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How to Enable Closed Captions on an Xbox Series X | MakeUseOf

If you want to activate the closed caption feature on Microsoft’s Xbox Series consoles, here’s how.

Microsoft has been taking huge steps in gaming accessibility. From the Xbox Adaptive Pad, which is used by gamers all around the world, to high contrast menus for those with visual impairments, Microsoft's efforts are making a difference to many people.

The Xbox Series X has a whole host of accessibility options, including the ability to set up closed captions at system level. This article is going to take you through the process of setting up closed captions on your Xbox Series X.

What Does Setting Up Closed Captions Do?

Setting up closed captions is slightly different from enabling subtitles. Subtitles will only display a dialog on the screen in your chosen language. They’re useful when watching a foreign film or trying to learn a new language.

Closed captions, however, also display any non-speech elements. They identify who is speaking and will also move around the screen when necessary to ensure important on-screen information is not obscured. Closed captions are usually used by deaf or hard-of-hearing users.

Enabling closed captions at a system level means they will automatically work on any DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and some on-demand services you use which support the service.

One thing to note; closed captions currently aren't compatible with games, so they are slightly restricted. However, many developers are making efforts to ensure games are more inclusive.

If you want to see other approaches to inclusivity in the gaming industry, then check out some of the ways developers are making games more accessible.

To navigate to the closed captioning menu, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the Xbox Guide by pressing the Home button on your controller.
  2. Head to the Profile and System menu (the one with your Xbox Avatar).
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Ease of Access > Closed captioning.

How to Change Closed Caption Settings on Xbox Series X

The closed captioning menu presents you with three options; Off, On using default style, and On using a custom style.

The default style uses a simple white text against a black bar and has a relatively small font that won't obscure the screen. If this doesn't work for your needs, using a custom style will allow you to change almost everything to make closed captions easier to read.

If you want to place bright green text against a bold pink backdrop, you can do this with custom styles. Other options include text size and transparency, as well as the window color, caption size, and caption style.

The sheer amount of personalization means that enabling closed captions isn't just for hearing-impaired users. Sight-impaired gamers can also use them, too.

Related: Colorblind Windows Users: Try This Trick to Better Distinguish Colors

If you struggle to see the default caption style, setting up black text against a white bar may make a huge amount of difference. Watching a film with poor lighting? Setting closed captions up with bolder colors ensures it'll always pop against the darker settings.

Closed captioning is a system-level change, so once you've set it all up, your settings should automatically activate when you use any service that supports closed captions.

This means that you shouldn't need to go into the menu of closed caption supporting services; the option will already have been selected before you even launch an app.

Closed Captions Are Now Ready to Use

Closed captions are available across a wide range of devices, not just Microsoft's Xbox Series X console. It may not be compatible with all games and apps, but setting it up is a great one-time adjustment can be made on your console.

Once you have closed-captions set up, you'll then be able to relax in the knowledge that it will work with compatible DVDs, Blu-rays, and on-demand apps.