Xbox Continues to Champion the Gaming & Disability Community with New Accessibility Updates


Gaming permits us to expertise worlds past creativeness, share our tales and forge friendships with folks internationally. At Xbox we consider that gaming is for everybody, together with the over 429 million gamers with disabilities, and it’s our accountability to create a spot the place everybody feels welcome, secure, and included to expertise the enjoyment and group of gaming. 

Each October we take a second to have fun the incapacity group, and earlier this month  Xbox celebrated its partnership with Special Olympics within the type of Gaming for Inclusion, a hybrid, multi-day event that goals to showcase the ability of inclusion by way of gaming, break down limitations and empower Special Olympics athletes by way of expertise.

Prioritizing accessibility in gaming invitations extra folks to expertise gaming, by empowering all players to play in the way in which that’s true to them. Today, we’re excited to proceed our assist of the Gaming & Disability group by sharing a wide range of updates. These embrace:

  • Recognizing Craig Hospital’s Adaptive Gaming Program, which showcases the ability of play and significance of creating gaming for everybody.
  • Sharing new accessibility options from Team Xbox.
  • Unveiling the Playbook for Accessible Gaming Events, an occasions information that shares 12 finest practices Xbox has realized partnering with the Gaming & Disability group through the years. 
  • Highlighting the Accessibility in Games channel within the Xbox retailer, that now options a whole lot of video games and 1000’s of accessibility tags! 
  • Announcing the subsequent chapter of the Xbox Ambassador Accessibility Explorer Path, together with new data checks and badges, whereas recognizing the over 2 million quests accomplished since its launch in October 2022.
  • Spotlighting a few of our favourite accessible video games together with Sea of Thieves, Age of Empires, and the lately launched Forza Motorsport.
  • And rather more!

When everybody can play, all of us win. Check out extra particulars beneath!

Craig Hospital’s Adaptive Gaming Program

Craig Hospital is a Colorado-based neurorehabilitation and analysis hospital specializing within the therapy of traumatic mind and spinal twine accidents. Xbox has been partnering with Craig Hospital because the improvement of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which launched in 2018. Since then, Craig Hospital has been a useful associate in serving to form Team Xbox’s accessible {hardware} journey.

Today, we’re excited to focus on the hospital’s Adaptive Gaming Program, which brings the enjoyment and connection of gaming to sufferers and relations alike who like to play. Check out the video beneath which particulars how gaming has been a constructive drive for gamers who’ve taken half in Craig Hospital’s gaming program.

Watch the Audio Described model of the video right here.

Many of the gamers at Craig Hospital use the Xbox Adaptive Controller to customise their gameplay. To be taught extra in regards to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, together with how you can get began, go to the Xbox Adaptive Controller User Guide:

Playbook for Accessible Gaming Events

A black sign with a white gaming accessibility logo stands in front of demo stations at a game convention. Text reads in English and German, "Here to help. Please ask a member of the Xbox Staff if you have any specific needs. We are here to make sure you have a great experience. For more information, visit Xbox."

At Xbox, we aspire to a world the place everybody can take part in gaming. Industry occasions aren’t any exception, which impressed the creation of the Playbook for Accessible Gaming Events.  In this information, Xbox shares finest practices realized over years of working with the Gaming & Disability Community at occasions equivalent to GDC, gamescom, E3, Xbox Fanfest, and extra. Accompanying this information is a newly printed Disability Etiquette Training Video

Much like our Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, these finest practices are designed for occasion manufacturing groups, and are supposed to function a catalyst for producing concepts and supply a set of pointers when planning. They can be used when evaluating the accessibility of an occasion at its completion to construct for the long run.  

Use Existing Controller to Start Controller Pairing

Wireless pairing simply received extra accessible, as direct contact along with your console to press the pair button is not required. From the consolation of a sofa, wheelchair, hospital mattress, and so on., gamers can now put their console into pairing mode utilizing an Xbox media distant, digital assistant voice command, or beforehand paired controller to attach a brand new controller to their console.  Check out the assist article on how you can  Connect an Xbox Wireless Controller to your console for extra particulars.

Elite 2 & Adaptive Controller to Keyboard Remapping

An “Xbox Accessories” menu on-console displays different configuration settings that allow players to remap buttons for the Xbox Adaptive Controller and Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller.

Players will quickly be capable of remap controller buttons to virtually 90 keyboard keys on the Xbox Adaptive Controller and Elite Series 2, permitting gamers with restricted mobility to make use of the Xbox Adaptive Controller with video games that solely assist mouse/keyboard enter.  For instance, a participant can remap the Left Bumper on their controller to the Keyboard C key, Ctrl + C, or Ctrl + Shift + C, and so on.

Remapping shall be accessible by way of the Xbox Accessories app accessible on each PC and console. This characteristic is at the moment accessible to Xbox Insiders and Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) members, and shall be accessible to all gamers within the coming months. Check out extra particulars within the Keyboard Button Mapping for Xbox Controllers – Xbox Wire publish and how you can be part of Xbox Accessibility Insider League.

Game Accessibility Settings Menu for Xbox Widgets in Game Bar

A menu on PC depicts the Game Accessibility Settings Menu for Xbox Widgets in Game Bar.

Xbox gaming on PC is about to be much more accessible! Following the launch of the Xbox app’s ‘Accessibility’ settings menu final spring, the Xbox widgets in Game Bar will embrace their very own ‘Game accessibility’ settings menu on October 19 to make it even simpler for gamers to find accessibility settings on the platform. In the up to date Xbox widgets, you’ll discover each visible and audio-related accessibility controls to customise your PC gaming expertise in line with your preferences and wishes.

To see the brand new menu, beginning on 10/19, replace Game Bar and the Xbox App on PC to the most recent variations; the ‘Game accessibility’ settings can be found by way of any of the brand new Xbox widgets in Game Bar by clicking on their “settings” button.

New accessibility data checks within the Xbox Ambassador Accessibility Explorer Path

Since launching the Xbox Ambassador Accessibility Explorer Path a yr in the past, over 2 million quests have been accomplished by Xbox Ambassadors as a option to be taught extra about accessibility and assist a welcoming, inclusive group the place everybody has enjoyable.

In addition to persevering with to share new quests, Xbox is happy to announce that in upcoming months the Explorer Path will characteristic data checks that can have fun ambassador’s data of accessibility from accomplished quests.  At the completion of those checks, ambassadors will earn an Xbox Accessibility Ally Badge that may be linked to their profile.  If you haven’t already, try the Xbox Ambassadors web page to start out your accessibility journey!

New ‘Accessibility in Games’ channel on Xbox Store

The ‘Accessibility in games’ channel is displayed on an Xbox console, with rows of small icons representing different games on Xbox that have Xbox Accessibility Feature Tags.

Players searching for their subsequent nice sport simply received even simpler! Xbox Game Accessibility Feature Tags had been launched in 2021 with over 20 tags that signify accessibility options gamers can use to seek out video games to play. Previously solely titles with 6 or extra tags had been highlighted within the Xbox retailer and, however with a whole lot of video games and 1000’s of tags now accessible, Xbox created an Accessibility in Games channel that features all video games with accessibility characteristic tags, making it even simpler to seek out video games with accessibility options that work finest for gamers. 

A menu depicts Xbox’s ‘filter and sort’ feature, which allows players to find different accessible games, based on ‘Gameplay’ and ‘Audio’ settings.

Check out the choice of video games with accessibility options within the Microsoft Store on Xbox navigation bar or dwelling web page. From there, gamers can filter and kind video games based mostly on Gameplay, Audio, Visual and Input accessibility options.

Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Testing Service (MGATS) at PAX 2023

A member of Xbox’s Accessibility Team presents to a group of people gathered around a table, informing them about The Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Testing Service.

The Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Testing Service (MGATS) program is an providing for builders and publishers to validate the accessibility of their sport, get suggestions from Players with Disabilities and perceive what accessibility tags apply to their video games. 

At PAX West on Sept 1, the MGATS staff hosted a workshop offering an outline of gaming accessibility and testing ideas. This was adopted by breakout periods with 8 workstations outfitted with Xbox consoles and equipment, prepared to check video games like Minecraft to see how they assist accessibility options equivalent to “progress saving options”, “adjustable difficulty”, “full keyboard support” and extra.  This group connection not solely supplied suggestions to construct this system additional, however demystified how video video games might be examined to make sure accessibility for all. 

At Xbox, accessibility is a journey with no single finish level. This consists of creating gaming experiences for everybody to take pleasure in. Today, we’re excited to highlight some latest accessibility accomplishments throughout numerous video games from Xbox.

Forza Motorsport

Last week, Turn 10 Studios launched their most accessible Forza Motorsport ever, which incorporates a number of progressive accessibility options together with one contact driving, display screen narration, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, and extra.  Blind Driving Assists, a characteristic set constructed for gamers who’re Blind or have Low Vision, works by offering a set of supplemental audio cues designed to assist Low/No Vision gamers navigate the tracks of Forza Motorsport. The full suite of accessibility options had been in-built shut partnership with the Disability group over two years.

For extra data on the accessibility options in Forza Motorsport, click on right here. Then, that can assist you get comfy with the brand new options and create an accessible racing expertise that works finest for you, try this video information in addition to these driving ideas from accessibility advisor Brandon Cole.

Sea of Thieves

In August, to assist blind/low imaginative and prescient gamers goal different gamers and enemy AI when utilizing weapons and cannons. As they intention, a clicking noise goes off if gamers are near a goal. The nearer they’re, the sooner it clicks. Specific options embrace:

  • The sound pans left and proper to assist gamers know which option to rotate horizontally
  • The sound pitches up and down to assist gamers know which option to transfer vertically
  • It has a lock on noise when gamers are over a goal.
  • Aim help begins robotically when gamers intention down the sight of a projectile weapon or man a cannon.

Age of Empires

In August, Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition, the most recent instalment of the long-lasting technique sequence arrived as a shock announcement throughout Gamescom’s Opening Night Live and was made instantly accessible to play on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. With the transfer to console, the Age staff labored to optimize the sport for Xbox controllers, revamped the consumer interface to be console-specific, and added new tutorials designed for first time gamers to assist obtain straightforward setup and success.

And with the shock launch got here quite a few accessibility options that allowed gamers to tailor their gameplay. This included adjustable problem settings, on-demand tutorials that assist gamers be taught the controls and fundamental gameplay mechanics, UI narration and Strong Contrast Mode, regular digicam settings, and a lot extra. For a full record of obtainable accessibility options for Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition on Xbox, go to this hyperlink.

Looking for More Games to Play?

During October and past, we’re that includes video games created by and reflecting the experiences of neurodiversity and other people with disabilities. Available on the Microsoft Stores on Xbox and Windows, try the Stores assortment that exists year-round as a part of our ongoing work to create extra inclusive gaming ecosystems and elevate content material that resonates with communities. For Xbox Game Pass members, try the Xbox Game Pass Gaming & Disability group assortment and the PC Game Pass Gaming & Disability group assortment.  


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