Tagging alongside Pikachu and hundreds of Pokemon while you explore cities just became a ‘virtual’ reality. A group of fans have released an alpha of Pokemon VR for the Oculus Quest. Nintendo has a history of taking down fan-made games, so if you’d like to experience it for yourself continue reading.

YouTube trailer for fan-made Pokemon VR.

Pokemon VR is not an official gym. Install and battle at your own risk!

The fan-made Pokémon VR Alpha Features:

  • The game requires an Oculus Quest headset.
  • The Unofficial Pokémon VR includes favorites up to Gen 7.
  • You can battle with real players in VR
A red Gyarados chills in the harbor in the fan made Pokemon VR for Oculus Quest. Screenshot from February 2020 Alpha.

The process of acquiring Pokemon VR is reminiscent of early 2000’s file-sharing. Back then, you connected straight with developers and sharers via IRC and Limewire. In the 2020, you need to join the Pokemon VR Discord. There you’ll find the current links for download. The file is approximately 1GB.

Next, users need to download SideQuest which is cross platform application to side load the game into the Oculus Quest headset. You can get it at https://sidequestvr.com/. Should you experience problems, SideQuest has a great tutorials on how to get it running on your Oculus Quest.

After getting SideQuest installed on your computer, install the APK on your Oculus Quest. Click on the game title in Library -> Unknown Sources. Then prepare to be whisked into the Pokémon universe!
The game-play style is like the old N64 Pokemon Snap. However, don’t get too comfortable, opponents will challenge you. Of course being in Alpha, there are some bugs, but the graphics and game-play overcome those. You’re also able to voice chat with others while playing!

Unofficial Pokemon VR Screenshot
Pokemon battle portrayed in the Pokemon VR fan made game for Oculus Quest. Screenshot of February Alpha .

You might want to experience this fan-made world sooner than later. Nintendo has a history of shutting down fan made games such as the 2016 Pokemon Uranium which got millions of downloads. In their Android Central interview, the Developers said, “If Nintendo forces us to shut down, we will comply with [them]. Our plan B is to reskin all the characters/creatures/maps and rework the branding.” The developers are committed to creating virtual worlds. But for now, they are Pokemon VR trainers, and they’re happy to showcase the positive characteristics of building and strengthening the Pokemon fan community.

Overall, Pokémon Virtual Reality (VR) shows a lot of promise. It is the next logical step from Pokémon Go’s augmented reality. Despite being in alpha, the developers have the foundation of a great game. Anyone interested in Virtual Reality should take a look at the fan-made Pokémon VR. Afterall, there’s nothing like seeing Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Gyarados in their natural habitat with your own eyes.

Chad Elish is a driving force in the maker movement. He’s the president of HackPGH, produces Maker Faires throughout the U.S., and co-founded Nation of Makers.