Microsoft Flight Simulator | Assists and Casual Controls

Microsoft Flight Simulator (PEGI 3) is the latest in Microsoft’s series of flight simulators and was released on PC in 2020 and both Xbox Series X and S in 2021. In this video and written post we will be focussing on the console version of the game when played using an Xbox controller, such as a standard controller,  an Xbox Adaptive Controller or an alternative compatible controller. All gameplay footage and screen shots are captured on an Xbox Series S.

This type of game is generally known for having complex controls and gameplay, and as a simulator the game is able to provide an in-depth and technically challenging experience for those who want it. However, it also has a range of settings that could help make it a much more accessible experience for many players and also allow the game experience to be enjoyed more casually. In this video we will be focussing on playing this way with the full range of flight control-related accessibility settings switched on.

A screenshot from behind a small aircraft flying over Oxfordshire towards Blenheim Palace.

We will first look at the settings and then show how you can start the game with your plane already in the sky, which means that you do not need to either take off or land, and can potentially play with access to less controls. We will then look at the AI controlled plane, meaning that you can ask the computer to fly for you, before taking a look at the basic controls for taking off and landing a small aircraft, which means that you would potentially need to use more inputs on the controller. Finally, we will have a quick look at the controller remapping options to customise the control inputs you use.

Settings

A screenshot showing the All Assists options in menu.

On first start-up, the game will offer some different settings including assistance settings. By default, the selected option is All Assists. These can also be accessed after this by heading to Options and then Assistance Options, where you can also select from three different global accessibility settings.

All Assists provides both assistance and instructions when in flight by an AI co-pilot. Middle Ground provides some guidance, but less so than All Assists. True to Life is designed to provide a more authentic experience with less help from the AI. All three of these global settings also allow you to customise individual assistance settings by clicking on each option. For example, if you wanted all of the assists on but wanted to switch off Unlimited Fuel, you can do this by going into Aircraft Systems and switching Unlimited Fuel off. This means that you have the benefits of the assists when controlling the game, but still have to consider fuel consumption and plan your flight around this, which some players might enjoy. To change back to default and have all of the assists switched on, press X.

Flying with One Stick Only

Small aircraft shown from behind flying over sea towards land.

To start a journey, you can either start on a runway or in the sky. If you choose to start on the runway you can either manually take off or opt for the AI co-pilot to take off for you. If you would like to start in the sky, you potentially will not need access to as many controls, and you can also pick anywhere in the world as your departure location. The first option is to try the Discovery Flights, which can be accessed via the Main Menu or by pausing the game at any time.

A screenshot showing some of the Discovery Flights locations.

Here there are several experiences that are included as part of the initial download of the game, and several more which you can download. By clicking on one that you have already downloaded, you will start that flight already in the sky.

You control the plane with the Left Stick, by default controlling the pitch axis by pulling back to ascend, forwards to descend and left and right on the stick to control the roll axis, to steer the plane left and right. It is possible to enjoy casual flights, exploring locations just using the Left Stick, especially within the Discovery Flights.

It is worth noting that by just using the left stick, you do not have some of the other basic controls such as throttle control, meaning that you cannot control the speed of the plane. This means that it may not be possible to ascend to the maximum height, so getting over higher ground can be difficult. One useful assist included in the All Assists option is the AI Anti-Stall Assist which will keep the engine running if you attempt to ascend or descend too quickly.

A screenshot of the Sensitivity options.

There is the option to go into the settings and change the sensitivity and deadzone of the stick which may be helpful for some players. A lower sensitivity combined with a larger deadzone may mean that the game does not pick up some accidental movement of the left stick.

A screenshot of the Flight Assistant options.

Another way to use a single stick would be to have the AI control the plane, and you can use the right stick to control the camera whilst the computer controls the plane for you. To set up AI control, press the Left Stick Click to enter Cursor Mode; the AI will temporarily take over controls whilst in this mode. Now, go to the Flight Assistant option and press A. Move the cursor down and select AI Piloting. Click on the small Cross icon or Flight Assistant icon to close the window, and then press Left Stick Click again to enter Cursor Mode. The AI will now control the plane for you, giving you the option to use the Right Stick to look around.  Right Stick Click will recentre the camera.

A screenshot showing the view from inside a small aircraft.

If you wish to see from inside the plane, press the View button and then use right stick to look around. It is worth noting that whilst the AI pilot can take off and control the plane, taking you to your next destination, it can at times fail to adapt to certain situations and may not fly around or over obstacles, and may crash. Despite this, it could be useful for many players who wish to play with a single stick or who need to take a rest when playing. To switch the AI Pilot off, you need to go back into Cursor Mode and switch it off manually.

A screenshot of the world map.

You can also choose to start from the sky by heading to the world map and clicking on any starting location. If you would prefer to start at an airport or airfield, you can do this also, but will need to take off or get the AI pilot to take off for you.

More Controls

If you have access to some of buttons and the trigger inputs on the controller along with the Left Stick, you will be able to fly with more manual control of the plane’s functions to control actions such as speed, yaw and braking to enable manual take-off and landing, whilst still using the assistance settings.

If you have access to the Right Stick, you can use this to control the camera which can be useful for looking around in these situations to navigate your surroundings. The use of the Left and Right Stick can be alternated as they do not have to be used simultaneously. The Right Stick is also used for scrolling to navigate many of the menus, along with the Left Stick which controls a cursor. The D-pad can be used as an alternative way to navigate some menus.

A screenshot showing some of the Take-Off and Landing Flight Training missions.

It may be useful to try some of the training activities to practice and learn more about the controls and handling of the plane for these situations. We will go through some of the more commonly used controls used for casual flying with All Assists on, including some of those used for taking off and landing a small plane. Controls can be remapped in-game, which we will discuss later on in this post.

By default, the A button is to increase power with the throttle, which can be used to increase speed whilst in the air or on the ground and can cause the plane to increase altitude (depending on your pitch). You hold the A button down until you have reached your target rpm and then release it. The B button, by default, is used to decrease power with the throttle which will lower your speed and can reduce altitude, again depending on your pitch. You hold the B button until you have reached your target rpm and then release it.

Taking Off Basic Controls

A screenshot of a small aircraft from behind during take off.

First, press Left on D-pad to remove the parking brake. Now hold down on A to increase the throttle to maximum. If required, you can use the left and right triggers to control the rudder and keep the plane in centre with the runway, although in clear conditions this may not be required. When prompted, pull back gently on the Left Stick to take off.

Landing Controls

A screenshot of a small aircraft from behind when landing.

When landing, B can be used to decrease the throttle. Left Stick can be used to line up with the runway, bring the nose down and flair the nose just before touching down. X is then used to brake once on the runway and the triggers can then be used to turn the plane on the runway. Up and Down on the D-pad can be used to adjust the plane’s flaps which can be used to slow the plane further. Right on the D-pad can be used to manually lower or raise the landing gear.

Remapping Casual Controls

A screenshot showing the controller remapping.

If you find that accessing certain parts of the controller are easier than others, then there are some remapping options that might help. Head to the Options tab, and then Control Options. From here pick the control that you would like to change, and select which input you would like to change it to. The game may warn you if this button is already mapped to another control so in some instances it may be best to do a complete swap, especially if you are swapping with a control that you do not need.

A screenshot of a small aircraft shown from behind flying over mountains.

We hope that this post and video about playing Microsoft Flight Simulator in a more casual way have been helpful. If you have any questions about video game accessibility, please contact us.

Watch Dogs: Legion | Accessibility Settings

In-game street scene
Screenshot of Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion (PEGI 18) is the third instalment in Ubisoft’s open world action-adventure series. The game is set in a futuristic London, where players must recruit other playable characters and complete a variety of missions.

The game requires access to the majority of the controller to have full access, but it also has a range of settings such as button remapping, aim assists to autodriving, which can potentially help to make it more accessible for some players.

In this post we will have a look at some of these settings related to the motor accessibility . Watch Dogs: Legion is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, PS4, PS5 and PC. This post will be focussing on the console version.

A Screenshot of the Watch Dogs: Legion menu showing access to Gameplay, Controller, Online, Audio and Language, HUD, Display and Accessibility menus.

Gameplay Settings

Within the Gameplay settings menu, there is a list of options that could be helpful for some players.

Difficulty

A screenshot of the Watch Dogs: Legion Gameplay menu, with Single Player Difficulty option highlighted currently.

There are three difficulty settings (Easy, Normal or Hard), that will affect things such as enemy alertness and enemy weapon damage.

Permadeath Mode

A screenshot of the Watch Dogs legion Gameplay menu, with Permadeath Mode option highlighted currently.

During the game, you complete missions that then allow you to recruit the majority of the other characters that you come across in the game, including many of those you see when travelling around the city. As standard, if any of these characters take lethal damage when playing they go to hospital or prison and will respawn after a period of time, and you can keep them as part of your team. However, with Permadeath Mode enabled, if you lose a life then you lose that character permanently (unless they are arrested). You can choose to have Permadeath Mode on and then switch it off part way through a playthrough. However, once you have switched Permadeath off, you cannot switch it back on again for that playthrough.

Camera Centering

This option allows you have the camera auto adjust to the direction you are facing. This can be set to auto adjust when sprinting only, always on, or always off.

 Melee Mode

A screenshot of a melee combat scenario in Watch Dogs: Legion, showing two characters in a street.

By default, Melee Combat involves tapping on the A/Cross button for each individual punch/kick. Melee Mode allows you to hold the button down to continually strike as long as the button is held. This can be helpful if rapidly tapping buttons is difficult.

 Climbing Mode

When on foot, your operative will need to climb and jump over obstacles in game.  When setting Climbing Mode to hold, you can keep A/Cross held down whilst moving forward with the left stick to continually climb. You can also have it set so that a single tap will allow you to jump over one obstacle, and means that you do not need to keep the button held down.

Toggle Options

A screenshot of the Watch Dogs: Legion  Gameplay menu with Emote Wheel Mode option highlighted currently.

There are several controls that can be set to either Hold or Toggle. This means they can be set so that a single press will start the action and a second press of that button will stop performing that action. The following actions can be set to Hold/Toggle: entering Hacking Mode, entering Aiming Mode (aim down sights), and for accessing both the Weapon Wheel and the Emote Wheel.

Controller Settings

Control Scheme

A screenshot of the Watch Dogs: Legion Default controls scheme on a diagram of an Xbox Series controller.

Watch Dogs: Legion has four different control schemes; Default, and three different left-handed options. Within each of these control schemes, there are eight different layouts for On Foot controls, Driving, Drone, Turret, Camera, Crane, Spiderbot, Kick-Up, and Menu/Text chat. The controls are different depending on the situation you are in; for example, by default moving the left stick up and down moves your character forwards and back when on foot, but to move forwards when driving you would need to hold down RT/R2 to accelerate.

A screenshot of the Watch Dogs: Legion Control conflict screen.

It is also possible to create three different custom control schemes. To create a custom profile, choose the control that you want to change, and press A or Cross to reassign it. You can now select the button that you want to swap this action to. If there is a potential conflict with the controls, the game will give you three options: assign action to another button, leave unassigned, assign anyway.

In this example we have tried to move Parkour over to R2, which also acts as Sprint. We can either swap these buttons, leave the action unassigned, or map them to the same button. Mapping to the same button means that when holding down RT or R2 to Sprint, we will automatically vault over and climb any obstacles whilst sprinting. This could potentially be helpful as it means that it is possible to run and do parkour moves at the same time by only using one button, but could also mean that the player would accidently vault or climb over things unintentionally when sprinting.

Invert Options

Within the Controller settings there is the option to invert several controls. You can invert the Camera’s X Axis, the Camera’s Y Axis, Movement X Axis, and the Movement Y Axis.

Sensitivity

There are the options to change both the looking and aiming sensitivity separately. This means that if you needed general camera control to be more sensitive but wished for a lower sensitivity when aiming down sights, you could set each to your preference.

Aim Snap

A screenshot of Watch Dogs: Legion combat showing the player controller character in third person viewpoint with a gun raised and aimed at an character in the street coming towards them.

You can adjust how strongly you would like the camera to snap onto targets when aiming down sights. This can be set to Off, Default or Strong. Please note that within the Accessibility settings you can set “Aim Lock On” to On or Off. With this setting On, the Aim Snap option that you choose has no impact. Therefore, you can only use one of these settings at a time.

Aim Magnetism

This setting adjusts how strongly the camera movement slows down whilst aiming down sights at targets. It can be set to Default, Strong or Switched Off. It can potentially help by making aiming/shooting more accurate if you are aiming at a specific area of an enemy, such as when trying to carry out a headshot for example.

 Movement Settings  

Within movement settings you can adjust how sensitive you want the movement to be when on foot, when driving (steering), when controlling drones and when controlling the Spider. Increasing the sensitivity leads to faster response times.

Autodrive

A screenshot demonstrating Autodrive in Watch Dogs: Legion. The player controller vehicle has a path or blue arrows leading the way ahead of it in the street.

There are many vehicles that you can drive in Watch Dogs: Legion to travel around London, including cars, trucks, motorbikes, boats and large drones. Some of the cars, trucks and buses have the ability to utilise an option called Autodrive. You can do this by tapping A or Cross when your vehicle is either stationary or moving at a low speed and you will begin to follow the road. If you wish to travel to a specific location, you first need to set a waypoint on the in-game map. Once you have done this, tap A/Cross to start to Autodrive. The vehicle will follow the rules of the road and may take longer to get there than if you are driving it yourself, but can be a way to get to various locations if the you need a break or find driving difficult. Press A/Cross again to switch off Autodrive. Some of the vehicles that have this option will have a ((A)) logo on the windscreen. Note that motorbikes, boats, drones and all other vehicles do not have the Autodrive option.

We hope that this post has been helpful in highlighting some of the options in Watch Dogs: Legion. If you have any questions about video game accessibility, please Contact Us.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla | Accessibility Settings

Warrior looking over landscape
A screenshot of Assassins Creed Valhalla.

Assassins Creed Valhalla (PEGI 18) is an action-adventure game with a large open world to explore and a variety of quests to complete. The game is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, PS4, PS5 and PC. It has a variety of settings, including controller remapping, aim assists, automatic riding and sailing, options for quick time events and a range of difficulty options.

In this post we will be covering some of the gameplay and control settings related to motor accessibility within the console versions of the game.

A screenshot showing the default controls of Assassins Creed Valhalla.

The game’s controls are complex, and full access requires the majority of the controller. However, there are several options that can make the game a more accessible experience for some players.

You can access the options from the main menu, or at any time during gameplay by pausing the game, pressing D-pad Left and scrolling down to Options. We will be covering some options that are included in the Controls and Gameplay Settings menus.

Control Settings

To help with accessing menus, you can change how long you need to hold down a button in order to change a setting.

Toggle Options

A screenshot showing the Toggle options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

You can toggle several in-game moves such as Crouch, Aim Down Sights, and the button to access the quick wheel. Switching the toggle option on for any of these actions allows you to tap the button once to start, then tap again to stop, rather than holding the button down throughout the action. Some players may find this helpful if keeping buttons held down is difficult or tiring.

Invert Joystick Movement

A screenshot showing the Invert joystick options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

There are multiple options for inverting certain joystick movements, such as the Raven vertical controls, the X and Y axis in general gameplay, and the X and Y axis when aiming down sights.

Swap Joysticks

A screenshot showing the Swap Sticks options in Assassins Creed Valhalla

There are several settings for swapping joysticks (making the left stick act as the right stick and vice versa). There is the option to swap sticks in menus only, in gameplay only, or for both menus and gameplay at the same time. Whichever you choose, this only changes your controls when accessing this game, and your controls will stay the same when accessing other games and the console’s operating system. 

Button remapping

A screenshot showing the button remapping in Asassins Creed Valhalla.

As well as swapping joystick functions it is also possible to remap button and trigger inputs and you can swap most of the controls around. You cannot, however, map button presses to joystick movements or vice versa.

To swap a button, select the in-game action that you would like to swap, then select the input you would like to remap – e.g click A or Cross, for example. Then press the button that you would like to swap this action to. If you swap to an input that may create a conflict with another control, a warning will appear on screen. If you change your mind, press Y or Triangle to reset the controls back to default. As with swapping sticks, this only changes the controls within the game, not the menus.

Gameplay Settings

There are several settings that you can change in the Gameplay options that might be helpful.

Quick Time Events

A screenshot showing the Quick Time Events options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

At times the game will present you with a Quick Time Event. An example would be when attempting to stealthily assassinate high-level enemies, which can involve needing to press the correct buttons at the correct time. There is the option to change controls for Quick Time Events from repeated presses to a button hold, to a one-time press, or you can switch them off completely.

Aim Assist

A screenshot showing the Aim Assist options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

Assassins Creed Valhalla has Aim Assist options to help with accuracy for long-range attacks such as firing your bow. The assists options are Partial, Full, Light and Off.

Difficulty

A screenshot showing the Combat Difficulty options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

There are several settings for difficulty, so that you can customise the experience more fully. Having separate levels of difficulty may be useful if you are finding that stealth and exploration is the correct level of challenge, but that combat is tricky, for example.

Combat difficulty varies from easy to very hard and Stealth difficulty varies from easy to hard. The Exploration difficulty setting adjusts how much information the game provides for you on screen, and how much you will need to discover manually through exploration, with Adventurer guiding the player the most, and Pathfinder offering the least guidance.  There are three options for Exploration difficulty.

Guaranteed Assassination

A screenshot showing the Guaranteed Assassination options in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

Some of the more powerful enemies in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla can survive an assassination and you may find yourself in combat with them after a stealth kill attempt. The Guaranteed Assassination option means that most enemies are assassinated with a single stealth attack. Please note that even with this option enabled, some enemies, such as Zealots, cannot be assassinated.

 Automatic Horse Riding and Automatic Sailing

A screenshot showing the automatic horse riding in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

When riding your horse you can hold down the X or Square button to follow the road, which means that your horse will automatically ride along that road. If you have a destination selected on your mini map, press Y or Triangle to automatically ride to that destination.

A screenshot showing automatic horse riding in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

When you are set to either follow the road or have selected a destination, a mark will appear in front of your horse which shows the path it is following.

A screenshot showing automatic sailing in Assassins Creed Valhalla.

You can also automatically sail when in the longboat by holding down X or Square to follow the river, and then press Y or Triangle to sail to your destination, if you have selected one on the map. If your boat crashes at any point, you may need to start this process again to continue. As when riding your horse, you get a mark on the screen which shows the route you are taking when set to follow the river or when set to sail automatically to a selected destination.

Fast Travel

There is also often the option to Fast Travel. To do this, you must unlock the various Fast Travel points on the map by heading to the Raven markers and climbing to the top of the towers.  Once you have these unlocked, you can select them on the map and Fast Travel to these locations. You can also Fast Travel to any towns or settlements that you have already visited. This means that you do not always have to manually travel across the entire map or use the automatic horse riding/sailing features if you would prefer not to. 

We hope that this post has been useful. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Low Force Controllers

Xbox controller on mounting arm
Two low force controllers

For some players, the buttons and the analogue sticks on a standard controller can be too stiff to press and move. To help with this there is a range of low-force/lightweight options available, ranging from modified standard controllers to specially-made joysticks and buttons.

In this post, we will focus on Lightweight Controllers, which are standard controllers that have been modified to make the sticks and buttons require less force to move and press.

There are also other low-force options which may help to make gaming more accessible – see this post for more details: https://gameaccess.info/low-force-joysticks-and-switches/

Lightweight PS4 DualShock controller

A Lightweight PS4 DualShock controller

The Lightweight PS4 DualShock is a standard PS4 controller which has been modified by the removal of the rumble packs to make it lighter in weight, and the reduction in stick resistance so that they require significantly less force to move them in each direction. The buttons also require less force to press them. It is not possible to modify the Share, Options or the Touchpad Click buttons and so these are all of the standard resistance.

If you find that the shape and size of the DualShock 4 is right for you, then it is possible to get the Lightweight PS4 DualShock controller to work on PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles via an adaptor, such as a Titan Two. The Lightweight PS4 DualShock is available to purchase from OneSwitch: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=282

Lightweight PS4 Hori Mini

A Lightweight PS4 Hori Mini controller

If reaching both sticks and the buttons on the standard DualShock 4 is difficult, then the smaller sizer and different shape of the PS4 Hori Mini can be a potential solution. It is worth noting that the controller does not have rumble motors, motion controls or a touchpad, although there is the option to hold down the ‘TP’ button and move one of the analogue sticks to emulate touchpad swipes.

A lightweight PS4 Hori Mini is also available. It has low-force sticks and buttons which could potentially help if the sticks and buttons on the standard Hori Mini controller are too stiff to move and press. These controllers are modified and sold by OneSwitch: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=283

Lightweight Xbox One controller

A Lightweight Xbox One controller

The Lightweight Xbox One controller is a modified Xbox One controller that has its rumble motors removed to reduce the overall weight. It also has low-force analogue sticks and buttons, so it requires much less force than a standard Xbox One controller to activate the majority of the controls. It is not possible to modify the the D-pad and sync buttons, so these are of the standard resistance.

These controllers are particularly helpful for those who can reach all, or most, of the controls on a standard Xbox One controller but find that the controls themselves are too stiff to move and press. This controller works on Xbox One and the Xbox Series consoles.  If the size and shape of the controller suits the user better than other controllers, then it is worth noting that they can work on the PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch consoles by using an adaptor such as a Titan Two.

The Lightweight Xbox One controller is available to purchase via OneSwitch: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=284

Button remapping

If physically accessing all of the controls is difficult, it is also worth noting that all of the current consoles allow for button remapping at a system level (see our article on how to remap controls) and that some mainstream games have reduced control schemes and other accessibility settings that can potentially help.

We hope that this post has been useful. If you have any questions, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Low Force Joysticks and Switches

A picture of two Celtic Magic low-force joysticks

For some gamers, physically activating all of the controls on a standard gaming controller can be difficult. The design of the controllers means that the buttons and sticks can feel stiff to press and move for some people, and reaching around the controller to access all of the controls can also be difficult due to their size and shape.

To help with this there are a range of low-force/lightweight options available, ranging from standard controllers that have been modified, to specially made joysticks and buttons. In this post we will focus on low-force joysticks and switches. If you would like to read about lightweight controllers, please read this post: https://gameaccess.info/low-force-controllers/

It is worth noting that if you can use part of a standard controller but need access to other controls through low-force joysticks and/or switches, this may be possible by using Xbox’s Co-pilot feature or by using a Titan Two adaptor on other consoles.

  Low-Force Joysticks

If reaching both sticks on a standard controller is difficult, there can be ways to add external low-force joysticks. These can be positioned wherever the user can access them, such as by their hands, feet, or mounting them by their chin.  It is possible to get the following working using an Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), which is designed to work with PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles and can also be used with a Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PS5 by using a Titan Two adaptor.  All of the joysticks mentioned in this post are analogue.

Celtic Magic J2 Light Force Joystick

A picture of the Celtic Magic J2 Light Force Joystick

This joystick comes in two options, requiring either 60 grams or 20 grams of force to activate the joystick movement. It comes with a 3.5mm jack cable which can be plugged into either the X1 or X2 slots on the XAC to act as either left stick or right stick movement and is attached to a base which can make it easier to mount. At SpecialEffect, we often put Dual Lock on the base of these controllers and position them using Manfrotto Variable Friction Arms for users who use head/chin movement to access the joystick.

Celtic Magic J3 Light Force Joystick

A picture of the Celtic Magic J3 Light Force Joystick

Similar in many ways to the J2, this joystick is in smaller housing that is slightly tilted towards the user, potentially making it easier for some people to access with their finger or hand. It has a smaller base, meaning it may make it easier to mount to a desk or tray whilst potentially fitting a second joystick and some low-force switches nearby. The joystick is available in either 60 gram or 20 gram activation options and can be plugged into the X1 or X2 ports on the XAC.

For the J2 and J3 joysticks, plus other options, please see this link: https://www.celticmagic.org/xac-buying-options

Celtic Magic Feather Joystick

A picture of the Celtic Magic Feather Joystick

The Celtic Magic Feather is a USB joystick that can also be purchased as a mouse option. It has adjustable sensitivity that can go as low as only requiring 5 grams of force. The joystick model is compatible with the XAC. It comes in a variety of different stands and with several different joystick tops. It can be purchased via Celtic Magic: https://www.celticmagic.org/feather

Below are images of some of the other joystick tops available for the Celtic Magic Feather Joystick.

A picture of the Celtic Magic Feather Joystick
A picture of the Celtic Magic Feather Joystick

XAC Mini Joystick

A picture of the XAC Mini Joystick

The XAC mini joystick is compatible with the XAC and comes in both standard resistance (similar to the resistance of a standard console controller analogue stick) and lighter strength options. It is possible to plug the joystick into the X1 or X2 slots on the XAC to act as the left or right analogue stick, or you can choose the USB connection option to use the L or R USB slots on the XAC. It also includes a switch port to act as the left or right stick click. The XAC Mini Joystick is available via OneSwitch: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=270

Low-Force Switches

If reaching and pressing all of the buttons on a standard controller is difficult, accessibility switches can be a helpful option. These can be plugged into a variety of switch interfaces, including the XAC and used either instead of or alongside a standard controller. Switches can be made to act as whichever button the user needs them to be and can be positioned wherever they can activate them, such as by their fingers or toes. The following switches are digital and are all low force.

Ultra Light HD Switches

A picture of an Ultra Light HD Switch

These are small light-pressure switches that are easy to mount by using Velcro on the base. We often find these are especially useful for people to activate using either finger or toe movement and they only require a small amount of force (28g) to activate them. The Ultra Light HD switch can be used with a range of switch interfaces that accept a 3.5mm jack, including the XAC. Due to their size and shape, it is also possible to fit them into small spaces or to position several close to one another. They require the least amount of pressure to activate when compared with the other switches in this post.

These switches are available in the UK via OneSwitch: https://www.oneswitch.org.uk/art.php?id=264

They are also available from the US via ATEC: https://atec-inc.square.site/product/at-ultra-light-hd-switch/2?cs=true&cst=custom and Marblesoft: https://www.marblesoft.online/ultra-light-hd/

Logitech Small Buttons

A picture of a Logitech Small Button

Three of these buttons come as part of the Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit, and they require the least activation force (56g) of any of the switches included in the kit. They can be useful for those who need a round switch that does not require a huge amount of force.

Light Touch Buttons

A picture of a Logitech Light Touch Button

There are four Light Touch Buttons included in the Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit. They require more force (actuation force: 59g) to activate than both the Ultra Light HD switches and the Small Switches, but provide a nice alternative for someone who needs a switch of this size and shape that requires more physical pressure.

To see more about the Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit, please see this link: https://www.logitechg.com/en-gb/products/gamepads/adaptive-gaming-kit-accessories.943-000339.html

Sip and Puff Switches

These come with a tube which can be positioned near to a person’s mouth, so that they can sip/puff on the end to provide two separate inputs, which in turn activates two different buttons. These can be plugged into the XAC to act as whichever button the user needs. These are available from: https://www.liberator.co.uk/sip-puff-switch-with-headset

If physically accessing all of the controls is difficult, it is also worth noting that all of the current consoles allow for button remapping at a system level (https://gameaccess.info/how-to-remap-controls-on-xbox-one-ps4-or-nintendo-switch/) and that some mainstream games have reduced control schemes and other accessibility settings that can potentially help.

We hope that this post has been useful. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Dirt 5 | Settings Overview

 

Dirt 5 (PEGI 12)  is an off-road racing game developed by Codemasters and is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles and PC. The game has a range of settings, from controller remapping to auto braking, that may be helpful for some players. This Settings Overview, filmed from home with SpecialEffect OT Joe, looks at the console version of the game when played with a controller, with all footage captured on a PS4.

More posts on accessibility features in games can be found on our site using the Accessibility Feature tag.

If you have any questions, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page.

 


Video by Cara Jessop

Music: Mood – Instrumental Version by WEARETHEGOOD from artist.io

Video Transcipt:

Dirt 5 is an off-road racing game for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles and PC. In this video we’ll be focusing on the console versions of the game, with all footage captured on a PS4. The game has several settings which can potentially make the game a more accessible experience for some players and we’ll be focusing on these settings and how they may help.

In the main menu, if you head down to Profile and then down to Settings you will find several options. You can also access these options by pausing the game at any time during gameplay. First of all we will look at input settings where you can remap your controller. First click on your device – here we are using a wireless controller – and by clicking on that we go to Input Bindings. Dirt 5 allows you to remap your gameplay controls but not the controls for the menus. Therefore, for full menu control you will need access to the Left Stick, face buttons and either L1 and R1 or both bumpers on both Playstation and Xbox. It is possible on Dirt 5 to remap digital controls to analogue and vice versa. Therefore, you could map Accelerate and Brake to Forwards and Back on the Left Stick and play some races and game modes using the Left Stick only. Please note that you may need other buttons such as Handbrake in certain races and game modes. To remap, press the Cross or A buttons to select the control you want to change, then press the button or stick direction that you would like to change it to. If you would like to reset the individual control that you have remapped back to default, hold down Square or X. To change all controls back to default hold down Triangle or Y.

Press R1 or RB to move across to the advanced settings. From here you can fine-tune your control options to suit the control device that you are using to play the game. You can adjust these settings to best suit your needs. Hold down Square to reset the individual setting that you have just changed back to default and hold down Triangle to reset all of the settings back to default.

Going back into the menu click on Driving Aids to see a range of different assists. There are five different difficulty settings ranging from very easy to very hard. There are also three different presets for the various assists. The standard is intermediate, with all assists set to low and auto brake set to off. Advanced switches anti-lock brakes to low and all of the other assists are switched off. Casual changes all of the assists to high with auto braking on. Changing any of the assists to a different setting within a preset changes your preset to Custom, which means you can tailor how high or low you want each assist to be. Holding down Triangle or Y resets back to the intermediate default settings. With the full assists on you can race by holding down the accelerate button and using the Left Stick for steering. The braking assist means that even with the accelerate button permanently held down the car will slow down at corners. The game does require the accelerate button to be physically held down with no toggle option for accelerate. With auto-braking on you may find that at times you need to come off the accelerate button to get around some of the more difficult corners. You may also want to brake manually at times to avoid crashing into other cars.

Dirt 5 has an Arcade mode where you can select a track and a variety of different cars all of which handle differently and take part in offline races and time trials. This can be a great way to play the game but also as a way to practice to see which assists work best for you before heading into the Career mode or racing online versus other players.

Many thanks for watching this video. If you have any questions about video game accessibility then please contact SpeciaEffect.