Sea of Thieves has a long history of introducing and improving accessibility in the game. Blind accessibility is also an area that has seen multiple new features added. This includes narration across different systems including the compass and tooltips. But Sea of Thieves also features blind accessibility in the game’s design, like colorblind accessibility in the use of colors. Sometimes a design choice unexpectedly had a positive effect on accessibility. Such as the presence of seagulls that players can see and hear, indicating the location of shipwrecks.
Now a new setting aims to help sightless players independently target enemies with their gun. This new setting, called Aim Assist Audio, will guide players to their target using a clicking sound.
Aim Assist Audio
The clicking sound will increase in frequency as the player aims closer to a target. The clicking sound is not unlike the feature we’ve recently seen included in Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1. Unlike those fighting games which are a relatively limited horizontal experience, Sea of Thieves needs to guide players in a 3d environment. Chris Marlow, principal gameplay engineer at Rare, explained a bit more of the aim assist on X / Twitter.
To help players take aim effectively, the game guides players horizontally using stereo sound. So when the target is off to the left or right, players can follow the sound in that direction. To determine if they should be aiming lower or higher, the pitch of the sound changes as well. When the player’s aim is on the target, another distinctive click sound plays letting the player know. For now, this feature will only be active when a player has their gun equipped, to assist aiming at players and AI enemies.
By introducing this blind accessibility feature to Sea of Thieves, developer Rare allows sightless players to play yet another element of the game independently. It will be interesting to see if they can adapt the feature to other elements of the game.