Monday, July 15, 2024

10 non-binary playable characters

As part of Non-Binary Awareness Week, let’s round up some of the best non-binary playable characters in video games.

A lot of games, especially in more recent times, have begun to roll out non-binary character options, which is awesome. The ability for players to craft their characters to represent themselves, or who they want to play as, is so cool. But, with choice comes the ability to NOT be non-binary too. So for the purposes of this list, we wanted to celebrate 10 playable characters who are canonically non-binary and there’s no avoiding it!

Here’s our pick, let us know in the comments who we’ve missed and who you would include on this list.

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

Billy – Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

Billy is an 8-year-old whose quest to empower the world through colour leads them to make new friends. They identify as non-binary and while it might be surprising that an 8-year-old is clearly identifying as non-binary, the game shows that kids are far more intelligent and open-minded than believed by some adults, and that understanding shines through brilliantly through ManaVoid’s depiction of Billy. Check out our interview with the developers about this here.

LGBTQIA Apex Legends

Bloodhound – Apex Legends

Bloodhound from Apex Legends has always been non-binary since they were first revealed. They proudly use they/them pronouns in-game and it has been confirmed by the developers that they are non-binary, despite some gamers trying to bend this narrative using the evidence that a cis-woman, Allegra Clark, is the character’s voice actor. This even led to a famous tweet exchange where Allegra doubled down on Bloodhound’s identity and was supported by a firm affirmation from the official Apex team.

Desta: The Memories Between queer

Desta – Desta: The Memories Between

Desta is a non-binary adult who returns to their small town home, Hargate, UK. They’ve returned to help their mother sell their family home, an awkward experience considering they haven’t talked to each other for a long time since their father died, and that goes for all their friends too. Desta: The Memories Between stands out as being fiercely LGBTQ because Desta is a non-binary individual who has to deal with a lot of things that often plague the LGBTQ+ community: coming out, misgendering, and trying to find a support system in a world that doesn’t often value people who are different.

Goodbye Volcano High delayed

Fang – Goodbye Volcano High

In Goodbye Volcano HighFang is an anthropomorphic flying dinosaur who is entering their final year of high school. They identify as non-binary and uses gender-neutral they/them pronouns. Unfortunately, just as the school year starts, the residents of Caldera get news that an asteroid is heading for the planet. The character’s identity so canon, it’s even in the game’s official FAQ’s.

FL4K – Borderlands 3

The Borderlands series has one of the most LGBTQ+ cast rosters in any AAA game, so it’s no surprise that one of their playable characters makes this list. FL4K refers to themselves by using they/them pronouns as well as stating that they are “neither man nor woman”. While it’s easy to read into this that they are an AI robot, therefore they wouldn’t define their gender, it’s worth noting that FL4K is on a journey of discovery which is an allegory for people finding their true identity. In addition, Sam Winkler, Borderlands 3’s co-writer, confirmed that FL4K uses they/them pronouns, and that the decision was intentional.

Floofty Fizzlebean – Bugsnax

On its release, Bugsnax was quickly been labelled one of the most wholesome games of the year, with a diverse cast of 12 characters which include two queer couples and one straight couple. In amongst the characters is Floofty Fizzlebean, a non-binary character who is a biologist in game. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, creative director Kevin Zuhn and story editor Sage Coffey confirmed this and explained that portraying healthy queer relationships was a top priority for Zuhn and Coffey. They wanted to avoid what they called ‘explainers’ where LGBTQ people are presented from a cisgender POV, “It’s the scenes where [works of media] sit down with the audience and hold their hand and tell a reader/player/etc. that a character is trans and/or non-binary.” 

Olive Penn – Twofold

In Twofold, you play as Olive Penn, a non-binary college student who is on the verge of being thrown out unless they pick up the slack and salvage their GPA.  To do so, they have to rely on a singular lifeline: classes they know nothing about. With two distinctly different paths for Olive to go down, as well as the visual novel being fully voice-acted, there’s plenty of replay value to be enjoyed by gamers. The game is made by Studio Élan who is well-known for developing video games that are all LGBTQ+ inclusive.

Primordial Chaos – Hades

Primordial Chaos is one of the entities that players meet in Hades. They are basically a personification of the primordial void, and that is in the link to why they are portrayed as neither male nor female. While this isn’t the classic human representation of the non-binary identity, they’re certainly one of the coolest characters in Hades and we love a they/them who is out to create mayhem!

Edit: we realise that this breaks our rule of being playable, as they’re not playable, but they’re an awesome character so we’ll give them a pass

Sundance – Battlefield 2024

Emma ‘Sundance’ Rosier, one of Battlefield 2042’s playable specialists, is non-binary, making them the very first character who identifies as such in EA’s long-running series. Sundance’s bio uses gender-neutral they/them pronouns on the game’s official website and dives deeper into their cool background as a member of a major Parisian crime syndicate. Fans followed up on Twitter asking if they were non-binary and Adam Freeman, EA’s Lead Community Manager confirmed in a reply, “Yep. Sundance is non-binary.”

Venture – Overwatch 2

A globe-trotting archaeologist and explorer, Venture was released in the 10th season of Overwatch and is the first non-binary character, and overall the fifth LGBTQ character in the game. In a blog post about Venture’s development, the production team stated: “To fit the archetype of an adventurous archaeologist, we wanted someone who was daring, passionate, and unabashedly themselves. This personality ended up meshing really well with Venture’s gender identity. Venture is our first trans non-binary hero, and they use they/them pronouns”. Plus, in our recent interview with Blizzard’s LGBT Network, we learned how LGBTQ staff at Blizzard got involved in the character’s development to ensure authenticity.

Latest Articles

About The Author

One thought on “10 non-binary playable characters

  • Chaos isn’t playable there an assistant character that gives u power


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *