Unown is one of the rarest and hardest to find Pokémon in Pokémon Go Gen 2. Scratch that. Unown is one of TWENTY SIX of the rarest and hardest to find Pokémon in Pokémon Go — period. That's because it doesn't spawn very often in most areas and, when it does, it can manifest as any one of the 26 forms, stylized after the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z. So, how do you catch 'em all?

What's 'Unown' and how many forms does it really have?

Unown is one of the Pokémon introduced into Pokémom Go as part of the Gen 2 update. It currently had twenty-six distinct forms, one shaped after each letter of the alphabet, from A to Z.

Here's how Bulbipedia describes it:

Unown is a Psychic-type Pokémon introduced in Generation II. While it is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon, as of Generation III, Unown has 28 derivative shapes, chronicled in the Unown Mode in Generation II and the Unown Report in HeartGold and SoulSilver. There are 26 Latin alphabet characters, plus ? (question mark) and ! (exclamation mark) introduced in Generation III. In Generation II, its shape is determined by its individual values; in Generation III, it is determined by its personality value; from Generation IV onward, it is determined by a separate form identifier.

Twenty-six forms now, twenty-eight with Gen 3?

Correct! With Pokémon Go Gen 3 — which could be coming our way later this year — Unown also gains shapes that are styles after ? and ! (question mark and exclamation point.)

How to prepare for Pokémon Go Gen 3 right now

Is Unown one Pokémon with 26 different shapes or 26 different Pokémon?

Unown only has one Pokédex entry in Pokémon Go, so it's best to treat it as one Pokémon that has 26 different shapes. So, less like Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon, and the rest of the Eevee-lutions and more like Pikachu, Santa Hat Pikachu, and Party Hat Pikachu — just all available at the same time.

But, are there Unown spawns, or separate Unnown A and Unown B spawns?

Only Pokémon Go knows for sure. Based on how people are catching them, though, it seems less likely that each specific Unown spawns on its own and more likely Unown spawns in general and then its specific form is determined at random.

Because random is how Pokémom Go rolls.

Are there nests where you can go to catch Unown?

Sadly, no. Unown, like Snorlax and Lapras, doesn't seem to nest. There have been reports of consistent, if infrequent spawn points but they're thus far very few and incredibly far between.

In my area, they spawn only a few times a week, and randomly throughout the city and suburbs. Never the same place, never the same time, never at any discernable pattern.

Can you track Unown in Pokémon Go?

If you can find a spawn near a PokéStop, you can absolutely track Unown using Nearby.

  1. Tap the Nearby Tab at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Tap the holiday Pokémon you want to track.
  3. Tap the Footprints button to start tracking.

Once you get to the PokéStop, Unown will spawn and you can catch away!

If Unown isn't at a PokéStop, it might show up on Sightings depending on whether or not you get within 40 meters and there aren't so many PokéStops nearby that Nearby overwhelms Sightings. (Niantic really needs to better balance that, especially for rare Pokémon like Unown...)

How to track Pokémon with Nearby and Sightings in Pokémon Go

Can you get Unown from Incense or Lures?

Unknown! (Sorry, had to!). There's been a report of Unown spawning from Incense but there'll need to be many such reports before it's accepted as fact.

Same for Lures. There have been reports, but until there's more volume it's impossible to say definitively one way or another.

I've seen Snorlax spawn from Incense, though. And while not as rare as Unown, it does show Incense and Lures can pull from a wide range of Pokémon in the system.

So, while you shouldn't waste your money on high volume Lures or Incense just to get Unowns, if you're already using a Lure or Incense, keep your eyes open and fingers ready!

Can you hatch Unown from a Pokémon Egg?

No, not right now. But things change. Regionals like Taurus and Mr. Mine, and even some base Pokémon like Magikarp, used to hatch but have since been removed from the egg pool. Conversely, the Gen 2 starters, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile initially didn't hatch from eggs but, following the Spring Eggstravagaza event, joined the 5 KM egg pool.

Fingers crossed.

How do you increase your odds of catching Unown when you find it?

Unown seems to be hard to find but it doesn't seem to have an especially low catch rate or high flee rate. So, if you do find it, you should be able to get it. That said, best practices are best practices for a reason:

  1. Use a Razz Berry. Unlike other bonuses, it's not dependent on you hitting the target. And there's no point in using a Pinap Berry because Unown doesn't evolve nor does it power up to a significant enough level to be worth hoarding candy.
  2. Throw a Curve Ball. A successfully thrown Curve Ball has a higher catch rate than a Great Ball and almost as good as an Ultra Ball.
  3. Bonuses stack up, so throw a Curve Ball with an Ultra Ball and a Razz Berry to max out your catch rate.
  4. Go for a Nice, Great, or Excellent throw — if you know you can get it reliably — by nailing the center of the target circle. Again, the bonuses stack.

With a little luck, you'll get all the Unown you can find.

How to stack bonuses and to catch tough Pokémon in Pokémon Go

Is there an Unown medal to help make catching them easier? And, yes, fine, to show off with?

There is... but you'll need to catch a lot of Unowns to get the gold. And it only credits you one for each form, so repeats don't count. That means, even if you're in an area where Unown spawns, you're likely to get a lot of dupes before you encounter every different type. According to Silph Road math, it would take an average of 100 catches to get all 26. So, if you encounter one a day, that's a minimum of 26 days, an average of 100 days, and a max of... forever. If you encounter one a week...

  • Bronze: Catch 3 Unowns, get a 1.1x bonus.
  • Silver: Catch 10 Unowns, get a 1.2x bonus.
  • Gold: Catch all 26 Unowns, get a 1.3x bonus.

How to get all the medals in Pokémon Go

Are there any other ways to make catching Unown easier?

Pokémon Go has had events where the game increased the spawn rates of everything from spooky Pokémon to Gen 1 starters to pink-colored Pokémon in the past. It's possible they'll have an event in the future where they increase the spawn rate for Unown as well

If you have Facebook or Twitter feed, or IM group for your area, you can also see if anyone else spots an Unown. If they post about it, you see it fast enough, and you're close enough to get there before it's gone, you can increase your odds — if also your stress level.

There are also cheats, like using trackers or tracker feeds. They're against the terms of service, though, and you may not enjoy the hectic play style they encourage.

Pokémon Go Events: What's coming next

Where have you found Unown in Pokémon Go?

If you have any tips on finding and catching Unown in Pokémon Go, or any questions, drop them in the comments below!

Images and compilation via Reddit, Twitter, Reddit. Some images have been modified or composited because catching Unown is kinda hard, folks.

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