Yesterday’s Madden 18 Update Helps Blind Players Enjoy the Game

A major Madden NFL 18 update released yesterday that tweaked gameplay, and added new features. The most important part of the patch is something that many people will overlook, though. The new update added a ton of vision accessibility options that make the game playable for both the visually impaired, and blind players. It’s a huge step forward for accessibility in games to see one of the biggest yearly franchises make an effort that all gamers can enjoy their game.

Electronic Arts’ Karen Stevens detailed how the vision accessibility options work on Reddit (and also detailed how to turn on these options):

Kick meter rules:

The kick meter has three rumble events, in the following order.

  1. A double-rumble to indicate the meter is moving
  2. A rumble to select power.
  3. A rumble to select accuracy.

When hitting A/X on the kick play, you will feel a double-rumble to indicate the meter is moving.

If you press A/X before the second rumble event, you will have lower power. If you miss hitting the button to select power, it will result in lower power. Press A/X as soon as you feel the rumble for greatest power. Power indicates how far the ball will be kicked.

The third rumble event is accuracy, pressing the button immediately after feeling the rumble is recommended. Not pressing the button at all will result in a wildly inaccurate kick, likely off the field.

The speed of these events is controlled by difficulty level. There is less time to react on higher difficulties.

Ball carrier rules:

If you do not touch the stick, the player will automatically try to avoid players and run towards the end zone. If you wish to steer, use left stick, and keep heading “up” to move towards the goal. If you feel rumbles, that means an opponent is trying to tackle you – B/Circle to try to spin away from opponents, or use X/Square to try to dive with the ball for more yards. See ball carrier section of user manual if you wish to try more advanced moves.

Defense rules:

Your job is to block offense players and tackle the ball carrier. The players will all move automatically if you avoid hitting a stick. Press A if you feel a rumble to engage an offense player or tackle the ball carrier.


When the game starts, one of two things will happen.


If you are on offense, when the commentators go silent, you can kick the ball. Pressing A/X will select the default suggested kick play.

See kick meter rules for details on the kick meter.

Once the ball is kicked, your role will switch to stopping the ball carrier from advancing. Press A/X if you feel a rumble to tackle the player. All characters will automatically move towards the ball carrier. You are now on defense.


If you are on defense – the controller will vibrate to indicate you need to select a play. Pressing A/X will select the default suggested play. Your character will move automatically to catch the ball. Do not touch the sticks until you hear the ball being caught. You are now on offense and follow ball carrier rules.

After kick-off, you will start picking plays.


Press A/X to pick suggested play. Press A/X again to snap the ball (passes it to the quarterback so he can make a play). When you snap the ball, you will feel one short rumble for run plays, and one long rumble for passing plays.

Run plays

You will feel a short rumble if the play is a run play. The QB will hand the ball off immediately, and ball carrier rules apply.

Pass plays.

You will feel a long rumble if it is a pass play. Tap all of the following repeatedly until you feel a rumble: A/X, B/circle, X/square, Y/triangle. In the game, icons appear over each player’s head the first time they are open for a pass. By tapping all the buttons, you are ensuring that the player is open as early as possible. There is no guarantee that a player will remain open. Once you feel the rumble, the ball is in the air and you must immediately stop tapping. Press X/square to attempt to grab catch the ball and run towards the goal, press Y/triangle if you want to attempt to aggressively catch for greater odds of obtaining the ball. Once the passed ball is caught, ball carrier rules apply.

Punt plays

You will feel the kick meter’s double rumble if the selected play is a punt play. Follow the kick meter rules.

Fake punt plays

Rarely suggested, fake punt plays are actually run/pass plays, but attempt to trick the other team into thinking it is a punt play. The kick meter rules apply, but the ball will not be kicked. Immediately after the kick meter rumbles, you will feel a long rumble for pass plays and short rumble for run plays. See the descriptions of those play types above.


Press A/X to pick the suggested play. You will feel a rumble when the quarterback snaps the ball, but it is the same rumble for all types of plays. If you feel another rumble right after this, then the ball was passed and is in the air. Try pressing Y to block it. Swap players using B/Circle and press A/X if you feel a rumble to engage offense players or tackle the ball carrier. Defense rules otherwise apply. Touchdown When a touchdown occurs, there’s an attempt to get extra points. The suggested play will either be a punt play or a fake punt play. Offensive and defensive rumbles and rules apply. After a touchdown, kickoff occurs again, with the ball’s control switching teams.

It’s great to see such a major company like Electronic Arts treating accessibility with the respect it deserves. Anyone that follows the game accessibility scene knows how passionate Stevens is about making gaming more accessible, and it’s great to see her making a real difference at the company. It’s incredibly awesome that more players can enjoy Madden NFL 18 now.

[Source: Twitter]