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How Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was built for accessibility

Respawn’s outlined its at-launch and future accessibility options

Cal Kestis and BD-1 from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s teaser trailer Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts

Ahead of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s April 28 release date, Respawn Entertainment is outlining the customization options aimed at making the game more accessible. The developer posted the options on the Electronic Arts website on Tuesday, while also sharing what it learned from its 2019 release, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Publisher Electronic Arts has made a pledge outlining its commitment to making more accessible games, noting that the team hosted its first “in-house playtests” dedicated to accessibility and design for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Respawn has added both difficulty and accessibility controls in Survivor — everything from subtitles to something the developer is calling “slow mode.” Slow mode is a toggle in the options menu that “allows players to slow down the action of the world in order to ease the challenge of both combat and platforming,” Respawn said in the post. It affects combat, platforming, and timing elements.

“The Slow Mode has been a particularly exciting feature to work on because of its versatility,” Star Wars Jedi: Survivor senior director of development Jonas Lundqvist said in the post. “It primarily started out as a feature that we thought would be helpful in combat, but quickly realized that it could be beneficial for anything that had a timing component. It opens up some of our platforming to be more accessible, allows for different reaction times and helps make the game generally more accessible to a larger audience.”

Here’s the list of options, straight from Respawn:

Control Customization: Players have the ability to remap their controls to suit their needs.

Subtitles & Closed Captions: Jedi: Survivor features numerous toggles for subtitles and closed captions, letting you modify how much detail is in both, as well as letting you decide when you want to see them during your game. You can have them on just for cutscenes or during conversations and battles as well, with directional indicators also togglable.

Visuals: A number of options related to visuals will be available at launch, including HUD scaling, color profile Settings, stabilizing UI dot, color blind options, field of view, camera shake adjustment, and more.

Difficulty Options: Players will have access to four distinct difficulties that allow them to set the level of challenge they want from enemies.

Story Mode — For those who wish to enjoy Cal and crew’s adventure with little resistance from foes. Parry times are generous and damage dealt by enemies minimal.

Jedi Padawan — More of a challenge than Story Mode but gentler than Jedi Knight. Parry times are still somewhat generous though enemies deal a fair amount more damage than they do in Story Mode

Jedi Knight — A challenging adventure. Players will need to hone their reflexes to overcome enemies.

Jedi Master — Offers even more of a challenge than Jedi Knight, with enemy aggressiveness dialed up to keep you on your toes.

Jedi Grand Master — The most difficult option. Parry windows are small and enemies are merciless. This difficulty setting will test your mettle.

We encourage players to choose the difficulty level that will make their gameplay experience most enjoyable, comfortable in the knowledge that there is no difference in the in-game rewards earned and that they can switch between modes during gameplay so long as they are not in combat.

Gameplay Modifiers: Alongside difficulty options, the game also features many gameplay modifiers that can be adjusted at nearly any point in the game. These options include:

- Camera options for auto-targeting

- Button mash options

- Hold/Pull Toggles

- Navigation Assist (including audio ping)

Slow Mode: One of the options that we’re most excited for our players to discover is our Slow Mode toggle, which allows players to slow down the action of the world in order to ease the challenge of both combat and platforming.

Beyond what’s available at Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s launch date, Respawn has more coming, including “a high contrast mode and menu narration.”

“We are far from being finished, but these types of design choices Respawn made are illustrative of how we want to approach making games for all our players,” Electronic Arts accessibility lead Morgan Baker said.

As more studios pledge to make their games more inclusive, games get better. The past few years were big or accessibility and moving that needle forward.

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