May 10, 2024

4 Min Read


XDefiant Accessibility Spotlight

XDefiant is launching on May 21, bringing fast-paced multiplayer gunfights to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The free-to-play shooter launches with five different game modes, 14 maps, and 24 weapons with 44 attachments, meaning players have a lot of options when it comes to what to play. The development team at Ubisoft San Francisco is also ensuring that players have options when it comes to how to play. We spoke with CeeCee Smith, XDefiant's associate director of live operations, to learn how they're working with the community to support XDefiant's accessibility efforts long after the game launches.

[UN] [XD] Accessibility Spotlight - screenshot 1

How does the XDefiant's design philosophy overlap with the team's approach to accessibility?
CeeCee Smith: Although XDefiant is a fast-paced first-person arcade shooter, that shouldn't limit the team's capability to provide a thoroughly accessible experience for our players. That said, the team is mindful when it comes to game design. The game is being developed, in part, from player feedback. From now to launch and beyond, we intend to continue our philosophy of listening to our community and how we can make improvements to the game - and that includes receiving feedback from our accessibility community as well. 

Where did the team start when designing for accessibility? How does XDefiant compare to other games in the genre?
CS: Ubisoft San Francisco has some strong advocates for accessibility. We had the opportunity to hear about how the team at Rocksmith+ approached accessibility in a thoughtful, holistic way, and even though we're creating two completely different games, it was really inspiring. In-studio collaboration along with research on the advances being made in games was really the starting point for us.

We know there are some games out there that have done some great things for accessibility. To me, something that has set us apart from other games is our relationship with the community. The ability to have open conversations on platforms like Discord about different features, this is going to be a key piece for us in terms of how we can be better developers for accessibility and how we plan for where we want to go post-launch.

What are you excited about when it comes to accessibility, at launch and beyond?
CS: This goes hand-in-hand with the previous question, but for me, something that we understand is that we are going to have limitations from the beginning, but that's going to be temporary. We're going to learn a lot about the game at launch based on player feedback and being able to see how players are interacting with the game itself. We're also really excited about the innovations that will come to the game in the future, including accessibility features.

[UN] [XD] Accessibility Spotlight - screenshot 4



  • High contrast readability and navigation - to add high contrast behind text; also passed contrast tests for common forms of Colorblindness
  • Readable text - text chat displayed with a background, can pause text chat to scroll through messages
  • Color reliance minimized - no information is communicated by a fixed color alone


  • Text To Speech for Lobby, Team, and Party chat enables translation of text into speech
  • Menu narration can be enabled.


  • UI text and elements used to locate and customize chat functionality are displayed with a background
  • UI can be navigated and operated using digital inputs
  • Separate volume sliders for UI navigation cues
  • UI navigation to locate and operate chat requires only one action at a time
  • No request for input or interaction has any kind of timeout or time limit
  • No gameplay is required before accessing the text chat


  • No press & hold to engage with any UI 
  • Inputs used in navigating the UI used to locate and customize chat functionality are not on a capacitive touchscreen or touchpad

XDefiant launches on May 21 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. To learn more about how the development team is learning from players, check out the team's key takeaways from the closed beta.

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