Arachnophobic Harry Potter fans, rejoice. Developer Avalanche Software has added a new accessibility feature to Hogwarts Legacy that removes spiders from the game. The update coincides with the title’s arrival on PS4 and Xbox One today.
The Hogwarts Legacy update (build 1140773) launched Thursday adds the new Arachnophobia Mode to the game’s accessibility options. It changes all enemy spider appearances to what you see in the image above: a floating meanie with glowing red eyes surrounded by hovering roller skates. The skates are a wink to Ron’s boggart encounter (manifested as a giant spider) in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when students imagine their greatest fears in ridiculous situations that diminish their power; Ron conquers his fears by imagining the arachnid clumsily trying to stand up on slippery skates.
Arachnophobia Mode also “reduces and removes spider skitters and screeches,” “removes small spider ground effect spawners,” and “makes static spider corpses in the world invisible.” However, the game’s creators note that spider images in the Field Guide remain unchanged, so avoid that if static images of spiders creep you out.
It’s the latest example of the gaming industry showing increased sensitivity toward people with common phobias. Similarly, the miniaturized survival game Grounded added a similar mode that turned its spiders into floating orange blobs analogous to those in Hogwarts Legacy. Last month, a patch for Horizon Forbidden West addressed fears of deep bodies of water (thalassophobia). Games are ideally a fun time for all, and a little extra work from developers can go a long way toward preventing anxiety triggers.
The Hogwarts Legacy update corresponds with the game’s launch on previous-generation (PS4 / Xbox One) consoles today. It arrived on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X / S in February. A Switch port is due on July 25th. Engadget’s Jessica Conditt found it “the coolest work of Harry Potter fanfiction in years,” fulfilling a teenage dream of being a witch.