Borderlands 2 Introduces Colorblind Mode

By Jonathan Barnes, 2 years ago
Borderlands 2 has always made its bones on its unique, cell-shaded, colorful presentation. Unfortunately, such a presentation can be a detriment to gamers who are colorblind or who have color vision deficiency (CVD). In a full, very-detailed blog post, Gearbox's Jeffrey “botman” Broome, takes gamers through what it means to have CVD and how a new update to Borderlands 2 will cater to those gamers.

Let's start with the three recognized types of CVD:

There are three recognized types of CVD. Deuteranomaly or deuteranopia (a red-green colorblindness) is the most common. 7% of males and 0.5% of females have it. Deuteranopes have either defective or missing M-cones, so they have problems seeing green. Protanomaly or protanopia (a different red-green colorblindness) is more rare. 2% of males and 0.05% of females have it. Protanopes have either defective or missing L-cones, so they have problems seeing red. Tritanomaly or tritanopia (commonly referred to as blue-yellow colorblindness) is the most rare. Less than 1% of people have it. Tritanopes have either missing or defective S-cones, so they have problems seeing blue. The difference between the “nomaly” type and the “nopia” type is that in the “nomaly” case, the cone is present but not functioning properly. In the “nopia” case, the cone is completely missing. People who are of the “nomaly” type may be only partially colorblind. They may be able to detect more intense shades of a color, but have difficulty when the color is less saturated.
Because pictures (and colors!) are important, here is a visual breakdown of what unaffected gamers see in some of the Borderlands 2 colors versus what CVD-impacted gamers observe.
Color 1

As you can see, there are A LOT of color similarities for impacted gamers, meaning that solutions were/are required!

One of the primary solutions is to swap out some of the color palates (particularly for the Loot Beams) when colorblind mode is active. Here is an example of the deuteranopia swapped palate.
Color 2

Another step that Gearbox is taking is to label the colors for loot items.
Color 3

Color 4

Once this colorblind update is released, gamers will have three, new display options ("Deuteranopia", "Protanopia", and "Tritanopia") available in the Video Options menu. If you aren't affected by CVD, you can still keep the original display colors, too.

The colorblind update for Borderlands 2 will be released in the near future. We'll be sure to update you when it goes live!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.