Forza Horizon 5 Series 5 adds ASL and BSL sign language accessibility feature

Forza Horizon 5 Preview Screenshot
Forza Horizon 5 Preview Screenshot (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Forza Horizon 5 is an excellent open-world racing game from Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios.
  • The title has already won numerous awards for its industry-leading accessibility and inclusive design.
  • On Mar. 1, 2022, the Series 5 update will add long-awaited ASL and BSL support to Forza Horizon 5.
  • People who use sign language can use these accessibility features with all in-game cinematics and narratives.

When Forza Horizon 5 released, it came with the promise that ASL and BSL support, two variations of sign language, were coming to the game in the future. Even with this landmark accessibility feature missing at launch, FH5 still won numerous awards in the industry for its inclusive design and its wide array of accessibility features. On Monday, Playground Games revealed that the long-awaited sign language support is finally arriving in an upcoming update.

With the Forza Horizon 5 Series 5 update, which updates the FH5 Festival Playlist with new challenges and rewards, players who are hard-of-hearing, deaf, or use sign language can take advantage of the new accessibility feature and improved localization. The feature overlays a video of an interpreter translating in-game narrative to ASL or BSL.

This allows players to understand more nuance and emotion from Forza Horizon 5's dialogue than they otherwise might have. ASL and BSL are able to convey far more than ordinary subtitles are able to, especially if sign language is a player's first language. The feature also includes various options like changing the background color, position of the video, and more. Alongside this new feature, Forza Horizon 5 also supports keyword highlighting, which highlights important words or information in subtitles to make them more noticeable and easier to understand for players.

When developing Forza Horizon 5, Playground Games made accessibility and approachability a core pillar of design, with the same priority as any other part of the game. Throughout the process, it collected feedback from the disabled gaming community on accessibility features they want to be implemented, places where improvements could be made, and more. One of the goals for Playground Games is to set a precedent for other studios to explore, especially with the addition of ASL and BSL support.

The Series 5 update is arriving for Forza Horizon 5 players on Mar. 1, 2022, and will include a lot more than just these accessibility improvements. Series 5 itself will kick off on Mar. 3. Forza Horizon 5 is already one of the best Xbox racing games available, and it continues to become even better with every single update. Playground Games wants to make the game approachable to more players than ever before, while continually adding fresh content and features over time.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.