i could play it. The main problem is that they love to use the top shoulder buttons and its almost impossible to use these and the other buttons at the same time,so bring on the one handed controler as soon as possible. One other thing i’d like to say is when you make it could you please put something like a bean bag on the underside, one of the main problems i have is trying to stop the controller from sliding away from me. also size does matter,the smaller it is the easier it is to hold it in one hand.

  35. Hi my name is mike and i lost my left arm 3years ago and i have been wating for someone to make a controller so i can play halo again can you help me get back in the game please thank you

  36. as a child i was a video game fanatic. but at ten i started to lose the ability of my left hand. im 18 now and all my friends do is play on the 360. right now im missing out as they play the new resident evil. i love this idea, i just wish you hould have posted instructions on how to build one or where you are selling them (if you are). if you post something like that and if you remember this post please email me at

  37. Hey There Ben…I just wanted to thank you soo much for doing this! My daughter was born Dec 25th, 2008, and yes I know that she’s still young but I did think about this..see her father works in the video games industry and we love to play together but I was sad to see that my daughter might not be able to play such difficult games later on. I saw my niece holding on to a controller with both her hands and I almost teared up because I knew that could never be. WEll anyway I know she’s only 5 months old now but by the time she’s of age I know that your concept will be miles ahead and she’ll be a pro at gaming and will be able to play alongside her father.. Again thank you so much for this, I only hope there are more devices to come for the one handed person. She’s left handed by the way.

  38. OMG I so want to cry!!! back around 6 years ago when I got into gaming I looked up online for 1-handed controllers because being 1-handed certain games are a pain in the ass to try to play with the regular controller. Of course back then there was nothing except a dinky one for playstation that when I used pissed me off more than helped. otherwise it was like I was speaking some alien language when talking to gaming product dealers. Sooo I figured back then I was stuck to my fate of having to be creative about useing the standard 2-handed controller which was nothing new I was born with my disability. I was eventually lucky to find that belkin had a suto 1-handed controller with the nostromos n52 so that my mmorpg playing at least was easier. Just today I went and replaced my n52 with the new n52te and I noticed at the store there were more options with gaming pads and mouses for my 1-handedness so to speak but was still thinking “only if they had ones for ps2, ps3, and xbox 360” specially now that my boyfriend and I have been trying to figure out how I could “really” play with him and against him on his Halo games. I at a whim tonight typed in google 1-handed controllers and it was like clouds parted and a stream of sunlight hit your cotrollers picture (heavenly music and everything lol) and I watched your demo youtube video that sure enough used Halo as the example game. so I have been going to different websited featureing your controller and I’m so happy. So I want to say in a nutshell THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INVENTING THE ACCESS CONTROLLER!!!!! when my boyfriend gets home Im so going to show him the info on it and when I get the chance it’s going to be bought. If I could I’d so hug you for creating the controller. I’m totally having happy tears running down my face as I write this anyway ( I know I’m such a girl about it). Well anyways I just had to write a long epiloge about how happy and thankfull to you and I haven’t even used the controller yet I can’t wait till I actually get to order it. If anything I think it will be the best birthday present ever for myself next month. So like so many other blogs here Thanks again.

  39. second try; I could not get this controller to work with PC games like Medal of honor.where ever keyboard commands or required they would not program into the controller for example the letter W. for forward motion would not enter into the gain set up I could not use the controller if anyone has had success using this controller with PC games like MedaL OF hONORplease let me know.
    thanks rich G.

  40. This controller looks like a great design for gamers who are looking for a Pad based controller for one hand usage. However, I personally would like to see your handed controller that you place on your lap and control everything that way. The pad design looks good for alot of PS2 and some more basic Xbox 360 titles, but the market for gaming on the Xbox right now is definitely FPS-based and frankly, this controller looks like it would be more of a nuisance to use in an FPS game than a convenience. Maybe try and mass produce the other one-handed one? I loved that design and I would definitely buy one if it became mass produced.

  41. My son was in a violent motorcycle accident about 10 weeks ago and to this day still has no use of his left arm. He was telling me that one of the things that pi$$ed him off was that he had just bought the new UFC 2010 game for his PS3 the day before his accident, and he’d only played it once before crashing.
    I have just ordered your product and am very anxious to see how it works out for him. I think for the first couple of days I may even have a chance to beat him at a game or two. That would be a first ;^)
    Thank you for producing this…
    Road Weazel

  42. I was involved in a near fatal motorbike accident 18 months ago and due to a head injury i recieved i have zero movement in my left arm. I love playing my console games but my 360 has been collecting dust. Has this controller been adapted for the 360 yet?

  43. Genius. The shot of you using it with one hand is the best. I reckon this needs a You Tube video demo. Can’t wait to see what you can do with Microsoft’s Kinect.

  44. My son is crazy about playing PS3 and I just had to buy your product for his birthday. I’m anxious to see how he will react when he will see it.

  45. We just bought one of your access controllers for the xbox 360, it was a 21st birthday present for my GF’s daughter. She is partially disabled in one hand and finds playing a standard controller difficult. However my point in coming on here is that when we recieved the package from edimensional there are no instructions on how to set this up for the xbox 360. We have a wireless fob, a usb to wireless fob adapter, the Max shooter for xbox 360 and of course the controller. While it may be straight forward to the people who designed it and/or some xbox/pc officianado’s for an average person its not obvious how this all works.

    My assumption (and we know where these lead) is that we first connect a wired controller to the xbox 360 and set it up (synchronise it), then we place the adaptor plus fob in the slot having removed it and everything works. But then where does the Max shooter come in, so idea two is that the max shhoter goes into the xbox and the fob and wired xbox controller are both connected to it??? You see how easy it is to be confused…no instructions mean a lot of messing about and frustration. A single page with a short explanation and a diagram should not be to much to expect.

    Any chance you could point me in the right direction?

  46. My wife had her arm amputated four years ago. she has been watching me play my 360 and I can tell its really bringing her down that we cant play together. So I need help finding an access controller or someone
    who can make me one. If someone could please help us, their time and skills would be rewarded.

  47. hello, the email link above seems not to work for me… I was just wondering where this project is, as I would really love to purchase one of these. Thanks!

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