A PUBG Mobile Colorblind mode is now on the development agenda. A release date might still be a ways off, but it’s good news for those (like me) who struggle with some of the game’s UI choices.
Accessibility in games has come a long way in recent years. Advancements in eye-tracking technology have enabled those with extremely limited motor skills to play games they otherwise would have been incapable of experiencing for themselves. Even recently, Microsoft has made serious strides in accessibility features by developing the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a fully modular controller system designed to get convert even breaths into input options.
Now, Tencent and the PUBG Mobile team are beginning to make strides, too. Putting the point directly to the people over on the game’s official subreddit, PUBG Mobile community team member Ocho began asking colorblind players to chat with him to discuss how the development team can better accommodate for their limited color vision.
Colorblindness is complicated”, said Ocho. “…it’s not just 1 thing that we can change and it’ll fix it for everyone.” And he’s right. Colorblindness comes in many different forms like Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia, with each denoting the color combinations those afflicted have great difficulty perceiving. Combined with a game with many UI elements and different colored set-pieces can make spotting enemies, differentiating team colors, or even reading vital text incredibly difficult. First and foremost, the developers appear to be interested in “simple options that address common issues” – like reticle color options – as “a whole new UI for color selection” would “take longer to schedule and get resources allocated for.”
If you happen to be colorblind and decide to share your advice and suggestions, giving clear explanations is best as “it helps educated our team on potential future pitfalls in creation UI and gameplay elements”, suggesting your thoughts, if not directly implemented, might at least stop any more limiting design choices creeping into the game.
Colorblindness is a hereditary condition and it isn’t all too common. Ocho’s comments suggest the PUBG Mobile development team are currently without a colorblind person, making player-submitted advice and suggests all the more important.
As for when (or even if) these issues might get ironed out, we’re told that they “can’t promise fix dates” or even that they’ll “be able to address every issue”. But, as many a G.I. Joe episode will tell you, knowing is half the battle. It’s worth noting that the PC (and presumably console) versions of PUBG already include reticle and blood colorblind options.
If colorblind issues are ever resolved, they may only come in patches beyond 0.15.0. According to the community team, 0.13.5 is “mostly locked”, 0.14.0 work has already been significant, and up to 0.15.0 may already have been planned out and worked on. “We’ll do our best to do something”, ends Ocho in reply to an eager comment, “but it’s unlikely to be quick”. For reference, the PUBG Mobile 0.13.0 update launched in early-mid June.
As a deuteranopia colorblind person myself, it’s always great to hear of the condition being acknowledged. Many games have surprised me in recent years by launching with robust colorblind modes and filters. And while there’s never a one size fits all fix for colorblindness, even just small tweaks can make a big difference in creating a fairer competitive environment for more people.