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Pokemon Go! Accessibility Report

We've documented 16 accessibility features for Pokemon Go! in the Getting Started, Reading, Navigation, Controls and Audio areas to aid enjoyment of the game for different players. This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

Pokémon Go is a game you play by walking outside. You play on a smartphone so it can use the GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player's real-world location.

NotesAccessibility Notes

Moving the device's camera around is required to get the full function of AR features, like feeding your Pokémon or catching Pokémon. But, this is not necessarily required to enjoy the game. AR can be turned off in the game settings; after doing so, players can complete tasks without the need to aim the camera. When catching Pokémon, for example, the AR can be turned off and players can catch Pokémon using just finger taps to select items and gestures, like swipes, to use them.

With a separate purchase of a Pokémon GO Plus or a Poke Ball Plus accessory, a player can catch Pokémon and spin PokeStops with a single button press on that device. Players cannot fully play the game using either of these devices, however.

For the most part, Pokémon GO can be played with single finger taps and swipes. But, two fingers are needed to zoom in and out on the map.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/07/2016

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Physically Active and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Niantic Labs (@NianticLabs)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 20 players online

Costs: Free. In-game purchases

 

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Pokemon Go! which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck. The following games are similar to Pokemon Go!, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in Pokemon Go! which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Assisted Progress With Hints: The game notices if you get stuck and provides information to help you progress. This can offer hints or tutorials popping up during play. It can suggest which difficulty settings to adjust or offer to skip past problematic levels.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Pokemon Go!, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Reading in Pokemon Go! which deals with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game and how complex the language is. This doesn't include subtitles as required reading if they are fully voiced.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Pokemon Go!, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Navigation in Pokemon Go! which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Clarity

Large Clear Navigation: The in-game navigation and maps are clear to read. They offer large text and offer markers that are large and of high contrast. Where text or information is small, there are settings to zoom-in and increase visibility.

Head-Up Display

Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with the landscape, points of interest and missions highlighted throughout the entire game. This enables the orientation of the player and the world, confirming a direction of movement and the location of destinations or points of exploration.

Menu Navigation

Menus Don't Wrap: Menus don't wrap and stop the cursor at the bottom of the list if you press down. Or menus do wrap but make it clear that you are back at the top of the list with sound or narration.

ControlsControls

We've documented 8 accessibility features for Controls in Pokemon Go! which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

1 Button: Can play with a single button.

Touchscreen

Additional gestures may be required for games played with a screenreader like VoiceOver.

One Tap Anywhere: Can play with touchscreen, tap anywhere.

One Tap Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, tap in specific locations.

One Motion Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, tap and swipe or hold gesture.

Two Motions Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, two simultaneous taps, swipes or hold gestures.

Motion

Games that can be played with different sorts of motion controllers.

Motion Aiming: Can use small movements of the gamepad to fine-tune aiming or as the main aiming mechanism. This is sometimes known as Gyro-Aiming. This usually provides the ability to calibrate these controls to taste.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction stick(s).

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

VisualVisual

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Visual in Pokemon Go! which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game. The following games are similar to Pokemon Go!, and offer accessibility features for Visual:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Pokemon Go! which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately. This enables you to select your preference as well as ensure critical game sounds aren't obscured by other audio.

Play Without Hearing

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.

CommunicationCommunication

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Communication in Pokemon Go! which deal with how you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction. The following games are similar to Pokemon Go!, and offer accessibility features for Communication:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

Android
Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this.
 
iOS
iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors @NEATWithAdam


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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