Remappable Keys

Remappable Keys

One of the most widely requested accessibility features across the entire gaming universe, for both PC and console, is the ability to reconfigure keys. This easy-to-implement and cost-effective feature can make a difference for both disabled and non-disabled gamers alike. While adding multiple configurations on the PC and console is a step in the right direction, the ability to truly remap the keys to whatever configuration best suits the play style of the gamer, or to put the most important features in an area that fits the gamer’s ‘mobility sweetspot.’

Those who have muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, war trauma, serious injury and a range of debilitating diseases that affect the ability to use one’s hands “normally” benefit greatly from the ability to define their own personal ways to play because each disability is different in the way it manifests itself.

Examples of games with remappable keys done well include: World of Warcraft from Blizzard and Star Wars: The Old Republic from BioWare on PC. Resistance: Fall of Man from Insomniac, Skyrim and Fallout 3 from Bethesda on the console. 

There are numerous examples of games that received serious push back from the community for NOT allowing remappable keys.

However, remappable keys are not a silver bullet that solves inaccessibility and allows anyone to play, as suggested by some in the disabled community. Remappable keys are one of the three must have (along with close captioning and colorblind) options for minimal accessibility, because this simple feature enables play for players with any of a large number of disabilities, it gets the most requests.