Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, may disabled & chronically ill people are feeling left behind because they aren’t able to physically do the activities needed to play the game. I’ve been playing since the game officially launched on the 14th July in the UK. So I thought I would share my Pokemon Go disability hacks with you in the hope that these will make it slightly easier people with chronic illness or disability to play the game.
Work Out What You Want From The Game
Ok, I know the aim of the game is to ‘catch them all’, but when you have a chronic illness or disability, you’ll know that doing the same as everyone else just isn’t possible. But have a think, would you rather catch every Pokemon you see (until you run out of balls that is – see my next point) or would you rather collect a wider variety of Pokemon?
Conserve Your Pokeballs
If you’re only able to go out occasionally, how are you going to keep your Pokeballs stocked up? If you’re catching everything in sight, you will run out quickly. I learned this the hard way when I went out for a short journey on Friday, only to have no balls left by the end of the day. As a result of my trip out, I’m in a lot of pain & won’t be able to go out again for several days. This also means I won’t be able to play for several days.
So how do you prioritise what to catch? Well, I have a Pokemon Go disability hack for this! Check out the Pokemon’s CP score. This number tells you the Pokemon’s Combat Points. The higher the number, the better. While you need to catch multiple numbers of the same Pokemon to be able to evolve them, catching a Pidgey with a CP of 10 when you have one already that has a CP of 120, as well as 100+ Pidgey Candy in the bag, is not the best use of your balls. You will gain 100XP for every Pokemon you catch. But remember, you need to have the balls to be able to do that. Remember, if you only have one ball, it won’t matter if you catch a Pidgey or a Pikkachu, you’ll still earn the same 100XP. If you catch a new Pokemon, you get an extra 500XP, so it’s sometimes worth holding out for those.
So, rather than catching more Pigot with low CP scores, if you have enough candy to evolve those Pokemon, consider catching only ones with a higher CP score. If you want to catch Pokemon you already have with low level CP, I’d suggest waiting until you’re out. This way you can replenish the balls you’ve used before you head home.
Find Out Where Pokestops Are Before You Set Out
Wandering aimlessly to find something when you don’t know where it is, is never fun. If you only have a finite amount of energy though, this becomes a significant problem. Not everyone has friends or family who will go out & find where the Pokestops are, including me. But don’t despair! There’s a Pokemon Go disability hack for this! There are currently no official maps of Pokestops or Gyms, but a few crowd driven apps have been created. These are for people to mark Pokestops off for other users to easily find. The app I’ve downloaded is GoGo Maps. Unfortunately, no one in my area has marked anything on it. I’m hoping this app will help me when I go to visit my parents.
I’ll be using the app to mark Pokestops & gyms in my area. This will help other chronically ill & disabled players. I highly recommend you do too. There is also a Pokemon Gym & Pokestops map that is being crowd sourced. I haven’t found an accompanying app for this. Once again, there is nothing marked in my area.
Alternatively, I’ve found some information that suggests the Pokestop & gym placement is similar to those used in the Niantic Labs’ game Ingress. This Polygon article explains how to access the information.
Pacing is key when you have a chronic illness, but it’s worth reiterating when talking about an addictive game! It’s all too easy to get carried away & over do it when you are able to make it out & about. Consider setting yourself a time limit to be out & make sure you take regular breaks to conserve your energy. It’s better to go on three short trips in a week & have a manageable level of symptoms, than to go out for too long one day & not be able to get out of bed for the rest of the week.You can read more about pacing in my How To Create A Pacing Plan post.
Tips For Wheelchair Users
If you’re out catching Pokemon you’re likely to have your phone open so you don’t miss anything. This is no problem for those who have their hands free, but what about users who have to self propel their wheelchair? When I went out, I made the mistake of putting my phone on my lap. Not only is this not secure as it’s easy for some one to steal, but it’s also easy for your phone to fall on the floor. I have a small dent in my phone to prove it. So what Pokemon Go disability hack do I have for this?
Remember those charms you used to be able to get for you phone? Consider adding one of those. Then get a lanyard or long piece of string & attach it to the charm you’ve added to your phone. Now, you can have your phone on your lap while reducing the risk of it getting stolen or falling on the floor. Don’t have somewhere on your phone to attach a charm? There are lots of ideas on connecting your phone to something you can wear round your neck on the atomic.org site, including cases with lanyard attachments if this is something your phone doesn’t have (like mine).
For Those Of Us Who Are Photosensitive
The sequence that takes place when you evolve a Pokemon is flashy, so please be careful if you are photosensitive.
The Pokemon Go App Twitter account have said that they are continuing “to add new resources to accommodate everyone.” So I’m interested to see what features will be brought in to help those of us who are disabled &/or chronically ill access the game to it’s fullest potential. Hopefully we won’t need Pokemon Go disability hacks moving forward. But for the time being, I really hope these ideas have been helpful.
Check out Sally from Wheeling Along’s Pokemon Go: A Spoonie Guide for more tips!
Do you have any Pokemon Go disability hacks?
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