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Subnautica
Below Zero
29 Accessibility Features

We've documented 29 accessibility features for Subnautica Below Zero, including Large Subtitles, Select Difficulty, Remap Buttons, Audio Cues and Visual Directional Cues. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Navigation but it also has features in Reading, Visual, Getting Started, Difficulty and Audio 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.

Subnautica Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light horror adventure where you must explore and survive the environments while completing objectives to advance the story.

NotesAccessibility Notes

You can scale the user interface in the game from 0.7 to 1.4. There's an option to automatically pause the game when you open your PDA to assess the situation, plan moves and navigate.

The subtitles are large and clear, as is the pop-up information, but the other text in crafting menus and trees is a lot smaller.

There are options to turn off flashes as well as highlight interactive elements of the game for greater visibility.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 50% off

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Strategy (Action, Simulation and Traversal)

Accessibility: 29 features

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 10 accessibility features for Controls in Subnautica Below Zero 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:

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

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

Remap One Action to Multiple Buttons: Can remap multiple buttons to perform the same action to reduce the need to memorise buttons and make the action easier to access.

Remap Game Menu Access: Can remap buttons to pause, access and navigate the game menu. This enables you to specify which buttons pop-up the game menu.Whether you can remap menu navigation buttons isn't considered here.

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

Controller Vibration

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

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates events or interactions in the game, echoing visual and audio cues. This can provide additional information about progress, approaching enemies or hitting a target.

Sensitivity

You can adjust

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

 

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

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Difficulty in Subnautica Below Zero which deals with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select the level of difficulty from a range of presets. This not only offers a way to adjust the challenge of a game but enables you to do so without dealing with individual criteria.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty

If you want to play Subnautica Below Zero, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Difficulty accessibility:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Getting Started in Subnautica Below Zero 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.

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game. This includes games that always display buttons to press during play.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Save Progress Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time. This doesn’t mean you never lose progress, but it does mean you can stop whenever you want (without having to get to a save point) without losing progress.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Subnautica Below Zero, 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 Subnautica Below Zero 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.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast. They are at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of a landscape screen and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens, or can be adjusted to be. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters. Considered separately from the general text of the game, the subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast.

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: Textual captions indicate who is speaking (or there is only ever one person speaking). This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or placing text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking.

Voice Acted

Some Dialogue is Voice Acted: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted. This reduces the pressure on reading all the dialogue text, although not everything is provided audibly.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Subnautica Below Zero, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Navigation in Subnautica Below Zero which deal 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.

Clarity

Large Clear Navigation: The in-game navigation and maps are clear to read. They offer large text and offer markers that are large and of high contrast. Where text or information is small, there are settings to zoom-in and increase visibility.

Clear Mission Objectives: The game provides clear, structured missions with directional guidance and advice on which can be attempted next. This also indicates (ideally on maps where they are provided) which missions can't be attempted because you do not have the appropriate items yet.

Visual Directional Cues: Additional in-game visual cues that signpost where to go next and how close you are to arriving. This can be with camera movement to focus on your destination or important items. It can use light, breadcrumb trails, in-world pointers to identify your mission's target location.

Head-Up Display

Head-Up Display Navigation: Indication of where to go next with overlaid arrows, minimaps and waypoint markers. This supplements in-game visual and audible cues with additional guidance about where you are and where you need to go.

Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.

Menu Navigation

Remap Game Menu Access: Can remap buttons to pause, access and navigate the game menu. This enables you to specify which buttons pop-up the game menu.Whether you can remap menu navigation buttons isn't considered here.

VisualVisual

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

Interactive Elements

Outline Interactive Elements: Characters, platforms and enemies can be outlined or highlighted for visibility. This can be with a large border around the character or a special visual mode that adjust the colour to make characters more visible.

Visual Distractions

No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them. This includes the absence of flashing from dramatic visual effects, explosions or weather effects like lightning.

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 Subnautica Below Zero, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in Subnautica Below Zero which deals 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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Subnautica Below Zero, 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:

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.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Xbox Series X|S
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Andy Robertson


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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