Sea of Thieves | Accessibility Features

Screenshot showing an anchor mechanism on . ship deck with rolling sea behind.

Sea of Thieves (Rare. PEGI 12) is a first person adventure game in which players sail the seas as pirates playing either solo or as part of a multiplayer crew.

The game was initially released in March 2018 on Xbox One and Windows PC. Since then the game has regularly received updates. The 2.0.5 update, released earlier this year, added some additional accessibility settings, including some that we often look for in our work at SpecialEffect. The full list can be found in the release notes here: 2.0.5 Release Notes

The Accessibility Settings can be found in the Game Options settings

Toggle Radial Menus – With this setting ‘On’,  players are able to to press their input once to open a radial menu, rather than hold it for the duration of choosing and selecting an item. Pressing the input once more after your selection with the joystick will confirm the item. More info on this setting can be found here: Support for Radial Menus

Screenshot showing Item Wheel with planks highlighted.
Using the Sticky Radial Items setting removes the need to hold the joystick over a item, whilst the Toggle Radial Menus setting removes the need to hold wheel inputs whilst choosing items.

Sticky Radial Items – Turning ‘On’ this setting when using a gamepad allows players to  release the joystick before selecting an item, rather than holding it. More information on this setting can be found here: Support for Radial Menus

Reduce Hold to Interact – Certain actions, such as loading a cannon, dropping the anchor or repairing the hull, require players to hold an input for the duration of the action. Turning this setting ‘On’ allows players to complete these actions with only an initial press of the input. More information on this setting can be found here: Support for ‘Tap to Interact’ 

Utilising the Reduce Hold to Interact setting removes the need to hold an input for the duration of particular actions, such as repairing a hull…
Screenshot showing a canon being loaded on a ship in a stormy sea.
… or loading a cannonball.

Reduce Hold to Use Item – When turned ‘On’ this allows players to toggle an items action with a press rather than hold the input. To stop the action the player will press the input again. For example, this applies to aiming a weapon, playing an instrument or raising a lantern. More information on this setting can be found here: Support for ‘Toggle to Use Item

Screenshot showing a lamp being held in first person perspective whilst crossing a wooden bridge. Sea and islands can be seen in the background.
The Reduce Hold to Use Item setting removes the need to hold the input for some actions such as raising a lamp. Instead an initial press will maintain the action until the input is pressed a second time to stop it.

Additional Guides to the Accessibility Settings in Sea of Thieves can be found here: Accessibility Guides 

*Update* 13/02/20 SpecialEffect occupational therapist Nomi has presented a video demonstrating the settings mentioned in this post:

Show Transcript

Hi and today we’ll be looking at Sea of Thieves. Sea of Thieves is a first-person adventure game where you can play as a pirate either in solo mode or in multiplayer mode with a group of crew mates. The game is available on the Xbox one console and on Windows PC. Some additional accessibility options have been included in one of the updates for Sea of Thieves. In this video we will look at how some of these accessibility options can be applied to how the game can be controlled. These options apply whether you’re using a gamepad for the Xbox One console or whether you’re using keyboard and mouse for Windows PC. In this video we’ll be using the gamepad to demonstrate. The accessibility options can be found by pressing share on the Xbox one controller to bring up the game options. There are two radial menu options which can be quite difficult for quite a lot of the people we work with to navigate they normally require you to press and hold a button and move the joysticks and press multiple buttons at the same time to select. We will look at some of the accessibility options within the games that help with that. Toggle radial menus is one of the options within the game. Normally you would on an Xbox One controller hold one of the bumpers in this case the left bumper to open up the menu and then you’d use the right stick to choose your option and release this bumper to bring it up. When you turn toggle radial menus on it enables you to press the button once to open the menu use the joystick to select what you want and then press the button again to bring it up. With sticky radial items turned on you press and hold the bumper to open the menu and then you use the right stick to select your desired item but you don’t have to hold the joystick in place and then you release the bumper to select that item. To sum up having sticky radial items on removes the need to move and hold the joystick in place while you’re selecting your item and to have toggle radial menus on removes the need to hold the bumper as you’re selecting your item. This can be used together to press a bumper once to open the menu and tap the joystick once in order to choose your menu option. So in this case I would tap the bumper to open the menu tap the joystick into the right direction and tap to the bumper again to confirm my choice. By default some actions require you to press and hold a button in order to carry out that action. For example loading cannonballs into the cannon, dropping anchor and repairing the hole will require you to press and hold a button in order to complete the action. There is an accessibility option called reduce hold to interact which when enabled will enable you to press the button once rather than holding the button to complete the action. By default I would need to press and hold the Y button in order to load the cannon. When I turn on the accessibility option and reduce hold to interact I just need to press the button once and the action will be carried out. So here Ineed to patch the hole normally it takes a button hold of the three seconds or more in order for the action to complete but with reduce hold to interact turned on it means that you just have to press the right trigger once and it will complete the action within that time without you having to press the button for the three seconds. Some items require you to press and hold a button in order to use them effectively, for example to aim your weapon you have to press and hold the left trigger. There is an option in the game to make this easier this option is called reduce hold to use item. By turning this option on it enables you to toggle options such as aiming. Normally to aim with this weapon I would need to press and hold the left trigger to turn on aiming. By turning on the accessibility option I just need to press the button once and it will toggle on aiming for me. To toggle the aim you would press the button to turn aim on you would aim and then you press the button again to toggle aim off. This option also works for raising the lantern and use an instrument. In Sea of Thieves you’re able to remap the buttons and triggers to the different actions depending on the context they are used in which may enable you to use and reuse inputs that you prefer over others. For example when you’re in a rowboat you might find that the triggers are quite difficult to press so you can change the oar strokes to be buttons that you find easier, for example changing the left trigger to A. The right oar stroke can also be changed to make it easier to something like B. Within the gameplay menu there are additional analog options, mouse sensitivity, controller sensitivity, game paddle at dead zone and gamepad response curve as well as additional mouse sensitivity options for various weapons on mouse and gamepad. On Windows 10 and Xbox One you can use a compatible gamepad alongside a mouse and keyboard. Depending on the last input used the suggested button input will change, for example if I use the controller last it will suggest to use X to use the wheel whereas if I use the mouse and keyboard it will suggest F to use the wheel. You can also use the Xbox Adaptive Controller to play the game. For this setup I’ve set up copilot mode, I’ve turned on sticky radial items and toggle radial menu. I’ve then plugged this buddy button into the left bumper to act as our radial menu and then I plugged the ultra-stick to act as the right stick to select an item, I then press the left bumper again to confirm my selection. Thank you for watching and please get in touch if you have any questions.

Video by Cara Jessop

Music:

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Cold Journey” by Alexander Nakarada (https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com/)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Land Of Pirates” by Alexander Nakarada (https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com/)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)