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Color Blindness Feedback

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  • Developer

Hello folks!

We've added a few color blindness options to Oxygen Not Included and we're looking for feedback on things we can make better for you. 

In the testing branch so far are modes for Protanopia and Deuteranopia with changes to the Automation Overlay, Decor Overlay and Crop Overlay.

If you have these forms of color blindness, please let us know how the modes work for you and if there are any changes we can make to make them more effective. If there are other overlays or parts of the game that are difficult for you because of color, please let us know.

If you have any other form of color blindness, let us know and we can look into those as well. I looked into a Tritanopia mode, but I believe most of our issues are with red-green and I don't expect that to cause issues for people with Tritanopia. Of course, if that's not true please let me know and we can look into it! :)

For information on how to join the testing branch and to see more exhaustive patch notes, click here.

[Edit: just an update to say that this is a living venture, and though we're out of testing we would still love to iterate on this! Particularly, I believe that a fully robust set of color blind options won't exist without feedback from folks so please keep the thoughts coming! :)]

Thanks for your input!

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My colorblindness is more protanomaly and deuteranomaly (decreased sensitivity to red and green light, but not completely blind to those colors). In my case, both modes are extremely helpful; I prefer the protanopia correction since the colors are more vivid to me and thus stand out more. Some more color-related feedback:

  • Extend these corrections to as many overlays as possible, with the germ, room, and harvest overlays prioritized. The germ overlay has been an issue for me for a while: https://forums.kleientertainment.com/klei-bug-tracker/oni/color-accessibility-in-germ-overlay-r20343/.
  • In the power overlay, the difference between strained and overloaded isn't a problem for me, but might benefit from color correction.
  • The light overlay would benefit from using a more vivid color (bright yellow instead of a pale green), since opacity is used to show value instead of different colors.
  • Rails have never been visible for me in the conveyor overlay, so that could use some correction. I guess this has changed recently and I didn't see it at first.
  • In the priorities tab, the checkboxes get darker as the relevant skill increases in value. The exception is that when a skill is at 0, the box is light gray, whereas it is white when the skill is at 1. If there are actually different colors being used, I can't tell (and it always confuses me when I start a new colony). It also doesn't match how that checkbox shading works for consumables (-1 and 0 are the lowest values and are white).
  • On the skills screen, I don't have any problems with the morale bars, but other people might.
  • Tooltips that use the default red and green may need to have color correction.
  • The coloring for insulated, normal, and radiant pipes/vents could be differentiated more.
  • In the materials overlay, it appears that the biome color adjustment is being applied to the highlight colors of buildings. For example: a ladder made of igneous running between forest and ocean biomes has two slightly different colors to me; same with an igneous ladder between slime and corrosive biomes.
  • The colors of the most common elements aren't problematic for me, but it does get more difficult for me with late game elements and their different phases. I seem to remember a post from last year where a few people were talking about confusing element colors, but I can't find it. This applies to the materials overlay as well as the packet colors in pipes/vents.


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As someone with mild deuteranopia, the new deuteranopia color blind mode helps a lot with automation wires, especially ribbons. I was able to tell the difference between red and green wires in general before, but the ribbons were much harder and I had to look much closer at them to tell for sure. The blue and yellow coloring "pops" a lot more to me, as in they are much more differentiable than the red and green to me. I can now easily tell at a glance which parts of the ribbon are "on" and "off".

I never had a problem with the old decor overlay. I could always easily tell the difference between the nice green "good" decor glow and the angry red "bad" decor glow. I don't know how other people with more severe colorblindness see it though. I prefer the default red/green decor overlay personally, the colors read a lot better to me (green = good, red = bad), and I see blue more as being a "cool """hip""" color" instead of as a "bad decor" color.

I haven't really used to farming overlay (F10) much so I can't say I even know if anything has changed there. The red "plant growing" and the orange/yellow "harvest ready" colors look similar to me though so it might be worthwhile to differentiate them a bit.

The Harvest Plants (Y) tool overlay hasn't changed yet, but blue and yellow icons instead of red and green would help a lot for me here.


The previous post's point about pipes feels like something that would affect even someone with normal vision, and hence if they do get changed I feel it would make sense to include the change even without any color correction enabled. The problem I see with them is insulated and radiant piping being similar, with insulated being orange and radiant being more golden yellow. Making the insulated pipes a darker brown color would be a subtle change that could help in differentiating them. The pipe's texture also really helps in telling them apart, particularly when they are in "ghost form". Making those texture differences more apparent once the pipe is actually built could further help in telling radiant and insulated pipes apart.


EDIT: Also there are many strings in the game referencing things like a "green signal" or "red signal" (they might all be for automation things). It would make sense to re-localize them as "yellow" and "blue" signals when colorblind settings are enabled.

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Oh, pretty nice! Some time ago, I made a mod to enable a colorblind mode on the temperature overlay (I have a mild color blindness on the green-red spectrum), but as I forgot to publish the source on Github, I losed it and I couldnt update it to the current build. Is nice to see that Colorblind Mode is now an option on the core game.


I haven't played since then, so I can't provide many feedback... But testing this is a good excuse to get back to the game ;D

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I'm glad you guys decided to add official colour blindness support instead of having to use a mod. I have tritanopia so the greens were a little confusing, but I've been using protanopia and that's helped me see things a little more clearly. If I am being honest, I would like a tritanopia option, but I can understand if you guys would rather spend time on more pressing issues. Thanks for the support though!

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Well, after a quick testing, both Deuteranopia and Protanopia were very ussefult. But there is one problem: The Temperature Overlay.

For me, the biggest problem is the Temperature Overlay, as it's the overlay I use the most, and for now it isn't covered by those colorblind settings. If I try to have a quick gasp of how my base is doing, it is very hard for me to differentiate Temperate and Warm temperatures. In fact, when tere is a lot of variance in temperatures, sometimes its even hard to tell Temperate from Hot.

If you guys want to extend the colorblind setting to the Temperature Overlay, I could suggest what seems to work on my mod: set the "Temperate" temperature to the color Black (Like how it is on the "Comfort Zone" of the thermal tolerance). Just by doing this, you are helping a lot in the task of diferentiate between "Temperate" and "Warm/Hot"...


I attached two screenshots as an example.

  • One contains a capture of the vanilla non-colorblind temperature overlay: Its most of it temperate? Its getting hotter? How much the heat advanced? I can't tell.
  • The other contains an example with the modded colorblind temperature overlay: Now I can clearly see it, the base is mostly temperate, just a little bit hotter further away of the printer. There are other biomes radiating heat, but the heat didn't advanced at all.



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  • Developer

Hey folks!

I want to thank you all for your great and detailed feedback. Like I said in the original post, I'd like to keep working on these options as we continue making the game so that we can meet everybody's needs as much as possible.

I've been working this week on expanding functionality, based on your posts. Upcoming changes in the testing branch include:

  • Rooms Overlay: I looked into giving different room types different patterns (striped/dotted/etc) but this turned out to be quite a huge change. Instead, I looked at the different room types which would need to be most distinct from one another and made colour changes which push those further apart from each other. I think what I've landed on is pretty decent, but I'd be very interested in your real-world experiences with it. Even for the default colour mode, this overlay is more of a "colour carves out space" mode rather than a "colour shows full info". That's something I'd love to fix for both cases, but in the meantime let me know if these options are any better.
  • Germs Overlay: Colour choices are more distinct from one another. I also would have loved to use different patterns/textures for each germ type! But, now the old similar-looking ones should at least be more readable.
  • Power Overlay: Strained and Overloaded colours are more distinct from one another. As well, I made the colour of the "power generator" icon a bit more vibrant so you don't get the muted, dull version.
  • Light Overlay: Change the light colour to a more vibrant colour. I found it a little tricky to read light levels on low-light tiles even in default mode, so this is done in default mode as well as deuteranopia/protanopia.
  • Tritanopia Mode: I have made a Tritanopia mode but this one is a lot harder for me to test. I've been using a Deuteranopia/Protanopia simulator to check all of my changes, but the program I'm using doesn't have a Tritanopia option. I will look into a Tritanopia simulator so I can check the stuff I've been doing @Harryy -- I don't feel super confident putting the mode out without confirming that the changes I made even help!

These should be live on Monday if you'd like to check them out and let me know what you think. I'm going to continue working on this stuff for a while yet in this batch, to try and catch more of your notes. Cracking open the Temperature Overlay and Plumbing Overlay now -- I love your idea for the temperature view @GonDragon, so I will probably start there :) Thanks for the tip!



 Also there are many strings in the game referencing things like a "green signal" or "red signal" (they might all be for automation things). It would make sense to re-localize them as "yellow" and "blue" signals when colorblind settings are enabled.

I considered this, but I wound up not doing so because I didn't want to complicate discussion of automation between players. That said, there is certainly some dissonance when looking at a wire being described as Red when it doesn't look Red... this is a tricky one -- if y'all feel strongly about it we can reconsider.

I want to reiterate that I'm extremely grateful for your help and feedback here. It means a lot!

[edit 06-19 night: I snuck in the changes to the Harvest Tool as well! That will be in the Monday update]

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I like the new plumbing coloring. I had actually initially thought about suggesting recoloring one of insulated or radiant pipes but I considered it too large a change at the time, but here we are. Something I did just notice (and it seems to be true of the stable branch as well) is that insulated pipes only have a unique texture when they are in "ghost"/blueprint mode. I thought they always had a unique texture but I suppose I was wrong, when built they just have the default pipe texture on them. It'd be nice if they had their unique texture when fully built though.


Another peculiarity is that insulated pipes now have a different color depending on the colorblind settings. I'm sure this is likely on purpose, but it is strange that it goes from light blue on normal color to pink or purple on the other colorblind settings. I personally like the purple insulationy color from deuteranopia mode the best, and I think that color would make sense on normal color vision settings as well. (Though really I just think any pink or purple would read better as "insulated" than light blue)


Insulated Pipe colorings by colorblind setting

Normal Vision:






The new germ overlay colors, particularly for slimelung, look good to me. Easier to tell it apart from food poisoning now.

New power overlay colors are also good and the generators now having a distinct color on the wire is also nice, I imagine that it might help players better see where their generators are.

Light overlay feels better.


The new room overlay isn't great in my opinion. I like that the dining hall and barracks have more vibrant colors, but then the bathroom, nature reserve, and stable/greenhouse all have these slightly different purples to them. And then the recreation room is very close to the "miscellaneous room" color. I'm not sure why the bathroom and hospital colors were basically switched either.

I played around in gimp a bit with the chroma and hue sliders to try to pick what I thought were better colors. I based it off of the default colors, but also took the colorblind bedroom and mess hall colors. I then also tried to make "upgraded" versions of rooms (i.e. mess hall -> great hall) have a more saturation. It is definitely not trivial to get good colors, especially when turning up one room's chroma slider makes other similar colors look desaturated. There is certainly room for improvement, I'm not too happy the nature reserve or the greenhouse/stable color, but it's workable.


Default Colors


Deuteranopia Colors (I believe protanopia is the same)


My reimagined colorsreimagined_colors.thumb.png.9a67d66896df68846d19a60358a3daeb.png


On 6/19/2020 at 8:38 PM, jambell said:

I considered this, but I wound up not doing so because I didn't want to complicate discussion of automation between players. That said, there is certainly some dissonance when looking at a wire being described as Red when it doesn't look Red... this is a tricky one -- if y'all feel strongly about it we can reconsider.

That is a good point about not wanting to complicate discussions. I think the current state of things, where the text says "Red" but it is colored blue/whatever, is acceptable.

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Hello guys, something that seems very silly but it make me everytime force my vision to see what is saying is when the device has this red texts.
I have  protonopia color blindnes.

Changing the settings didn't change the apearence of this text.

Sorry for my english and thanks for the efforts, you guys rock!


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On 9/26/2020 at 3:30 AM, sheeplucasbr said:

Hello guys, something that seems very silly but it make me everytime force my vision to see what is saying is when the device has this red texts.
I have  protonopia color blindnes.

Changing the settings didn't change the apearence of this text.

Sorry for my english and thanks for the efforts, you guys rock!


You're english isn't that bad, i've seen worse.

Ah yes, absolute colour (yes, it's a 'colour' with a 'u', TAKE THAT AMERICANS) blindness to red. One of my friends have that, so I stopped laughing at him when he stated that there were blank octagon signs on the side of the road. I told him to look closer. I think he saw the 'stop' on the sign, but faintly.

anyways, anecdotes aside, I'm prot/deuteranoptic (both) and it would be nice if there was an absolute colour deficiency option (absolute prot/deuter/tritanopia) and an absolute colour blindness option.



can't wait for the DLC! you guys make awesome games!

I lose a bit of my soul every time I see 'color' as opposed to 'colour'.

please help

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The difference between the grey and the light pink/purple on the priorities screen is almost totally impossible for me to distinguish at a glance. If I look closely at an individual priority, I can make out that there is a sligght difference, but the contrast is very small for me and hard to figure out. I have protonopia, and the in-game setting does not solve this for me. 



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Hi guys, 
as colorblind, i encounter not so much difficulties in Games, but sometime it's ennoying to have difficult to distinguish status/map data/rarity of object etc...So it's really enjoyable to see a post like this and options ingame about colorblindness. But it's a subtil and quite difficult subject because everyone as a different vision.

When people asking me what color i see here or there etc, the only thing i clearly see is they didn't understand colorblindness.

And, as user-interface developper for web, i encounter this subject quiet everyday, so after some years, i have developped a one way answer not to explain what i see be to give them a tool to be sure i will see a difference between colors.

The main rule for color accessibility is do not display data only by color.

Because the point is, colorblind people didn't see color well, ok, but they perfectly see difference in ligthness and more then that their brain use and learned to trust it for years more than color.(ex: a tree, for my brain, the tree trunk and roots is dark not green or brown, even if i see a color)

So you can use this tip, in few ways:
-firstly as a tool, you can debug  your current 'using color' by applyng black&white filter, and if you can't see difference between 2 things which should be distinguishable, that mean a colorblind will have difficulties for sure! (with the web it's easy in css filter: grayscale(1); see pictures below, as you can see it's quite easy to distinguish color but impossible to know who is who with in grayscaled picture.)

-secondly you can use your colors in synergy with ligthness, in 2 way:
> when you are using color to differenciate item type, (in lot of game rarity of item can be share with color ex in the old wow rare and epic blue and violet, keep the blue clear and violet dark to distinguish)

> in the opposite way if you want to display data, like a color filter ingame, use only 1 color (keep this color in coherence with the data you are displaying, oxygen quantity=> blue) and dispatch the ordered data from light to dark (best example find in a game, cities skyline).

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Hi all!

I'll start by saying that my English is not too good and I often use a translator to build phrases more correctly, and I'm also red-green colorblind. I'm also very thankful to you for this game and even more thankful that you made it into a colorblind mode, which a huge part of other games developers don't do, plus you're trying to improve it in every way possible. That's very pleasant. Especially since even the basic colors without colorblind mode are very, very good. Thank you! Especially for the new temperature overlay!

After seeing this thread, I spent some time playing ONI, carefully looking for ways to improve the game's visual clarity for people like me. Since my advantage is that I'm colorblind, I figured it was my duty to help improve the game, which has become my favorite. And here's what I came up with.



The markings draw attention to the structure. They are almost invisible to a color-blind person like me. They are not conspicuous. I suggest using dark yellow or light orange, as this is the color I (and a couple of my colorblind brothers) associate with "Warning!", "Caution!", etc. signs. Also, this is the type of color chosen in the new temperature overlay for marking hot zones.



As you can see (or not:) ), it is impossible to determine the type of gas in the gas overlay with a drywall on the background. I don't think this is related to colorblindness, but I don't see the point of creating a separate topic for this.



The color of the numeric values is very hard to recognize against the color of the frame. I have to zoom in very close to see something. It is hard for me to judge whether this is related to color blindness, but I decided to write about it.

4. Unfortunately, there is no picture here. The problem of mixing gases and liquids.

The color of oxygen and hydrogen gases in normal basic overlay is almost the same for me. I notice that a cloud of hydrogen has formed somewhere just by the distortion between the two types of these gases and have to constantly monitor this process in the gas overlay. If hydrogen were darker, that would fix the problem.The same applies to liquid hydrogen and oxygen, but because of the storage specificity of these liquids, it is generally not critical. however, in the gas overlay and in the tubes, hydrogen is easy to distinguish from oxygen.

The color of molten lead and petrolium are the same. Faced with the situation of mixing these liquids in an oil biome, I was very surprised, because visually it is clear only from the behavior of the liquid as "mixed". By the way, I have not yet encountered molten sulfur, but I think its color is also very similar, but this is just not critical, because the mixing of these two liquids is unlikely.

The colors of salt water and brine are the same. For a long time I thought that saltwater and brine were different names for the same thing. That they are different, I only found out about a month ago (I've been playing ONI for over a year). Overall, it's not such a big problem because the liquids are very similar in their qualities, but the very fact that it took me so long to see the difference probably points to a not-so-clear visual reflection.

Thank you so much again! The DLC is awesome. I'm having a lot of fun with the solutions you use to make the game look new and offer new challenges, brilliantly using what's already in the game. Big fan of your work and recommend all my friends and people I know with a technical mindset to try ONI. And, as a rule, they remain delighted. 

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Probably unrelated, but the bright spreadsheets of object description could do with a dark mode. Material color being seen for constructed buildings would be fantastic, but that's probably too much effort to add a different hue for all the buildings.

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