Accessibility Suggestions, Requests & Problems

InsaneInsane Anomaly Join Date: 2002-05-13 Member: 605Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts, Future Perfect Developer
Hi all,

Those of you that follow our Roadmap may be aware that we are doing an accessibility push as part of our final polish phase before 1.0. We think it's important to make as much of a push for accessibility as we can before we hit 1.0, and to carry that forward to future projects, so that as many people as possible are able to play our games. Our current aim is to hit all the relevant guidelines on the Basic tier and to that end we've reviewed the game internally and are drawing up plans for how to fix the areas we need to improve.

But here's where you come in. We'd also love to hear your suggestions for how we can improve the accessibility/inclusiveness of our games. What in Subnautica has made it difficult or impossible for you to enjoy the game? This could be anything: vision, hearing, motor, cognitive, etc. Is there anything you think we did that helped you? Do you have any suggestions for what we could add or improve? We're not looking for general gameplay feedback here, unless it's a specific aspect of gameplay that makes it difficult for someone with a disability or other impairment to enjoy the game.

We won't be able to fix or implement everything in time for 1.0 but we'll read everything and keep it in mind for anything we do in the future.

If there's something you want to bring up about accessibility or inclusiveness but don't want to do so in public, feel free to email me at

Thanks everyone!


  • XzanronXzanron Join Date: 2016-12-21 Member: 225299Members
    The only real issue I have is in VR. The PDA is too close to my eyes and causes me eyestrain and headaches.

    Having an option to set the distance from face would be a real help.
  • suspensionrailwaysuspensionrailway the best country Join Date: 2017-11-01 Member: 233804Members
    The only thing that bothered me was the perspective issues that made object scale hard to judge, which you guys fixed with the FOV slider... So A plus!
  • NtheOtakuNtheOtaku United States Join Date: 2017-11-07 Member: 233875Members
    aeroripper wrote: »
    Not really sure if this qualifies but having an option to turn subtitles on/off would be nice.

    Expanding on this, I think the Subtitles could be divided into subtitle elements (each one controlled by an on/off checkbox) so that you could configure which in-game sounds display subtitles. Here are some of my ideas for some subtitle elements:
    1. Story - Lines of dialogue that are directly involved in the plot (ex. Avery Quinn's lines).
    2. PDA - Lines of dialogue that are said by your PDA or Radio. (ex. "PDA: 30 seconds of oxygen remaining." or "Radio: Playing message.")
    3. Structures - Lines of dialogue that are said by vehicles/seabases you have built. (ex. "Cyclops: Engine powering up." or "Seabase: Warning - Emergency power only. Oxygen production offline.")
    4. Fauna - Noises within earshot of the player that various creatures make. (ex. "Sea Dragon Leviathan: *distant roar*") Another idea I had for this could have the subtitles display where a sound came from in relation to the player. (ex. "Stalker: *roaring close behind you*" or "Sand shark: *roaring outside the base, coming from your left*")
    5. Sound effects - Noises within earshot of the player caused by the environment or constructed structures/vehicles. (ex. "*rolling waves*", "Seamoth: *engine whirring*" or "Fabricator: *laser sounds*")

    I, personally, don't need to use subtitles in order to play Subnautica. However, I feel like having control over which Subtitle elements are shown would make the game much more user-friendly for those with disabilities, as well as Let's-Players or Live Streamers who want to accommodate for their audience.
  • True_BoredomTrue_Boredom Join Date: 2016-08-16 Member: 221418Members
    I'm not colorblind, but having colorblind options would be very helpful.
  • kingkumakingkuma cancels Work: distracted by Dwarf Fortress Join Date: 2015-09-25 Member: 208137Members
    I'm not colorblind, but having colorblind options would be very helpful.

    3d glasses setting? Maybe not immediately, but for the people who can't afford a $400.00 VR headset (such as myself).
  • GoddoGoddo Join Date: 2017-09-28 Member: 233283Members
    I've quite a few suggestions that I'd like to put forward that would allow for quality of life improvements.
    1. Control over the appearance of the general HUD (HP, O2, Food, Compass, etc.). Options like scaling, opacity, placement, colour and others.
    2. The ability to alter, not only the colour of, but the size and opacity of beacons. An "always on" toggle would also greatly assist people in locating nearby vehicles (Whose icons otherwise fade), since they can sometimes blend pretty easily into the background.
    3. This segways into the fact that colourblind options are a must. If the game permitted alteration of the colour spectrum as can be done in Overwatch, that'd be fantastic (If a little bit overkill).
    4. It's been said before, but the distance the PDA is held from the camera should be alterable. It feels unnecessarily closely held to the characters face.
    5. The ability to alter the appearance of the crosshair would also be a good quality of life improvement.
    6. There is a visual mismatch of the cooldown and "ready" animation of the grapple arm since any grapples you fired a long distance can be fired immediately after they are "holstered", whereas short distance grapples require some wait time. Anyone can mistake the holstered state as "ready to fire" and suffer the consequences of a late grapple.
    7. The ability to map combinations of button presses as a single input. Some people might not be able to use normal control schemes, meaning complete button customisation of not only single but several button presses is a must for them to even be able to play the game. Also let us unbind some controls entirely. There is currently no way to remove a keybind entirely unless I've missed something.
    8. The option to let individual vehicles have different control schemes. Some vehicles control differently, and might require a change of keymapping.

  • SnailsAttackSnailsAttack Join Date: 2017-02-09 Member: 227749Members
    Ooh, this is something I've got a few words for.

    For one, there should be some sort of map to guide the player. Not having any clue where I am compared to everything else is very frustrating, and beacons help but do not solve this problem.

    There's also the issue of everything appearing to be very small compared to the player. There was a thread about it somewhere on the forums. I think that this should be modified a bit to make the world of subnautica feel a bit more alien, and like you're a small fish in a colossal ocean.

    Additionally, I'd like to be able to adjust subnautica's HUD positioning on the Xbox One version of the game. Some parts of it aren't visible on my TV.
  • Warden_EternalWarden_Eternal Land O' Lakes, Florida Join Date: 2017-09-19 Member: 233150Members
    Ooo dang- the chatbox doesn't accept this bullet formatting. Uhhhhhh..... see attached? Yeah, just read the document I slapped on there.
  • kingkumakingkuma cancels Work: distracted by Dwarf Fortress Join Date: 2015-09-25 Member: 208137Members
    Add more lead. We need more lead.
  • KinraiKinrai Australia Join Date: 2017-11-08 Member: 233893Members
    I feel like the HUD needs major improvements in VR or a complete overhaul

    The inventory is hard to use, and too small. It's annoying transferring things in and out sometimes.

    I consistently have focus issues when various elements of the hud overlap, and weird things happen.

    I have several problems with the FOV while in vehicles in VR. Often I find myself standing behind my own body, etc. The only way to fix this is to get out and swim around a bit, which can be very deadly :/

    A very common issues I've found with the Cyclops is while using the cameras. Whenever I hop out and back in, (checkin radar, etc) it behaves weirdly and changes my characters position. Very frustrating.

    A rework of the quickslots would be nice, as it's sort of hard to use with a controller right now. Especially with the annoying method of "press to add to quickslot" and it just moves the others along. Makes it nearly impossible to have the emergency things in good slots, like having the Seamoth/Stasis Rifle in the first slot to facilitate quick escapes from death.

    The swimming 'follows where you look' mechanic is very nice, and the Seamoth may be able to benefit from it?

    I find myself getting stuck on debris in the wrecks while I'm trying to get out, while not visibly getting stuck on anything.

    The scroll bars of the HUD are very hard to use. Maybe add a way to scroll up and down without having to look at them and click?

    An option to enable toggle sprint would be nice. So press the sprint button and the character continues sprinting until you stop.

    I have subtitles on, and they're constantly just out of my field of view, at the very bottom of my view in VR

    When trying to activate things in the cyclops (silent running, decoy, shield, cameras etc) I find that I have to aim above or below them to actually hit them. This is deadly in combat :/ . This also applies to just about anything I want to active if I'm not swimming.

    When extinguishing fires in the Aurora, it's sometimes hard to actually hit the fire even when aiming at it, and can burn you without actually being there.

    A way to view the radar while watching from cameras would be nice, and maybe activate some things like Sonar. In VR, the option to turn the camera around doesn't see very much use, as the "Look where your head is" conflicts with the camera moving.

    When you enter the Aurora proper (With the office to the left and the stairs down to the debris and further into the ship) The debris blocking you that you're supposed to use a propulsion cannon to clear can easily be jumped over with a little bit of cleverness. The same goes for the debris in the PRAWN bay on the left side. No idea if this is deliberate or not.

    The Gasopods pods explode time isn't lengthened by the stasis rifle's freeze.

    The Cyclops sucks power if silent running is on but the engine isn't, and sucks power if you leave the engine running while leaving the seat. Big pain.

    The alien facilities need work, as they consistently take control from your character. Placing tablets, trying to deactive the weapon, etc.

    I'm really enjoying the game! I fell in love with it without VR, but with VR it's just incredible. Thank you for making such an awesome game, and I hope my suggestions helped! Give me a shout out if you need anything tested :smile:
    I'll add more things I notice once I actually head down into the ILZ and ALZ
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Members
    edited November 2017
    For accessibility, I would like to see some improvements made to the keyboard control scheme. There's some actions that really should be split out over separate keys, but are currently bound together so that rebinding the key doesn't really fix the issue.

    The main culprit here is the the left hand and use keys being bound together. In most games I have E set to use so I have more control over what I'm doing instead of it being so context dependent. Not to mention the disconnect between using LMB to enter a vehicle, but E to exit.

    A related issue is the inconsistent use of esc, tab and RMB to exit menus.

    Also, the map suggestion above could be of great use to someone who was cognitively impaired (it also helps that at least according to recent forum polls and posts there's a lot of interest in an in-game map anyways). In a more general sense, discoverability (especially for some necessary resources) has always been somewhat of a problem. Maybe some thought could be given to minimize the aimless wandering at times to find wrecks/fragments or new resources to unlock blueprints.
  • Area52Area52 Netherlands Join Date: 2017-12-02 Member: 234206Members

    I have a small issue with the htc vive, whenever im in the Cyclops and i switch back from camera view, my body position is turned, i need to use the vive controller to reset my sitting position,and when im in the cyclops, my pointer is off, i have to click on engine slow to start the engine,or silent mode to go to camera... And idd the PDA is to close to the eyes and i cant read the subtitles, they are zoomed in to far and not in view.

    But overal BEST GAME IN AGES!!! love it in VR!!!

    Oh i love the creative mode, but more kinds of coral and plants would be awesome!
  • DarlingCowsDarlingCows Join Date: 2017-05-23 Member: 230713Members
    For me things and my player keep slipping through the floor. Things like my Prawn suit, table coral, and me slipping though. It is sometimes an easy fix but if the prawn suit slips though then I could lose it forever.
  • ManiAx4ManiAx4 Germany, Hamburg Join Date: 2018-01-11 Member: 234952Members
    I have a wish for the Cyclops...
    I need a tiny power transmitter for the cyclops, so i can charge up all cells, when im near to my base.

    I think this will help a lot.
  • FlubberFlubber Sweden Join Date: 2018-01-21 Member: 235342Members
    How about light switches so you can enjoy the awesome neon lights in some rooms?
  • JerychJerych Join Date: 2018-01-29 Member: 236200Members
    edited January 2018
    Where can I purchase a legitimate copy of Subnautica without having to go through Steam? My reasons for not using Steam are personal, not technical btw.

    Would I still be able to download or update Subnautica with a non-Steam purchase? Would it incur additional costs? Would I essentially have to re-purchase the game to get the updates, similar to a subscription fee?

    Any answers, contextual information and links are appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • mesharimeshari Kuwait Join Date: 2018-02-01 Member: 236458Members
    Please make a switch version for subnoutica
  • Darwin-EvolutionDarwin-Evolution France Join Date: 2015-06-07 Member: 205310Members
    meshari wrote: »
    Please make a switch version for subnoutica

    And I thought asking for multiplayer was too far XD
    meshari wrote: »

  • darkslayer2701darkslayer2701 Join Date: 2018-02-04 Member: 236847Members
    I bet it was already suggested, but indication for heat charging for prawn/cyclops would be nice.
  • SgtHawkSgtHawk Join Date: 2018-02-13 Member: 237545Members
    Hi Insane
    I guess you got your answer, though rather indirectly.
    You need to use plains simple words and short sentences to cater for all the reading impaired people out there (seems to be around 90%). That way someone might have understood your question... ;)
  • Jarod997Jarod997 Ottawa, Canada Join Date: 2018-02-05 Member: 236869Members
    edited February 2018
    Amalgamate your save-game files. I know it's probably more human friendly to have multiple files for one save-game, but having the computer open (and close) over 520 files just to load a game puts a strain on the system! (And that's assuming you open and close each file only once. :P )
  • ervin0072002ervin0072002 Jacksonville FL USA Join Date: 2018-02-20 Member: 237977Members
    edited February 2018
    The one thing i would like to see is a power grid as a separate object. Disconnecting power from base would allow us to invest in multiple structures that connect to 'a' powergrid object. So a base 'has a' powergrid connection. A power source belongs to 'a' power grid. You can have multiple power grids and 'a' base can only link to one. But when two or more powergrids link using power transmitters then the two grids are removed and the list of owned items and connections is transfered to 'a' grid i.e. it all transfers to existing grid B or grid C or a third NEW grid D.
    -Would significantly increase the value of power transmitters.
    -Also allow players to have less maintenance and start up work for a secondary base.
    -This way you place a nuclear reactor near uranium sorces, bio near your main base, solar in shallows, thermal in the lava zone. And anything near a linked power transmitter has power.
    -This may also make it easy to prioritize power. Constructed first only gets you so far. By having the ability to number power stations you can opt to use solar then thermal then bio then nuclear. Least impact to the environment. You have some real health nuts and eco nuts here in this game. Ur damn fault for making such a pretty environment nobody wants to ruin it.

    P.s: This can lead to autopilot. Since power transmitters are line of sight with some simple commands and proximity sensors you can set cyclops or seamoth to autopilot follow a power transmitters power line.
  • raziel23xraziel23x United States Join Date: 2018-02-20 Member: 237989Members
    I was thinking it would also help with base locations if you was allowed to repair the abandoned bases around the game.
    This way you can use them as bases as you follow the quest lines.
    In doing this as your progress the story line you can in a sense as you use these bases look through the eyes of the crew that previously created these bases.

    In doing this you would have to collect some resources to do the repairs on the structures that was totally broken off the bases to reattach them but also save you a ton of time and grinding to build a base.

    I find it strange that some of the bases are not that damaged and could in a sense be easily repaired and used.

    I find that many of the places the bases are at would be locations i would build my self and since the structures are in locations already I am unable to build there or have to build around and the real-state wasted.
  • MrMadscrappyMrMadscrappy Doncaster Join Date: 2018-02-19 Member: 237917Members
    The habitat builder bugged me a little I don't understand how it dosnt keep the item on until you selected a different item its mainly for large foundation building and long tubes instead of going back on the menu to choose the same item again
  • MrSinister357MrSinister357 Join Date: 2018-02-24 Member: 238201Members
    i only have two small request's and thats a bigger multi-purpose room i was thinking of a room around the size of the moonpool would be great that way you could set up one room for fabrication another for breeding and one as bedroom etc etc just an idea and an option to turn on the story line to follow in creative mode i think it would be fun though im mainly to see a bigger room other than that im loving the game im glad i bought it
  • narfblatnarfblat Utah, USA Join Date: 2016-05-15 Member: 216799Members, Forum Moderators, Forum staff
    This is for making Subnautica play more possible for players with a disability or impairment, not general gameplay suggestions.

    My accessibility suggestion: the footprint for build/can't build is green/red, do these look the same for colorblind players? If so, maybe have a colorblind mode which uses magenta.
  • Orihalcon_ZAOrihalcon_ZA South Africa Join Date: 2018-02-13 Member: 237535Members
    Request: Single plant planters for outside please! A little wasteful to build full exterior growbed just to plant a single Creepvine for light :)
  • NomanNoman Cape Town Join Date: 2018-02-26 Member: 238313Members
    Disable HUD option will be nice
  • DragoBotDragoBot Join Date: 2018-03-24 Member: 239452Members
    edited March 2018
    Would be awesome if when your Seamoth is destroyed the upgrades can be found in the rubble, it's a real pain when you loose your seamoth and an even bigger one when you loose all of the awesome upgrades attached

    also, maybe modifications for the Seaglide to allow it to go faster or have a brighter light?
This discussion has been closed.