Turning On and Using Accessibility Controls on Xbox One

Accessibility isn’t something we tend to think much of when it comes to our devices. Those who do not need these software extras often have a limited understanding of how much those who need them benefit from them. What’s more, most people take a whiff from them and never dive in to see what options are available. Microsoft’s Xbox One console and Xbox Live service exist to bring all kinds of people together for games. This means treating people with hearing loss, vision impairment and other users as first class citizens.

Fortunately, Microsoft does just that, through a host of settings and options. Here’s how to open and use the Xbox One’s accessibility controls and options.

Before You Begin

Before you start enabling accessibility controls on Xbox One, note a few things. First, it will make the whole process a little easier if you use Xbox One Wireless Control instead of the Kinect sensor for Xbox One to activate everything. The new Xbox One Experience software update has dropped Kinect gestures support so you won’t be able to use them. Instead, you’ll have to navigate with your voice if navigating with a remote isn’t an option.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re signed in to your Xbox Live profile.

Setting Up Accessibility Controls on Xbox One

Turn on your Xbox One console by pressing the Xbox logo on your controller or the Xbox logo on your console. Those who own a Kinect can say “Xbox On” if they have the console set to Always Connected Mode.

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Sign in to your Xbox One console by going to the home menu on the left in the guide with your joystick or by saying Sign in with your voice. The voice command is “Sign in..” and your profile name.

Press the glowing orb Xbox logo on your controller to instantly open a settings menu where you can change your accessibility settings.

Fix a frozen Xbox One game.

At the bottom of the notification, you’ll see options to enable a narrator and magnify what’s on your screen.

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Press the View button to the left of the Xbox logo on your controller to open Magnifier. Press the Menu button to the left of the Xbox One logo on your controller to start Narrator.

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For more settings, you can go to the application from the area.

Select it from the menu on the left side of your screen. It is the last option available.

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Kinect users should simply say “Xbox, go to Settings”.

Say “Xbox, Ease of Access” while every word on your screen is still green. If it turns white, say “Xbox”, say “Easy of Access” again.

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Here are all the accessibility features available today.

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Narrator reads everything that appears on your screen to you. Microsoft says it’s best for those taking advantage of this feature to use a keyboard in addition to a controller with their Xbox One. If you have a Kinect, you can always turn the feature on by saying “Xbox, turn on narrator”.

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Magnifier allows you to zoom in on different items with your controller or keyboard. Zooming In and Out is handled by the controller’s trigger buttons and the left joystick. Unfortunately, there is no voice command to open Magnifier.

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The console-wide Captioning switch allows users to read what’s being said in their games and videos, rather than relying solely on their hearing. Again, a voice command to turn this on is missing. All video apps that support streaming on Xbox One have separate buttons to enable subtitles if the video you’re watching supports it.

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High Contrast Mode dumps many of the gradients and coloring in the Xbox One’s interface in favor of brighter highlights and deeper backgrounds so it’s easier to see everything. This can only be opened from the Settings app.

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Finally, there is Button Mapping for the Xbox One Wireless Controller. This feature allows you to change the way buttons, triggers, joysticks and directional pad work in games. It’s especially helpful if a game relies on a button combination that’s hard to reach or doesn’t feel comfortable.

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Microsoft built-in keyboard controls for users who are also uncomfortable getting an Xbox One controller. Also, if you think having voice commands on hand can improve your console experience, definitely consider getting an Xbox One Kinect. this Microsoft Store It sells the Kinect for $150 separately from the Xbox One or $399 with the Xbox One.

Good luck with these controls and your Xbox One.