RNIB - Design For Every Gamer

Design for every gamer is our initiative to create a better gaming world for people with sight loss and a rallying cry to the industry to start making real change.

Help us with our mission and join our user testing panel

Through a series of research programmes, industry partnerships and activations, RNIB’s mission is to collaborate towards a more inclusive future for gaming. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining our user testing panel to increase accessibility in gaming going forward, please fill out our form.

Creating accessible video games for blind and partially sighted people

Every year, around 100,000 people in the UK must come to terms with losing their sight. It is our fundamental belief that everyone should have the right to game, however they see. That’s why we’ve created ‘Design for every gamer’, our initiative to create a better gaming world for people with sight loss and a rallying cry to the industry to start making real change.

What do we mean by making video games accessible to gamers with sight loss?

Sight loss is a spectrum, encompassing everything from nearly full vision to none whatsoever. Within the medium of videogames, these differences in vision levels also mean that players will end up relying on differing strategies and feature sets to play the titles they want to enjoy.

For players with usable or residual vision, among other adjustments, this could be high contrast modes that allow characters and important interactable objects to stand out from the environment or increasing text sizes to allow the smaller fonts in titles to be more easily read.

For gamers with no usable vision, features that can assist include menu and user interface (UI) narration (where items that are navigated through are spoken aloud), audio cues that play to indicate button prompts and navigational assists that allow the player to traverse the environment without the need for sighted assistance through automatic turning of the camera to point to the next objective, to name just a few examples.


The most important thing to note about the current landscape of accessibility is that it can vary between platforms, regardless of whether the games themselves are accessible. Games can be either partially or fully accessible, but on platforms that are inaccessible, the accessibility of games becomes a somewhat moot point without additional assistance or workarounds.

For those who require a narrated interface, the latest iteration of PlayStation and Xbox consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) are all equipped with one. The PlayStation 4 does not support such an interface outside of certain models and region restrictions. Nintendo’s Switch platform, as of the time of writing, in early 2023, does not feature any kind of screen reader functionality.

For those console gamers with residual vision, various degrees of zoom are available on Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s platforms, though your mileage may vary as to their effectiveness for your particular use case.


There are multiple ways to make games accessible to players with vision impairments, some depending on the community of players and others relying on developers of the titles in question.

Developer Implementations

Ideally, those creating a game will implement accessibility as a core part of its development, from the very earliest stages, though it can of course happen at later points in the cycle as well. Making sure this happens and is undertaken correctly can mean the difference between being able to play a game partly or even at all, and with accessibility baked in, the possibilities for what could be achieved are far greater than with retrofitting.


Retrofitting is the practice of implementing accessibility after a game has been released. Whilst this isn’t optimal, it has allowed games like Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, Killer Instinct and God of War to flourish when otherwise players would not have been able to play these games without features added post-release.


Mods (or modifications) are additional downloads on top of the standard game that can add things like screen reader support, high contrast user interface colour changes or additional audio cues, as well as unrelated elements like gameplay changes depending on the mod in question.

Though the ideal solution is to have accessibility directly implemented, mods like Say The Spire, Hearthstone Access and Hades Accessibility Mods have opened up experiences that otherwise might not be available without assistance or large amounts of patience if at all.