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Everything happening for the Pokémon Unite anniversary event

Pokemon Unite one year anniversary image
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Competitive MOBA, Pokémon Unite, is celebrating its first full year on Thursday, July 21. The Pokémon Company has released many updates in honor of the special occasion. Players will enjoy new fighters, special events, and more. Here are the specifics of all of the one-year festivities. 

Six new Pokémon

Pokemon UJnite 1st anniversary announcement for six new Pokemon

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Starting July 21, six new licenses (new Pokémon to battle as) will start to get released in Pokémon Unite. For now, only three have been announced. First is Glaceon, made available Thursday, July 21. Next is Buzzwole on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Finally, Tyranitar makes his appearance on Monday, Aug. 15. The reveal of the other three Unite licenses is going to happen sometime in September, but an official date has not been announced.

As part of the Log-In Bonus that starts July 21 and runs through Oct. 12, players who don’t already have these licenses will receive:

- Day 1: Pikachu

- Day 2: Lucario

- Day 3: Blastoise

- Day 4: Snorlax

- Day 5: Sylveon

If a player already possesses a license for one of these Pokémon, they will get 100 Aeos coins instead.

Icy Glaceon Challenge 

Pokemon Unite Glaceon

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Of the new licenses coming out, Glaceon is the only one we currently know how to unlock. Players will have the chance to earn Glaceon July 21 through Aug. 14 at 4:59 p.m. PDT. There will be a mission challenge that appears after login that will walk players through what they need to accomplish to receive this license. Glaceon is an Attacker whose Unite Move is Glacial Stage. 

Log-In Bonus Gifts 

Pokemon Unite one year anniversary log-in bonus campaign

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Starting on July 21 and running through 4:59 p.m. PDT on Oct. 12, players will earn gifts just for logging in. In addition to the Pokémon licenses mentioned in the new Pokémon section, players will also get new Holowear:

- Day 1: Fashionable Style: Pikachu

- Day 2: Concert Style: Lucario

- Day 3: Firefighter Style: Blastoise

- Day 4: Bedtime Style: Snorlax

- Day 5: Checkered Style: Sylveon

Just as with the licenses, any Holowear already owned will be replaced with a gift of 100 Aeos coins instead.

Anniversary Cake Challenge 

Pokemon Unite Anniversary Cake Challenge

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The Anniversary Cake Challenge will run from July 21 through 4:59 p.m. PDT on Sept. 1. Players are able to collect frosting to put on the cake by logging in, fighting battles, and doing missions. The primary rewards to work toward are Tuxedo Style: Cramorant and Tuxedo Style: Crustle.

Boss Rush 

Pokemon Unite Boss Rush

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

This is a limited-time PvE battle event where teams will defeat Boss Pokémon. The more points received the better the rewards. This is the first time Pokémon Unite has had a battle style like this. There will be three time periods where the battles will be available.

- First period: Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 24

- Second period: Sunday, July 31 – Sunday, Aug. 7

- Third period: Sunday, Aug. 14 – Sunday, Aug. 21

Boost Emblems  

Pokemon Unite Boost Emblems

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

After battle, players will now be able to get boost emblems in either gold, silver, or bronze. Once they’ve obtained them they can add them to a custom loadout to add certain effects to Pokémon abilities in battle. 

Battle Pass Season 9  

Battle Pass Season 9 starts on July 21 and runs until Sept. 1 at 4:50 p.m. PDT. Battle Pass is simply Daily Missions that provide rewards for completing different activities within the game. Rewards for this season include Band Style: Pikachu and Songstress Style: Wigglytuff. Players can also get Special Tickets to use at the Exchange Booth.

Ranked Matches Season 5  

Pokemon Unite Ranked Match Season 5 announcement

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The latest season of Ranked Matches also begins on July 21 and will run through 4:59 p.m. PDT on Aug. 31. To access Ranked Matches, players must be at least level 6 with at least five Pokémon licenses. From there, players work their way through the ranks — Beginner, Great, Expert, Veteran, Ultra, and Master — throughout the season. Those who reach Ultra rank in season 5 will receive Tuxedo Style: Decidueye. 

Invite a Friend 

Pokemon Unite Machamp Snorlax

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

If you still have friends who haven’t played Pokémon Unite but have been thinking about it, now is the time to get them in! From July 21 to 4:59 p.m. PDT on Aug. 11, when you invite new friends, you and your friends will receive a box of random rewards. The invited player will have a chance to get the Bonfire Style: Slowbrow if they win a certain number of ranked matches after accepting.   

Returning Trainer Support Event 

Pokemon Unite Team

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

And if it’s been a while since your friends have logged in, there are benefits to bringing them back too! From July 21 through Aug. 4 at 4:59 p.m. PDT, if you play with friends who haven’t logged in for 14 days or more, you will get rewards.

Uniting to celebrate the first year 

Whether it’s been a while since you’ve played, you’re new to the game, you’ve been on the Unite journey from the start, or anything in between, there are rewards around for everyone in this celebration. We’re especially excited about a new battle mode with the Boss Rush and can’t wait to see how our new Boost Emblems affect our play. 

As we enter season 9 of battle pass and season 5 of ranked play, players will come into so many nice new rewards to customize their creatures, trainers, and battles. Regardless of if you’re playing from your phone or you’ve grabbed your favorite Pokémon accessories for Switch and are playing from your console, there’s a lot to get into with this celebration. 

Alex Huebner
Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.