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Portal

25 Accessibility Features

We've documented 25 accessibility features for Portal, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Environmental Captions, Large Text, Control Assists and No Button Combos. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Reading but it also has features in Visual, Getting Started, Audio and Navigation to reduce unintended barriers.

This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

Portal is a puzzle game where you manipulate the world around you to move through increasingly complex chambers. By creating two connected portals- if you walk into one, you walk out the other- you must move yourself around the rooms to escape. It stands out for how this mind-bending system allows you to travel around in unexpected ways and find ingenious solutions.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Portal accessibility 3 months ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 3 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes


Portal does not provide closed captioning for the tone of the speaker, however, the environment sounds are captioned.

By selecting Portal Funnel in the settings you can make the game assist you in aiming into portals on the ground. Progress is saved at the end of each chamber.

Sometimes figuring out how to reach the objective and clear a room is not always obvious. Sometimes you need to get out of an area quickly.

The game relies on colour to distinguish portals, so you need to be able to tell the difference between orange and blue, which is important to note for colourblind players.

Note, Portal can be modified using an in-game console to provide a more accessible experience. These console modifications are not included in our list of accessibility details.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox 360

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle (Action, Narrative, Platform, Sequencing, Simulation and Traversal)

Accessibility: 25 features

Components: 3D First-Person

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 11 accessibility features for Controls in Portal which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Can play with the following:

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Select Preset Controller Mappings: You can select preset button layouts from options provided by the developer.

Swap Sticks: Can swap the sticks over so that you can use the opposite sticks to control the game.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Invert X/Y Axis: Can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming. This enables you to match your instinctive orientation when looking.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons for prolonged periods (a second or more) is not required or can be switched to toggling the action on and off. This is in addition to the movement stick/button which is not considered a hold for this purpose.

Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing (more than 2 times a second) is not required, can be skipped or switched to holding a button to trigger a repeated action.

No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction stick(s).

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Sensitivity

You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick/Touch Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive touch/mouse/stick controls are.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Portal which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play. The following games are similar to Portal, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in Portal which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

Assistance With Controls: The game can automatically assist with aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc. This reduces the challenge of certain aspects of play to remove barriers and make control of characters more accessible.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Reading in Portal which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game's main path or story and how complex the language is. The presence of voiced characters doesn't reduce this requirement, as it's recorded as a separate datapoint.

No Reading: No reading is required, other than simple menus. The game either has no text or can communicate textual content with visuals and interactions. If reading isn't required because the text is voiced the All Dialogue is Voiced feature indicates this.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: All essential text is large and clear or can be adjusted to be. The general text used throughout the game in menus, instructions and other key information (excluding subtitles that are assessed separately) is at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height on landscape screens and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters.

Subtitles

All Speech Subtitled (Or No Speech In Game): All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to hear spoken dialogue or narrative to play the game.

Captions

Speaker Indicator, their Tone and Environment Sounds: Captions indicate who is speaking (or there is only ever one person speaking) and their tone, game sound and music. This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or character expressions with text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking. Environmental sounds are provided as extra text within the subtitles.

Voice Acted

All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Navigation in Portal which deals with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Menu Navigation

Digital Menu Navigation: Menu choices with Gamepad can be made without using an analogue stick to guide a cursor to a selection. For example, using D-Pad, buttons or the Stick to change menu selection in a single action.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in Portal which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Contrast

Medium Contrast: Game uses generally well contrasting and bright visuals, or has a slider to make this the case.

Visual Distractions

No Busy Backgrounds: No distracting backgrounds or you can make them static or blank. This includes the absence of other movement elements in the background that might distract or confuse the action. Where foreground contrast is high, this includes games with some movement in the background that doesn't make it overly difficult to distinguish what is happening.

Audio Cues for Visual Events

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events. Game events or progress highlighted by visual icons, effects or animations are also accompanied by audio to signify that progress. This is useful for blind players.

Motion Sickness Friendly

Motion Sickness Friendly: Doesn't have 3D movement elements that may trigger motion sickness, like motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision. Or includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Portal which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately. This enables you to select your preference as well as ensure critical game sounds aren't obscured by other audio.

Play Without Hearing

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Portal, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

Android
Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this.
 
Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Andy Robertson, Jonah Monaghan and Ben Kendall


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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