Skip to content

Street Fighter 6's innovative accessibility settings are a huge leap forward for visually impaired players and the genre

By Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills










10 sf6 innovative accessibility | Street Fighter 6's innovative accessibility settings are a huge leap forward for visually impaired players and the genre | The Paradise News


Fighting games are a universal language that built so many bridges across the world, and Capcom is trying to do more to make sure everyone can enjoy the heat of battle.






One of Street Fighter 6’s most innovative features comes not from its core mechanics, but rather it’s accessibility settings meant to help visually impaired players.









Tucked in SF6’s options menu is an audio settings tab that goes far deeper than any other fighting game we can think of.


Through the use of Detailed Sound Effects Volume Settings and In-Battle Accessibility Settings, players can completely customize how loud and quiet the sounds of everything from hits, to footsteps and even clothing movement.



This can be taken a step further by adding new sound effects to the gameplay to give information as to how far away the characters are from each other, meter level, what strength of attack was used and even if a move crosses up.





All of these options allow for the gameplay to be entirely experienced through audio cues if needed.


We don’t remember ever seeing another fighting game come anywhere close to the accessibility level and customization offered in SF6, and attempting to search for other examples offered nothing — but correct us in the comments if we’re wrong here.



“Been playing more with the #sf6 beta,” wrote BlindWarriorSven on Twitter. “I am impressed by the additional audio options in this new @streetfighter version. Glad I was allowed to test them. Later this week I will write down my experiences and suggestions to improve things even more! Well done so far Capcom!”


BlindWarriorSven is a great Street Fighter 5 player who broke into the Ultra Diamond rank earlier this year without the aid of all of these options, so it’s nice to see that he’s liking what he’s hearing so far.


We had the chance to speak with Sven about his personal thoughts and feelings about the SF6 options now that he’s had more time to experiment with them and think about the experience, and he’s still sounding pretty positive about what’s there.




DarkHorse: How much time did you spend trying out the new audio accessibility settings in the beta, and what were your initial impressions?



BlindWarriorSven: Together with my friend MrJoe94, I had been testing the SF6 beta for many hours last weekend. Most testing was focused on the audio accessibility options as well as navigating in the Battle Hub. So what we did was turning on all audio accessibility options, started a match between each other and finding out what audio cues I could hear.


After each match, we turned off an accessibility feature to see what
differences it made. My first impression is that Capcom is doing a great
job by implementing those features. Some of them are more useful than
others to me, but I think they can be helpful to both beginners as well
as advanced blind players. It’s a great start but there is room for
improvements.




DarkHorse: Which of the sound features do you think is the biggest game changer and how does it change how you can play the game?



BlindWarriorSven: Personally, I think the “high/normal/low” attack sound option will be
very useful, especially when Capcom will add my suggested feedback
regarding this feature in an upcoming update.


The reason why this accessibility feature is important is that it is way
easier now to hear if an attack was a normal attack or low attack. This
could be very useful, especially on block. In SF5 for example, a standing
heavy kick or a sweep could sound very similar. And where a standing
heavy kick might be safe, a sweep isn’t. So I hope with this feature I
will be even better with punishing specific attacks on block.




DarkHorse: Are there any settings you still think need adjusted and is there any you’d like to have added to the game?



BlindWarriorSven: I just sent my feedback to Capcom With around 15 to 20 adjustments, which I think could be very useful for both beginners as well as advanced blind players. So let me pick one of them.


When you take a look in the accessibility options, there is an option
which will activate an audio signal to indicate distance between the
characters. During a match there will be a constant sound that will
change from a low to a high pitched tone.



Although this can be very useful in training mode to practice spacing and such, in a real match it can be a bit too much. A great addition would be an option that gives the player the possibility to press a button to get one single tone to tell how far away an opponent is.




DarkHorse: Have you ever played a game with similar accessibility settings, and if so, how did they compare to what SF6 is doing?



BlindWarriorSven: Within the fighting game scene, I haven’t seen a game so far with these accessibility features. I think Killer Instinct for Xbox and PC is the one that comes close to this.


In other game genres, I have seen games with similar accessibility
features, but most of those games were specifically made for blind players.
But games like Hearthstone (with the Hearthstone access patch), The Last
of Us Part II and Kilta (released in 2022) are games that have been
putting a lot of effort in accessibility for blind players.




DarkHorse: How many of those options do you think you’ll use in the full game?



BlindWarriorSven: To be honest, I don’t know yet. After all, I have become a high level
SF5 player without most of those accessibility features available. So I
think I will start to play SF6 as plain as possible and will slowly add
some of those features when I think I gonna need them to improve my
gameplay.




But one thing I will turn off for sure are the environment
sound effects. Nothing more worse than not being able to hear what your
opponent is doing because of an exploding box after a knockdown or a
heavy rainfall and thunder during a fight.




Since this was a beta test for the game, there’s a good chance these options are going to be further tuned as well though it’s awesome to see where it is already.


While there’s plenty of features that fighting games should just copy from each other, we really hope to see similarly expanded accessibility settings in the future whether they be new releases or maybe even updates for existing titles.











Source: Event Hubs

Tags: