Pokemon Go Disability Hacks

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.

Pokemon Go Disability Hacks, Haunter

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.

Pokemon Go Disability Hacks

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.

Pokemon Go Disability Hacks, Haunter


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.

Pokemon Go Disability Hacks

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).

Pokemon Go Disability Tweet

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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Tania Jayne

  • This is a great post and very useful :) thanks for sharing it! x

    Sarah | Raiin Monkey

  • This is a great post, I have been asked a lot if I play it but I assumed I could’t with being housebound xx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

    • There are definitely some hurdles if you’re not able to get out of the house, but if Simon, Cole or Lissy are willing to go out to get you Pokeballs then it would be possible. My sister was telling me that you can have the same account on different devices, so someone else can use their phone rather than taking yours & pick things up for you if there are Pokestops on the way to work. Xx

  • Great post. I’m really loving this game but I made the same mistake as you and went a bit full on and now I’ve run out of pokeballs lol. It’s a bit frustrating that my pals can walk around and get all the pokestops but it is what it is :) I just get whatever I pass by in the car and luckily there are a couple in the park I go to as well, but I’m definitely more limited than everyone else. Still enjoy it though and I guess that’s the main thing.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying playing too Donna. It’s definitely not as good as if we were able to do what most people can, but at least we’re able to participate in some way. I’m excited that Dan has downloaded it. Hopefully we’ll go out on a few walks while he is on holiday & play together. Xx

  • mamasick

    Good tips! Not only is this fun for those with chronic physical illness, but it is good for those suffering with mental health issues as it gets us out of the house!

    • Thanks! Though I don’t have a mental health condition, I did notice that on a particularly anxious day I found waiting to see if a Pokemon would stay it it’s ball put me on edge even more. I’ve heard that it’s been really helpful for a lot of people with mental health conditions, which is fantastic! Xx

  • Tamsin

    Great tips! I was really keen to download this!

    • Thanks Tamsin! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. Xx

  • Pineapples

    Another one is that afaik, the ‘walking’ to hatch eggs isn’t like a pedometer where it measures steps. it’s more to do with gps moving below a certain speed.

    If you have or can borrow a dog, child or remote controlled car/drone and attach your phone to it then the movement should count as ‘walking’ and go towards hatching your egg.

    • Yes, you’re quite right, the distance is calculated by GPS rather than steps. It doesn’t pick up much on car journeys, as usually you are over the maximum speed. I’ve hatched eggs in my wheelchair & had no problems. My only concern with borrowing an animal is that unless someone is with them (& then they might as well have your phone), you’ve no guarantee that your phone will come safely back to you. It may easily slip off them, get knocked by them & broken or be stolen. I did think about attaching my phone to my cat, but the risks were too great. Xx

  • AngelBun

    Thanks for the tips! It’s really hard to play a game based on fun exploration when you’re a spoonie. I’m not able to drive, so when I do manage to go out as a passenger, I take my phone with me and open up Pokemon Go while I’m in the car. It allows me to grab stuff from pokestops as we drive by. I’ve also caught a few pokemon this way, which is great since there’s usually nothing but Pidgies, Weedles, Rattatas and Zubats around my place.
    The one I really want to catch is a Clefairy, but they’re so hard to find. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to catch one, but alas, it escaped me :'( First one I’d seen since I started playing in the beginning of July.
    The hardest part is hatching those eggs! I’m almost full up on eggs, but I guess I need more incubators. Though it stinks that the bought ones only last three times before they break.

    • You’re welcome, I’m glad they were helpful. I’m the same as you, not able to drive, but like to take advantage of being a passenger to grab anything I can from Pokestops we drive by. I really hope you manage to catch a Clefairy soon. I’ve found that as I get to certain levels I’ll get an incubator, but it’s only the ones that last three times. Frustrating that the ones you can buy only last three times too. Xx