In case you haven't heard, Niantic (the company that brought you Ingress and Pokémon Go) has a game for all the Potterheads out there: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite! WB Games and Niantic have teamed up to bring the Wizarding World to life in the real muggle world in which we live. Although Harry Potter: Wizards Unite bares some similarities to Niantic's previous hit — Pokémon GO — there's a whole lot more to it. This guide will help you get started and familiar with what's available to explore in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
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What is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an iPhone and Android game created by Niantic Labs — the same developers behind Pokémon GO fame — in conjunction with Warner Bros. It is an augmented reality (AR) game that takes place in the Harry Potter universe. You may have also heard it called Harry Potter GO, because of the relation to popular Pokémon game, but the actual title is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Casting spells, brewing potions, encountering magical beasts, and even defeating dark wizards or witches, these are all part of the Harry Potter universe, and you can do all those things in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite! You'll even need to get up and walk around the world to find points of interest to complete all the tasks set before you and help keep the Wizarding World separate from the muggle world.
How do you start Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
When you first load Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, you'll have to sign in with either Google or Facebook, and then accept their terms and conditions. You'll need to put in your name as well as a code name before you can get started. Once you've completed the signup process, the game will take you through a basic tutorial, explaining the core foundation of the game. The Wizarding World is starting to leak into the muggle world — this is known as The Calamity — and you've been instructed to help contain the magic! A big part of that is by returning Foundables back to their proper location (I'll explain this in more detail later on), which you do by casting spells.
Once the game guides you through the process of returning your first Foundable, you'll be asked to finish setting up your Ministry ID, which you can access by clicking the silhouette of your character in the bottom left of your screen. This Ministry ID lets you change your name, pick out a wand, and even pick your Hogwarts house. None of these decisions affect the game in any way until you reach level six and can pick a profession, which I'll touch on later.
Foundables are one of the main ways to collect experience and items for your character and are the backbone of the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite universe. There are tons of different Foundables that you need to find and send back to the magical world to complete your various Registry Pages; however, it's not as simple as just finding them.
Foundables will appear on the in-game map as you physically walk around in the real world, while their appearance is random, they can often be found around landmarks and points of interest in your neighborhood, town, or city. Some Foundables can only be found in certain weather conditions, time of day, or moon phases in the game. For example, you'll only be able to find a werewolf during or around the time of a full moon.
When you finally find a Foundable, you'll need to cast a spell (likely more than once) to defeat the Confoundable that has stolen it and then send the Foundable back to their locations. Once you've safely sent a Foundable back, it will be added to your Registry, and it will give you experience and items you'll need to level up!
Casting spells is a huge part of the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay. Spells are represented by blueish glowing lines (known as glyphs) that appear on your screen when you can cast a spell to interact with something. You'll see these glyphs in various places in the game, including at inns, in fortresses, and when confronting Foundables.
To cast a spell, you'll need to trace the glyph on your screen with your finger. In most cases, the more accurately you do this, the better result you'll get. Speed plays a part in how strong your spells are as well, so attempt to trace them fast and precisely to get the best result.
If you've played Pokémon GO, you'll likely think of Inns as Pokéstops. They are places on the map — indicated by small buildings — that a player can enter by tapping on them. Once inside, you can receive Spell Energy, which is the primary resource you need in the game to cast spells. These small buildings correspond to real-world locations, parks, statues, and other landmarks.
Once inside an Inn, you'll be required to trace a Glyph on your screen to activate the Inn, which will then spin five dishes and award you one randomly. The meal you end up with will award you Spell Energy, which allows you to cast more spells in the game. You can only hold 75 Spell Energy at a time in the beginning, so its best to keep it stocked as much as possible. If you find yourself running out quickly, you can spend Galleons (the games premium currency) to expand how much Spell Energy you can hold, but this isn't necessary to enjoy the game.
Fortresses are found out in the world and are filled with AI-controlled foes that players can either take on alone or team up with other players. Each Fortress has 20 floors (or chambers), and each floor is harder than the last. Some even have level requirements, meaning you have to have someone in your party at least be the minimum level.
Up to five players can join together to help battle the enemies in a Fortress, and for the higher level chambers, it will likely be necessary. Just remember that more players will increase the difficulty of the enemies in the fortress.
To beat chambers in a Fortress, you need to defeat all the enemies on that level before the timer runs out. If you run out of time, or you run out of health during a battle, you and your team will lose.
One of the more interesting additions in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is Professions, which allow you to choose a job in the game. Each job does something a little different and helps you in different ways. All the Professions have different spells, both Passive and Active, that can be used to defeat enemies.
You can't choose a profession until you reach level six, but once you do, you can either become an Auror, Magizoologist, or Professor. Each Profession has two types of spells; Passive spells and Active spells. Passive spells are your classic buffs, whereas Active spells are spells you cast in battles and during encounters.
The Auror profession is all about fighting the Dark Arts. If you choose the Auror path, you will receive bonus damage for fighting Death Eaters, and if you decide to put your skill points into it, the damage bonus you get — especially the critical hit damage — can achieve a huge spec bump.
Magizoologists are very strong against Magical Beasts, but they are also the healing class. While they get a damage stat bump similar to the Auror — though not as powerful — they have an extra set of spells that make them fantastic allies during fortress battles.
Professors are your all-rounders, your jack-of-all-trades. Not only are they fairly good against most things, but they also have a lot of buff spells. Buffs are specifically designed to boost you and your party members' stats. They will normally make you able to attack or defend a little better for a short period.
Greenhouses are found all around the world of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and they exist for two purposes: gaining ingredients to brew potions, and collecting Spell Energy.
Greenhouses look like glass buildings on the map (see the left picture up above for an example), and you can enter them to find lots of different magical plants and roots. Once you get into a greenhouse, you'll be able to pick one plant, which will be a random ingredient, as well as some Spell Energy. You can revisit greenhouses after a certain amount of time to pick up more ingredients and Spell Energy.
Potions are items you can make with ingredients you find in greenhouses and on the map. Potions have a variety of effects, such as granting bonus experience points for an allotted time, buffing your combat abilities, or recovering your stamina.
To brew a potion simply add the ingredients to your cauldron and wait the required time for it to brew. You will need to find the ingredients in greenhouses, on the world map, in gifts from friends, or by saving Foundables. You will also need to unlock recipes, which you can do by gaining wizard levels.
You can use gold to help speed up your brewing as well buy the ingredients you may be missing from a recipe, but remember, gold is scarce, and you will need to buy it with real money if you want a lot of it.
This is just the beginning!
This guide should be enough information to get you started, but there is a lot more to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite than is outlined here. We have lots of other guides that get into the specifics, so be sure to check them out!
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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