Gears 5 has an impressive suite of accessibility features

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Players participating in Gears 5's multiplayer tech test this weekend have noticed the game is sporting an impressive suite of accessibility features. As showcased by Ablegamers program director and community specialist Craig Kaufman on Twitter, Gears 5's accessibility reach is extensive compared to most games.

To start, Gears 5 has several features that are becoming more common among AAA games, like color blind modes and enhanced aim assist (here it's a "target lock"). Though, it also has features that are still pretty rare, like options to adjust the size of subtitles and make button mashing moments require a hold instead.

It even has both speech-to-text and text-to-speech for multiplayer chat. I'm very curious to know how user friendly and accurate the program is, but it's cool to see it included at all.

It's also worth mentioning the options to swap the analog sticks while aimed and move all movement to a single stick. Players with particular needs require unique control functions depending on their situation. If, for instance, you're more dexterous and precise with your left hand, being able to smoothly transition to running and aiming on the left stick could make all the difference.

It looks like target lock-on and and camera shake can only be adjusted when playing PvE modes (Campaign, Horde, and Escape) on the easiest difficulty, Beginner. It makes sense that The Coalition would deactivate features that could throw off the basic balance of competitive multiplayer, but to do the same for PvE modes seems limiting for players who need the extra help.

Kaufman figures the limitation is due to the score leaderboards of the PvE modes, which seems accurate. He hopes that this aspect of the accessibility options are expanded before release. "It would be awesome for them to change it to let it be turned off for all game modes," he said in a reply to his tweet.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.