Is Pokemon Go accessible?

As some people may already know, Pokemon Go is now available for iOS and Android. It uses AR as in Ingress so I keep the accessibility expectations totally underground.
The app is only available in select countries, Australia among them. Have you guy tried it?


Pokemon Go

I know that Nintendo is venturing in to iOS but, we shall have to see if this will be accessible. I have been wanting Nintendo to do this for years. At least make games that are accessible. Even on their 8bit system back in the day.

I remember looking up the

I remember looking up the developer for Pokemon Go once it was announced, hoping that some of their other titles were accessible. I don't think the main other title they developed was accessible at all - think it was called 'Ingress' or something? I remember, at the time, trying to contact the developers regarding the inaccessibility of that particular title and never got a reply.

Really hoping Pokemon Go is accessible, though I'm not going to hold my breath. I used to play all the Pokemon on the Nintendo products when I could still see.

I am in Canada so don't think the Pokemon Go release has gotten to me yet.

My hopes on the accessibility

My hopes on the accessibility with VO sank a bit.

I did a bit of digging and found a Youtube video of someone with low/limited vision (they were using Zooming, not VO) to play Pokemon Go - apparently catching Pokemon involves actually flicking PokeBalls at the Pokemon with your finger, which could involve actual aiming. Doesn't sound too encouraging for VO access. Though I read another article that says there is a wearable device that'd let you hit a button to catch the Pokemon that appears "blind", so maybe hold out hope for some sort of functionality/button on the actual app that also allows this?

But considering their other augmented reality game didn't seem accessible, I've got dim hopes this will be. :( I have to hope at being pleasantly surprised, though with the amount of map/visual stuff this is relying on, I'm willing to bet they didn't even consider blind users when creating it (likely figuring blind users can't see the augmented reality overlay, so why bother?)

Unfortunately not

Unfortunately the game is not accessible (yet). Perhaps we could kindly ask Niantic via Message on their Facebook page.

I actually posted on their

I actually posted on their Facebook page last night - hopefully they respond!

I'd feel a bit better about it being inaccessible if there was some comment from them indicating it was a possibility for the future.

Saddly Nope, But L'ets make it a Yes!

I'm from the UK, and it's not out here yet, but I did log into my other US account and manage to get it installed.
When you open it it will ask for location services which you have to allow to enable the whole point of traveling around catching mons.
Then a Pokemon type theme tuen will play,, and that's about it, Voiceover doesn't read anything, it doesn't even make any sounds to indicate it recognize any elements, it just won't read anything. I know this is a VO issue as I took a screen shot and use KNFBReader to see what's on the screen, and it was asking for my birthday.

What I have done is contacted them from their website to tell them about the VO issues with the app and ask them to consider of making it work with it; and if you want to you can as well by visiting this link:

I will also ask on their Facebook page, thanks for that idea!

I hope you guys will contact them about the VO issue, as well and people who has more knowledge with app development than I could help make it work.


I sent a request through that

I sent a request through that form you posted - thanks for sending that!

Be warned, though - the dropdown boxes for selecting Operating System, etc., seem to be inaccessible. I had to have my sighted husband select those for me, though it may just be that it is not happy with my browser (I was browsing with Firefox and did not try on IE.)

We just have to hope they did not build their apps using some sort of third party framework that is inherently inaccessible - I know there are at least a few frameworks for making IOS games that, due to how the framework was set up, it cannot interact with Voice Over.

As I thought, either because

As I thought, either because of the framework or lack of interest the game is inaccessible. Thank you for your answers.


Not many Pokemon games are accessible to blind gammers, I played it when I had more sight when I was younger.
You can play something like Crystal Access which is pretty cool, or Pokemon Showdown for battles purely.
Sun and Moon will have a talking Pokedex like Dexter in the anime, but that's hardly an accessibility feature lol

I played all the Pokemon

I played all the Pokemon games when I could still see - roughly up til 2007. Since then, obviously, I haven't ben able to play.

Hoping to get some response from the developers regarding this, though I imagine they're all running like headless chickens right now due to the rollout.

Perhaps if we get some more people submitting a request through that form or posting on their Facebook page, they'll respond.


Yep, I only recently gotten back in it after playing Pokemon Showdown, but I was so out of date as I stopped playing after gen 2 people were calling me a genwunner :P
I stil lwant to try playing Sun or Moon though, as I have enough sight to walk around in the game, and will just watch letsplays on Youtube to keep up with the storyline.

A way to catch them all, at least for some of us.

Hi there,

unfortunately, at the moment, the app isn't accessible for VoiceOver at all.

However, I found a method to make at least catching Pokémon work for me even though I still need sighted help to do anything else in the game.

I described it in my post in the app discussion for Pokémon Go:

Have a lovely day everyone :)

my thoughts

So would it not be wiser to contact unity and get them to get them to incorporate voice over?

I downloaded the game and yeah was a complete failure. But still do not see why it would be completely impossible to make it accessible. After all, so many sites and products, such as the iPhone have done it.

The reason I think the game can be made partially accessible is because certin aspects seem possible. Down below I have listed some of the features I think that can be incorporated with voice over:

The login page – I have been loged out of the game several times, and have to re-login. Re-loging in does not see to be an issue as it seems to work with voiceover. However, I could not begin the game as a fresh user [the initial set-up] as voice over goes completely dead. So having the actual text box fields and stuff should not be to hard, by allowing voice over to read the images. When designing a character, provide a skip button, which will automatically generate one for you.

Now the game has 3 aspects to it: the finding of pokemons, gym battles and PokeStops.

To be honest, I wouldn’t care to much on missing out on the gym battle aspect of the game. This would also be the hardist in my eyes to incorporate, as it is such a visual aspect.
The PokeStops would require some sort of thought to it, and I have none right now, as I am completely typing what ever comes to my head. Good or bad, I let you decide.

The main aspect and most important in my eyes, is the finding and capturing of pokemons. If they could make this accessible I would be more than happy. But where to begin would be the issue.

I don’t think making the map accessible matters to much. As we are blind or close to it, we do not really use a map, unless we know where we are roughly going. And with pokemon, you really don’t know where you are going, just that you need to find a pokemon.

Now finding a pokemon is half accessible, as the phone vibrates when you are close enough to capture a pokemon. I am not sure what kind of noise it makes, when you have the sound feature on, but from other posts, I have gathered that it does indicate when a pokemon is close by.
So the only issue is selecting the pokemon so the capture screen loads up, and then capturing it.
There could be several ways to help with this issue, one of them is by the introduction of the watches. I am using the watches as an a example, as it will clearly illustrate that blind/VI people are more than willing to spend money, as long as the game is accessible/playable.

So if you have got one of the watches, when your phone vibrates, you press a button on the watch and it will take you to the capture screen. You can press the button again, and it will capture the pokemon for you. Otherwise, methods on making the capturing action accessible will have to be thought off.

Reply to ispy2916

It is not built using unity, it's their own custom engine, so they are free to implement whatever changes they see fit


Sorry, I was wrong. Looks like the custom engine I had read about was the mapping engine, the front end is all Unity. In which case forget it, games made using Unity can't be made accessible. The closest you can get is to build an accessible alternative, which is what Zombies Run did, it listens out for voiceover being turned on and if not displays fancy inaccessible engine (cocos2d, not unity ) based graphical nterface, and if voiceover is running , it shows a stripped back native accessible interface instead.

Unless Unity themselves make changes to allow accessibility in the engine's output, which would be a joyously happy day for blind gamers.

It is actually possible to

It is actually possible to make Unity 3D accessible - someone is actually making a plugin for it for accessibility and they're pretty far along:

So obviously it is possible, just not with the out-of-the-box Unity 3D. There is a bigger discussion regarding this going on in the actual Pokemon Go game directory entry here on AppleVis. I think someone also said the game Freeq (sp?) is in Unity and was made accessible, as well.

Either way, there is some hope - it can be made accessible, though it just requires effort on the game developer's part.