In Hell, All Fonts Are The Size Of Doom Eternal’s

In Hell, All Fonts Are The Size Of Doom Eternal’s

Please, not like this.

For some reason, I thought we were finally starting to turn a corner on tiny fonts. More and more games that launched with them were also getting patches to fix them. The Outer Worlds even got its font-size update updated.

But now Doom Eternal is here, and despite adding twice as many types of demons as the 2016 game, it’s carried over one of that game’s worst sins: tiny menus, subtitles, and tutorial prompts that are pretty much unreadable unless you have your face smooshed up against the screen. The game is not prone to subtlety. There are secret collectibles literally marked by giant, glowy question marks. Meanwhile the descriptions for which weapon mods make explosions and which up your rate of fire read like an Infinite Jest footnote. Come on Doom Eternal, you had four years!

This is what it looks like when a button prompt pops up.


And this is the pool of white smudges you need to pick apart in order to read about your loadout.


Finally, did you want to learn more about all the new enemies in the game and the half dozen ways you can brutally disfigure them?


Good luck!

Reading’s not the most important thing in Doom. The most important thing in Doom is moving fast and making squishy things go splat. And yet, try as it might to channel the simple, unadulterated action of classic first-person shooters, Doom Eternal is a modern game coming out in 2020 and thus a game with plenty of words. Some of these words pop up in the middle of some really intense shit. Not being able to quickly make sense of them and then file them away breaks up the flow.

Or maybe they’re simply another obstacle to be navigated on the road to bloody redemption. Bloody because of all the dead demons. And also my eyes. My poor, poor eyes.


  • Wow they are seriously painful to read. For me it more about the colours and the font type. They remind me of the recent sign placed on our snack machines at work. They put new card readers in, suddenly everything had a new and hidden 50c surcharge, only on closer inspection it was stated in tiny white writing, on a bright blue background. So all but unreadable. In that instance I want to believe its colour palette was designed by someone knowing it would unreadable, in DOOM it seems like someone missed the art class about correlation between colour and readability, and the importance of using the right font for the right job.

    • I’d say you’re on the money with the issue being more the font and the colours.

      The text size simply doesn’t seem that bad to me at all.

  • Not getting the need for an article about this. Is it the most legible font ever created? no. Is it still perfectly legible from the tiny 432p thumbnail images you’ve posted in this article? yes. An argument could be made that it needs options to assist people with related disabilities, but this is not mentioned in the article.

    • I personally love articles like this, small and unreadable fonts are a bugbear of mine.
      I play games sitting a distance away from my TV and you may have no trouble on your phone but viewing those pics full screen they’re difficult for me to read. I’ll probably wait until this gets patched.

  • i hated the font colour change in Skyward sword and Monster Hunter Generations ultimate when they change to Red it becomes unreadable

  • Those colours with those fonts are a graphic design nightmare. I think I’m in the minority, but I’m not a fan of the way the new DOOM titles look at all, but even then these fonts and colours just don’t work – they’re hard to read, visually grating and don’t even fit with the DOOM style they’ve gone with in the game itself.

    I didn’t have any interest in Eternal beforehand, but this is just terrible across the board from a visual standpoint.

    • The white on purple in the last screenshot is definitely not how it looks on my computer. I am guessing the author has turned on some of the colour blindness options for that screenshot.

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