Spencer Allen laughs triumphantly.

Meet Spencer Allen

A passionate gamer and relentless creator who’s on a mission to help everyone game.

Spencer’s journey

Spencer Allen smiles in front of a window.

Giving up has never been a phrase that existed in Spencer’s vocabulary. From the time he was a little boy, his parents instilled upon him and his siblings the importance of pushing through, even when things got hard. “I think our family has always been people who accept what we have, work with it, and don't dwell on things that aren't going as well as we'd like,” says Spencer’s mom, Sue. “That's always been the way of this family: supporting each other.”

The spirit of determination helped Spencer grow as a high school skier and lacrosse player, and eventually become the captain for both teams.

You don't really fail until you quit.

Spencer plays a game using his custom adaptive controller set-up.

In 2016, “I was at Sauvie Island, a popular park here in Portland,” says Spencer. “I ran and dove into the water—the next thing I knew, I was floating upside-down in the water and I couldn't move, couldn't turn around. I was drowning.”

Through hard work, he has regained some function in his upper limbs. As soon as he was able, he went back to school to get his degree in Civil Engineering. “I wanted to jump back into school and get back to it -- just something to get my brain working.“

Xbox adaptive controller on a custom gaming setup.

Any inventor knows it takes a lot of trial and error to create something you’re happy with. This might discourage most people, but for Spencer, “you don’t really fail until you quit.”

The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows users to connect switches, buttons, joysticks and mounts to create a custom controller that suits their needs and abilities. There’s a level of DIY involved, and Spencer was up for the challenge. “It’s been a cycle of learning and doing.”

The components of Spencer’s custom adaptive controller set-up are displayed on a table.

Watch how Spencer customised his gaming experience

Spencer shares how he created his custom controller by creating custom buttons and joysticks to give him the precise trigger to play Halo and Call of Duty.

Spencer’s toolkit

Spencer edits his designs on his Surface device.

Download Spencer’s Toolkit that he used to customise the Adaptive Controller.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Adaptive Controller

Learn more about how you can customise your own controller.

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

Accessories for Adaptive Controller

Check out mounts, buttons and joysticks to make your Adaptive Controller uniquely yours.

Spencer uses the Xbox Adaptive Controller to play a game.

Gaming for Everyone

Learn more about how we’re making gaming more fun for billions of people around the world by being inclusive of all, accessible for all and safe for all.

The X Ambassadors perform on stage in front of a crowd.

Access for all

Explore how the world of gaming, art, music and ideas is becoming more accessible than ever.