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I've long hoped for much greater improvements in the accessibility of FM, and have considered raising this topic on the forum for quite a few years. It was a step forward a few years ago when we became able to zoom in and out in-game, but sadly even that feature is extremely limited and it isn't possible to edit the default zoom at all playing on Director cam. Furthermore, the removal of in-built alternative skin choices and the "graphics filter" feature have made it feel like two steps forward, and two steps back.


Note, did any players use the graphics filter feature? It felt like a hidden gem.


As a gamer with sight loss FM is a huge challenge to play, and because of how limited my vision is I have to cut a lot of corners and not do parts of the game that I want to, just so I can actually get through seasons in a relatively reasonable amount of time. And even that "reasonable amount of time" is a whole lot slower compared to the average player.


We have two sections in FM, the experience in a match and then the experience outside of a match in the menus. A lot of the below will overlap between the two because at the end of the day the vast majority of FM is receiving and reading information. I don't speak for all disabled gamers of course, but for me I ust want to be able to play the game without barriers that reduce the level of enjoyment, and would happily sacrifice artistic beauty to achieve that. Just take The Last of Us Part I and II, when I play that with all the features turned on that help me the game is drastically different visually and audibly, but I can play it without assistance so that doesn't bother me at all.


In match:

  • Text to speech and audio narration are life savers for me, I'd love to see some sort of audio commentary feature in FM. It wouldn't even need to be anything too ground breaking either, something as simply as having the name of the player on the ball spoken out loud would be amazing. Aside from presuming based on the position of the player on the pitch, the only way I can interpret who is on the ball at any given moment is pausing the game and zooming in.
  • The contrast between the pitch and ball is often pretty bad, I hear of fully sighted people struggling to see the ball sometimes so I bet you can imagine how much of a challenge it it would be for myself or other visually impaired players haha. For me personally, a dark pitch (dark green if we're keeping the colours of a football pitch the same) with a light coloured ball would be my preference, but even then the ball is so tiny that it would still be hard to track, hence my reference at the start of this post to zoom. At present I can't enjoy goals really, I can't see well enough to make out how the player strikes the ball, the trojectory of the ball and where exactly it hits the back of the net. I can't tell if it has hit the post or if a keeper makes a save, and if it wasn't for the flashing text at the bottom I would not know my team has scored a lot of the time, which as you can imagine is quite disheartening. heck, I'd even love the option to make the pitch totally black, with each team playing in the same kits every match that contrast each other and the pitch, with a ball that also contrasts the pitch. Again, having it not appear like a normal game of football isn't important to me. Despite all this, I do have some useful vision so I'm thankful that I can still manage to play FM, all be it in a very limited way. If my vision deteriorates however, as it will for sure with age, then it will gradually become more unplayable.
  • I referred to spoken audio for the player on the ball earlier, and I think audio queues would be another incredible addition. For example for when the ball hits the woodwork, for when the keepr makes a save, for when a yellow or red card is awarded, so on , so on.


Outside of match, in menus:

  • Menu narration / a screen reader would enhance FM beyond belief for me and I'm sure other gamers with sight loss. Even for those of you who are fully sighted, if you find yourself in the home office at 1am playing a bit of FM how great would it be to have the reading done for you? That's the great thing about accessibility, there's a misconception that it only benefits disabled people but it doesn't, it helps everyone.I'd love to be able to move my mouse curser over any item on the game and have the name of that item read aloud, or be able to navigate through the inbox with my keyboard and have each item read out to me.
  • Appearance of text and menu items: I think the game should have available by default a dark mode, a lighter mode and then something in between, so players have more choice out of the box for how the game looks. Also for a game that is mainly text, more options for customising text and fonts would be great.
  • The star ratings for CA and PA, and the sharpness / condition icons, have nowhere near defined enough colours for me. I think the star ratings need to have clear separation between the background of the game, the empty stars and then the filled in stars, because at the moment I find it too hard to tell how many stars there are, and instead have to hover over and read the label. Even having an option just to switch back to the old number system for sharpness / contrast would be helpful, I think the desire from SI to make that piece of information more realistic by removing the percentages altogether has made it harder for a lot of players to consume that information. Why not give us a choice? I'm a big advocate of players being able to play the game the way they want.

Of course I understand that SI has limited resources, so it feels a bit unfair for me to compare it to something like The Last of Us and say why can't FM be like that? But honestly, with time, why can't it? If I'm right in thinking that SI is based at Here East in Stratford, well guess what? So is the countries biggest disability equality charity, who I have worked for. There's room for collaboration, I think.


What I've mentioned above would only scratch the surface in terms of accessibility, I'd invite any of you to share what improvements you think would make the game more accessible. I come at it from the point of view of somebody with sight loss, but there are many many other kinds of disability out there, all with differing accessibility requirements.


In comms as part of the promotion for this year's game I saw SI list accessibility as one of the main improvements, certainly for the console version. I intended to play the PS5 version, but we all know how that has gone, so I can't speak as somebody who has tested the additions. However, the summary on social media and the website mentioned colour blind support and more in depth inductions / tips? While yes, any improvements in terms of accessibility are welcomed, I did find it a bit underwhelming considering it was listed as a headline feature for the console version. In 2022, colour blind support should be absolutely expected in games with this amount of reach.



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This issue has been raised several times over the years and as far as i can tell SI has been indifferent. The tragedy is that a game like FM would be much, much simpler to make accessible than something like Last of Us since it is largely text and menu based. Sadly, i don’t think the people at SI care enough to get beyond the “oh that must be hard” stage.

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