A patch for Stray (Patch 4) that accompanies the game’s release on Xbox platforms includes several new accessibility features. The patch notes on Steam list a few changes with little additional details. Still they note a few important additions that should make Stray a more accessible experience to many.
Taps and holds
According to the patch notes the accessibility options are for players who have difficulty with rapid tapping. In reality they can help players who struggle with extended holds as well. The options address some mobility problems described in Carlos’ review of Stray last year.
After the update players can set run to a toggle, which allows players to more easily navigate fast paced areas without the need to hold down the run button. This is especially helpful when navigating areas where Zurks chase the player. Similarly the defluxor, a weapon allowing the player to kill Zurks, now can also be set to a toggle. As the defluxor has a limited charge, players still have to keep in mind to turn it off in time. But that too can be much easier on the hands than holding it down.
Should the Zurks catch up to the player, a new toggle option to shake them off prevents the need to rapidly tap the button. Rapid tapping, or button mashing, can be extremely difficult or even impossible for players with mobility issues, making getting rid of Zurks more difficult than intended.
Besides those new options, there are fixes to localization issues in several languages. This in itself is of course also beneficial to people who rely on content in their own language.
Additionally the patch includes an option to hide cat death. This can obviously be an upsetting event for many players, especially those who may have lost a pet themselves. Being able to hide this will allow those players to more comfortably play the game.
As always it’s great to see an update like this, with developers taking player feedback into account. Especially as Stray releases to a lot of new players on Xbox platforms, the accessibility improvements are surely helpful.