Deaf Players Can't Hear Voice Lines

Blizzard, it is time for you to make Overwatch deaf-friendly environment. We deaf players have been oppressed for couple years. The game lacks the accessible for the deaf players.

  1. Voice Lines
  2. Incoming sounds
  3. Communications
  4. Subtitles

1 . Voice lines are the most important part of game. There are five top examples how game is unfair to the deaf players.

  • McCree’s Deadeye: “It’s high noon!”
  • Solider 76’s Tactical’s Visor: “I’ve got you in my sights!”
  • Genji’s Dragonblade: “Ryūjin no ken o kurae!”
  • Pharah’s Barrage: “Justice rains from above!”
  • Junkrat’s RIP-Tire: “Fire in the hole!”
  • Etc
    Imagine, McCree or Solider behind deaf players had no idea what is going on while hearing people will hear the alerts then hide.

2 . The footsteps give sounds so deaf players will be countered by an enemy unexpected. So Blizzard should add footsteps radar detect.

3 . Blizzard should allow deaf players to custom their wheel communications or mods to call out like WoW.

  1. There are several short scenes don’t have any subtitles left the deaf players clueless what it was about.

I still remember when Jeff himself said that he was exited to work on this… like a year ago

(is it really that hard? like really? its been a year since we see subtitles for the first time which was the Uprising event, i doubt is that hard to add subtitles and is something important…)


At the very least, adding subtitles for ultimate queues should be in the game. That’s something that should have been added from the start.

Maybe it’s because of multiple lines going off at once? I don’t know. But there definitely should be subtitles for some things at the minimum.


If not subtitles at least the icon of the hero that are ulting? (incase that happens)


I accidentally posted this without finishing it. I tried to edit but Blizzard blocked me and said that I overly negative it. I’m not sure how can I delete this post and re-do

Forum Moderator Note: I’ve unlocked your OP but please do not change the topic title again.

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Part of me wants to say subtitles should have been easy.

Then I think for a moment and the first thing I think of is that subtitles would affect Dva’s MEKA somehow and cause a game bug.

Subtitles, yeah sure why not, but making it so that someone who’s deaf can be aware of footsteps and other environmental things, idk how they’d do that, and idk why you’d think that’s something every game should/would have.

It’s different if Jeff promised such features, but if he didn’t then I’m not surprised it’s not in-game. You’re deaf, you should expect for some disadvantages in gaming.

But yeah, Subtitles for ults should be easy enough to do and I can’t see a reason to not put them in-game.

Could be. At what volume should subtitles appear? What if having subtitles and no sound is more beneficial than playing without subtitles and with sound?

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This was something i was thinking…if they gave a bunch of special make-it-easier features for someone who can’t hear, it could possibly be a situation where ppl who aren’t deaf are using them for an advantage…idk, I’m sorry but I can’t see how they could do but so much to help someone who’s deaf, and I don’t blame them.

If there’s anything they CAN do, that will be fair for EVERYONE, then sure - do it. But I have to wonder about the volume thing like Kyaw said…but i guess they could determine a distance range for the subtitles to appear…idk if that would make it more fair.



It is not hard to put subtitles.

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I am hoping for a feature to assist the deaf players of our community more!

I know in Minecraft (weird example), they have subtitles for that reason - it’ll point you in the direction of the sound (indicating left or right), as well as the sound. I imagine they could implement a system of the sort that would only give you subtitles for audible cues if they are within a range (i.e. footsteps being subtitled only if they are within a reasonable distance from you, not if the sound is barely audible for anyone), and would indicate the sound of an ultimate being cast from anywhere on the map since it’s audible from everywhere.

I’m hoping this happens soon, as well as the colorblind assist. :frowning: It would be such a helpful accessibility tool.

I’m wondering if it’s possible to create a headset for deaf players, and instead of sounds, it’ll vibrate to simulate what’s going on around them.

This is something to email to game-wear manufacturers, too.


This will sound harsh, and unfair, because it is, but that is not my fault, this is just just how the world operates. So brace yourself.

Blizzard, as a company, or any company for that matter, can’t afford to please everyone, that is just impossible, and counterproductive from a business standpoint. So the product is built with the majority in mind. The world isn’t fair, never was, never will be.

Subtitles on the other hand, have been in games for a long time, so go figure why they didn’t implement them, ain’t that hard either. Maybe it has to do something with the balance, i don’t know.

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Honestly even subtitles akin to how TF2 does it would go a long way as a temporary solution. By the very nature of the game I feel like deaf players will always be at a disadvantage, which is a shame. Regardless though I think the wheel communication customisation should 100% be a thing. I don’t use Request Healing, Emote, or Understood on the wheel. I have keybindings for them. I’d love to be able to swap them out.

For people questioning how this could become unfair – if you have no sounds on at all, you should be able to activate subtitles.

Even if you limited to just ultimate voiceline subtitles, that would be a HUGE step up to not being able to hear anything at all.

About a month ago I was lucky enough to meet a Blizzard employee (won’t disclose any details about him for obvious reasons), and we had a really good conversation about the status of the Deaf Community in OW and other games. I myself am not deaf, but in school to be an interpreter. He reached out to someone in OW to discuss the status of adding deaf friendly things, and it felt great knowing that Blizzard IS listening.


I’m not even deaf and I still miss ult callouts when fricking 5 of them are stacked.

Subtitles would help a lot.

I completely agreed with you. 100%.
I wish they had some free time so they could be willing to listen to us once then we will be good.

For example,
Player 1: “Nerf this!” (This text color will be blue, of course)
Enemy 1: “It’s High Noon!” (This text color will be red)

It’s pretty simple, right?

It’s very frustrating for me because I can’t hear the enemies behind me even though I wear the hearing aids and headphone. It’s still not helpful.

Hopefully, Blizzard will just add subtitles as soon as possible. That should be an easy task. Overwatch without subtitles for almost 2 years. Now, it’s time.

Of course, we can turn on or off subtitles whenever we want.
Subtitle: [ ON ] / [ OFF ]
Advanced settings:
Voice lines subtitle: [ ON ] / [ OFF ]
Friendly ult lines subtitle: [ ON ] / [ OFF ]
Enemies ult lines subtitle: [ ON ] / [ OFF ]

Look at this example. It will be fantastic for people who really want subtitles


I can’t imagine playing this game deaf. I get messed up enough just by teammates talking because then I can’t hear footsteps properly.