Forza Motorsport sets its sights on blind accessibility

Jeremy Peeples3 minute read

Over the past 18 years, Turn 10 have crafted incredible racing simulations with the Forza Motorsport series. Through the Xbox generations, each entry improved on the previous one. Now, Forza Motorsport is set to break accessibility boundaries. We had a chance to get an early look at the accessibility features for blind and low-vision players in Forza Motorsport, along with the auditory, fine-motor and cognitive assistance that will be available. With the creation of Blind Driving Assists, the newest entry in the series attempts to make the entire game playable by someone with a visual disability. From the menus, to the HUD, to the core racing experience, blind/low vision players will have an array of accessibility features to assist with inaccessible barriers.

Blind Driving Assists and visual accessibility

To make Forza Motorsport more accessible for blind players, blind driving assists have been added. These audio based assists enable players to hear where they are on the track, through different-pitched sounds. The player will be able to learn the tracks based on these audio cues. Something like a wide turn can be figured out by the difference of sound between one side of the track and the other. If the player hears the sound closer together, that could indicate a sharp turn.

Visual assists are in place, providing large menu icons and large text, alongside HUD text size adjustments. Colorblindness filters will also be featured in the UI and game itself. Settings for all three colorblind modes and the UI will scale alongside text. Additionally high-contrast modes are available for the menu and HUD for in-race content. The tools are in place for blind and low vision players to make the game more accessible and approachable as they want. You can play with every assist on and then gradually turn some off. Or start with a few assists on and add to them as you see fit.

A view inside the a car, looking towards the steering wheel and dashboard with many controls

One Touch Driving

Fine-motor assists are in place to build on what was done in Forza Motorsport 7 and make them even better. In Forza Motorsport 7 the player could have a largely hands-off approach to racing. They did however need to hold the right trigger to accelerate. Now, Turn 10 has created a feature set to allow for as much or as little assistance as needed. It is called One Touch Driving and is a toolbox that allows for multiple assists to control the car. Forza Motorsport goes further than its predecessor’s braking and steering assists, to no longer require constant trigger use. Throttle assist is included and if someone just wants to steer, they can. Lastly, there are different tiers of braking assists as well. 

Forza Motorsport is set for an Xbox Series and PC release later this year and looks like it will raise its own bar for accessibility in the series. Especially with the special focus placed on low-vision and sightless players. Accessibility for these players is often overlooked, but Turn 10’s efforts puts them in the spotlight. We’re looking forward to seeing everything in action when the game is finally released.

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