Dead Space | Motor Accessibility Video

Show Transcript

Dead Space [PEGI 18] is a survival-horror action game. You play as Isaac Clarke who’s an engineer exploring a ship that’s been overrun with alien creatures and tries to uncover the source of their existence.

In this video, we will be taking a look at the motor accessibility options in the game, including the extensive contextual remapping, which may enable players to use certain inputs less often and the Aim Assist Magnetism option.


Before starting a game, you have to choose a difficulty. You can choose between Story, Easy, Medium and Hard, and once you complete the game on any difficulty, you unlock Impossible difficulty.

If choosing Story, enemies are at their weakest and your character deals the most damage compared to when playing Easy or Medium.

Easy will require more shots than Story to take an enemy down and you will take more damage.

Hard and Impossible are where enemies deal the most damage and your character deals the least amount of damage compared to lower difficulties.

The difference between Hard and Impossible is that the autosave function is disabled on Impossible so you have to make a manual save whenever you want to save your progress. You can only have a single save slot for Impossible difficulty, compared to the other difficulties where you have multiple save slots where you can save your game to.

If you are defeated in Impossible difficulty, then you revert to Hard Mode where autosave is enabled again.

You can change the difficulty at any point in the game by going into the Gameplay Menu and selecting Difficulty. You can change to any difficulty with the exception of Impossible Mode which you have to start a new game for.

Controls Menu

To give you an idea of the controls that are required in-game, here is a controller layout. The layout shows the majority of the inputs on the controller are used.

You can remap almost all of the controls to create your own custom button, trigger and stick layout, including remapping the individual directions of the Left and Right Stick. You cannot remap the Share button or the touchpad swipes.

Something we often do at SpecialEffect is offer players the choice to use a ‘walk forwards’ button rather than using the Left Stick for movement. If you wanted, you could do this in Dead Space using the remapping option. As an example, if using the PS5 Access controller, you could use an accessibility switch to walk forward with, rather than using the default, which is holding Left Stick Up.

To do this with the Access controller, you would assign L1 to be walk forward in Dead Space, for instance, and assign one of the extra inputs on the Access controller to also be L1. You can then hold down a switch that’s connected to the extra input to walk forward and then use the Right Stick to move the camera left and right which would turn your character. This will remove the ability to strafe left and right and walk backwards, but some players may find that this preferable than using two sticks.

You can also remap inputs for several contexts, including walking, combat, aiming, flying in zero gravity, and menu navigation. It can, however, give you greater flexibility if an input’s being used in one context but the same input isn’t suitable for you in another context. Mapping by context can reduce the frequency that you need to use some inputs.

For instance, you could use a particular input for different things for multiple contexts. For example, if R2 is difficult to use in the context of aiming, you could remap Shoot to R2 from Square. This means you can still reload when not Aiming, and also Shoot whilst Aiming.

It is worth noting that these contexts are not always entirely independent of each other and can cross over if you remap between them. For instance, if you remap Shoot to Cross whilst aiming, you will still interact with an item if nearby, if Cross is still mapped to Interact.

The remapping menu also has options to reduce buttons, such as when selecting a weapon. By default, you can assign a weapon to a quick-select menu which you can then select by pressing a D-pad direction, with up to four weapons that you can quick-select. Rather than dedicate a single input to select one weapon, you can map a button to the Previous Weapon or Next Weapon actions, which are unassigned by default. You could then press a single button to cycle through all the weapons currently assigned to your quick-select. This can reduce using up to four buttons to a single button.

Control Presets allow you to choose a controller layout. You can choose between a custom layout, a default layout, or a layout similar to the ones found in Dead Space 2 or the original Dead Space 1.

You can adjust the Stick Sensitivity for both the Left Stick and Right Stick movements simultaneously.

The sensitivity of the R2 and L2 buttons can be adjusted, ranging from 0–100.

The Stick Dead Zone can be adjusted for both sticks, ranging from 0-100. This means you can change at what point an input is registered when moving the joysticks.

You can also do the same for the R2 and L2 Buttons Dead Zone.

You can reduce the Vibration Strength from 100 down to 0. This can be done in increments of 25.

You can individually adjust the Camera Speed for both the Y-Axis and the X-Axis, ranging from 0 to 100. When set to zero, the camera will not move at all when moving the Right Stick, so the lowest value where movement occurs is at one. You can Invert the Camera’s Y-Axis which swaps the up/down camera movements.

Gameplay Menu

Single Press Quick Time Events will allow you to complete quick time events, such as escaping enemy grabs, with a single button rather than performing repeated tapping actions.

Turning on Sprint and Toggle Mode will allow you to sprint by pressing the L3 button rather than holding it.

You can also turn on Aim Toggle Mode by pressing L2 to enter Aim Mode rather than holding it.

Log Close Mode allows you to close any collectable audio log by either a hold or press of the Circle button.

Automatic Weapon Swapping will swap out your weapon automatically when you run out of ammo for that particular weapon.

Aim Assist is turned on by default. However, if you’re still having difficulty aiming, the following settings may help: Aim Assist Friction slows down the camera movement when aiming near an enemy.

Aim Assist Magnetism keeps the enemy locked on whilst aiming. You can move in a left or right direction and the aim will remain locked on until you move in the opposite direction or when you stop aiming.

You can adjust the Aim Assist Magnetism Duration which dictates how long the aim assist magnetism lasts for. This ranges from 0–100.

Orient View to Locator Path will point the camera in the direction of the current objective when pressing R3.

Recenter View will recentre the camera after the Right Stick has not been moved for a few seconds.

Show World Input Prompts will display which buttons need to be pressed when near doors, openable containers, and when taking off or landing in Zero Gravity.

When navigating your map using the D-pad buttons, you can cycle through moving around the map and zooming in and out by using L1. You can change whether you interact with L1 with a Hold or a Toggle by changing the Map Zoom Mode option.

We hope you found this video useful. If you have any questions about the motor accessibility of this game, please get in touch with SpecialEffect.

For game developers interested in more video examples of motor accessibility features, please visit the SpecialEffect DevKit at

For instance, if you would like to find out more about Remapping options like the Dead Space offers, then you can find the modules related to this in Section 2: Action Mapping.

Dead Space [PEGI 18] is a survival horror action game that’s available on PS5, Xbox Series and Windows PC. You play as Isaac Clarke who’s an engineer exploring a ship that’s overrun with alien creatures and attempts to uncover the source of their existence.

In this video, we will be taking a look at the options that may improve the motor accessibility of the game for some players. This includes the extensive contextual remapping option, that can enable players to use certain inputs less often, and also the Aim Assist Magnetism option, that helps keep your aim locked on an enemy whilst you and they are moving.

We will be taking a look at the console version of the game. However, all settings can also be found on the PC version. Footage has been captured directly off a PS5 console.


0:00 | Intro

0:31 | Difficulty Settings

1:55 | Controls Menu
             Controls Overview (1:58)
             Remapping (2:13)
             ‘Walk Forwards Button’ on Access controller (2:28)
             Contextual Remapping (3:20)
             Next Weapon Action (4:18)
             Controller Layout Presets (5:00)
             Stick and Trigger Sensitivity (5:14)
             Stick and Trigger Deadzone (5:40)
             Vibration (6:00)
             Camera X and Y Axis Speed (6:09)
             Invert Camera Y Axis (6:27)

6:36 | Gameplay Menu
              Single Press Quick Time Events (6:39)
              Sprint & Aim Toggles (6:48)
              Log Close Mode (7:06)
              Automatic Weapon Swapping (7:15)
              Aim Assists (7:22)
              Orient View to Locator Path (7:59)
              Recenter View (8:08)
              Show World Input Prompts (8:16)
              Map Zoom Mode (8:26)

8:44 | Outro

8:52 | Game Developer Information

The information in this video is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing (April 2024).

Developer Resource:

SpecialEffect DevKit logo

For game developers interested in more examples of how developers have increased the motor accessibility of their games, the SpecialEffect DevKit is our free developer resource:

For instance, if you would like to find out more about adding mapping options like Dead Space offers, then you can find the modules related to this in the Action Mapping topic, such as:­­

For settings similar to the toggle options found in Dead Space, you can find more information in the Input Interactions topic, including:

For more information on adding sensitivity and deadzone settings such as those found in Dead Space’s menus, you can explore the Analog Sensitivity topic, which includes the following modules on this:

  • 4.2 Inner Deadzone (as with Dead Space’s Stick and R2 and L2 Button Deadzone settings)
  • 4.5 Action Values (as with Dead Space’s Stick and R2 and L2 Button Stick Sensitivity settings)

Finally, for examples of how other developers have approached game difficulty, you can find more information in the Assistance topic, including:

Video by Tom Williams

Music: Man with Roses – Poison Message and Skygaze – Hug me