World of Warcraft improves accessibility in latest update with chat transcription, contrast options, and more

World Of Warcraft Shadowlands Torghast
World Of Warcraft Shadowlands Torghast (Image credit: Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Accessibility has increasingly become a focus in video games over the last few years, and aims to make gaming more inclusive.
  • World of Warcraft is releasing a new update today that adds several significant accessibility improvements to the game.
  • Voice chat is gaining speech-to-text and text-to-speech transcription, as well as text chat narration.
  • There are also several other improvements like text contrast options, lighting control, and an expanded accessibility menu.

World of Warcraft is one of the largest MMOs out there, with millions of active players all over the world. World of Warcraft's players come from all walks of life, which means accessibility is especially vital to ensure that everyone can play. Today, World of Warcraft is releasing an accessibility-focused update, which includes a number of lovely accessibility features and a promise to further improve matters in World of Warcraft moving forward.

World Of Warcraft Accessibility Update Image (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

World Of Warcraft Accessibility Update Image (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

World Of Warcraft Accessibility Update Image (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft's accessibility menu is expanding with today's free update to make room for its new settings. There's quite a bit to talk about here, so let's get started:

  • Speech-to-text transcription. Players now have an option to automatically transcribe voice chat channels (from all players) into text, which can be accessed and perused at any time via an on-screen toggle.
  • Text chat narration. Players can also have all text chat narrated to them with a synthetic voice, with a wide number of options to control which chat channels and sources are narrated, the voice, speed, and volume of narration, and much more. There are also new chat commands to accompany this feature.
  • Text-to-speech transcription. Players now have access to a new "Voice" channel while in a voice chat. Anything that is typed into this channel will be automatically read with a synthetic voice to other members of the voice chat party.
  • Quest text contrast. A new accessibility option lets you trade out the low-contrast default background for quest text for a newer, high-contrast option with improved legibility.
  • Specular light control. Finally, new commands let players control the amount of specular light in the world, which controls the intensity of effects like light reflecting off water.

It's always awesome to see accessibility features implemented in video games, especially ones as old and long-running as World of Warcraft (that's played by so many different people). For fans of MMOs, World of Warcraft is certainly one of the best PC games, so it's undeniably important to ensure that all of its many players have a fantastic experience with better inclusivity. Our own Jez Corden recently discussed how Xbox and Microsoft are driving accessibility in gaming forward.

If you're interested in World of Warcraft, be sure to read our full review on the latest World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion to see where the game stands today.

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.