Pokémon UNITE for Nintendo Switch: Ultimate guide

Pokemon Unite Image
Pokemon Unite Image (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Pokémon series has enjoyed many spin-off titles in its 25 years, dabbling in a myriad of different genres. Everything from puzzle games to fighting games have received a Pokémon spin, and that trend continues with Pokémon UNITE. Introduced during June 2020's Pokémon Direct, Pokémon UNITE is a unique multiplayer strategy game on Aeos Island, a mythical island that runs a series of Unite Battle tournaments. What does that mean exactly? Well, you've come to the right place.

What is Pokémon UNITE?

Pokémon UNITE is a strategic team battle game co-developed by The Pokémon Company and Tencent Games TiMi Studios, the team responsible for Arena of Valor. In Pokémon UNITE, players compete in 5-on-5 team battles, all while catching wild Pokémon and leveling up and evolving their own. The objective is to defeat your opponent's Pokémon while earning more points than the opposing team within the time limit.

Pokémon Unite looks similar to Arena of Valor or League of Legends with a Pokémon flair. When a Pokémon is defeated, it drops Aeos energy orbs that can then be collected and deposited into the enemy goal zones to score points for your team.

What's the gameplay like?

Pokemon Unite

Pokemon Unite (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon UNITE is a multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA. Players participate in Unite Battles, where Trainers compete in 5-on-5 team battles. The key to victory in a Unite Battle is to have a higher score than the other team when time runs out. To earn points for your team, you must gather Aeos energy by defeating opposing Pokémon and the wild Pokémon on the field and then depositing that energy in one of the opposing team's goal zones.

Unite Battles take place in various stadiums, and the rules for each stadium differ. There can be different numbers of team members, different match lengths, and even different Legendary Pokémon that appear.

Participating Pokémon all enter the fight at Lv. 1, and throughout each battle, they gain Exp. Points, level up, and can even temporarily evolve. As Pokémon level up, they learn powerful moves and evolve, and when a Pokémon reaches higher levels, it also learns its Unite Move — a powerful move that can only be learned and used in Unite Battles.

Do Pokémon types matter in Pokémon UNITE?

Absol Vs Pikachu

Absol Vs Pikachu (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Although type strengths and weaknesses do not exist in Unite Battles, each Pokémon has its own unique stats and role—Attacker, Defender, Speedster, Supporter, or All-Rounder:

  • Attacker: Have low Endurance but deal heavy ranged damage to opponents.
  • Speedster: Have high mobility and Offense for making quick attacks and scoring points.
  • All-Rounder: Highly tenacious fighters with balanced Offense and Endurance.
  • Defender: Have high Endurance, protect allies, and hinder opponents.
  • Supporter: Inflict status conditions on enemies and heal allies.

To use a Pokémon in Unite Battles, you need to have a Unite license for that Pokémon. Unite licenses can be obtained through the Unite Battle Committee, where you can exchange Aeos coins (earnable via Unite Battles) for your desired license.

Is Pokémon UNITE cross-play?

Pokemon Unite Crossplay

Pokemon Unite Crossplay (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Yes! Mobile Pokémon UNITE players can play together with players on the Nintendo Switch. Cross progression is also available, so players can play on their Nintendo Switch or mobile and transfer their data between the platforms.

Players will have to link their Pokémon Trainer Club account or Nintendo Account on Nintendo Switch and mobile to easily sync their progress between devices.

Is Pokémon UNITE available on other platforms?

Pokemon Unite

Pokemon Unite (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Unite is available on Switch, iOS, and Android. There has been no word on whether it will receive a PC port.

How many Pokémon are in Pokémon UNITE?

Pokemon Unite Starting Area

Pokemon Unite Starting Area (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

There are lots of different Pokémon available on the field! Here's the roster.:

  • Pikachu (Attacker)
  • Charizard (All-Rounder)
  • Snorlax (Defender)
  • Crustle (Defender)
  • Greninja (Attacker)
  • Eldegoss (Supporter)
  • Talonflame (Speedster)
  • Lucario (All-Rounder)
  • Venusaur (Attacker)
  • Mr. Mime (Supporter)
  • Slowbro (Defender)
  • Absol (Speedster)
  • Machamp (All-Rounder)
  • Wigglytuff (Supporter)
  • Alolan Ninetales (Attacker)
  • Cramorant (Attacker)
  • Gengar (Speedster)
  • Garchomp (All-Rounder)
  • Cinderace (Attacker)
  • Zeraora (Speedster)
  • Blastoise (Defender)
  • Blissey (Supporter)
  • Gardevoir (Attacker)
  • Greedent (Defender)
  • Sylveon (Attacker)
  • Mamoswine (Defender)

Eagle-eyed fans have also spotted Aipom, Alola Vulpix, Rotom, Stufful, Bewear, Corphish, Joltik, Galvantula, Altaria, Toxicroak on the battlefields via various leaks. Considering there are over 150 champions in League of Legends, we can expect many Pokémon to appear in updates.

How many maps are in Pokémon UNITE?

As of now, there are four maps for Pokemon UNITE. They are:

  • Remoat Stadium is a large battlefield, ideal for big plays and coordinated efforts.
  • Shivre City only has one single goal zone per team, which means you'll constantly battle the enemy for control of the map.
  • Auroma Park is a map made for fast team battles, thanks to the conveyor belts around the map.
  • Mer Stadium is a 4v4 map that features a limited number of goal zones per team.

Is there a battle pass?

Pokemon Beach Battle

Pokemon Beach Battle (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Yes, there is. You can earn in-game rewards through the seasonal battle pass. You'll need to level up the pass by completing missions or using Aeos gems to earn these rewards.

There are also five currencies in-game: Aeos gems (paid), Aeos coins, Aeos tickets, Fashion Tickets, and Holowear Tickets. Aeos coins and Aeos tickets can be acquired by playing the game and obtaining Unite licenses, which allow them to take Pokémon into Unite Battles.

At Aeos Emporium, players can use Aeos coins or Aeos gems to obtain UBC-approved goods like Pokémon held items or Trainer fashion items (though Aeos tickets can be used to buy fashion items as well.) Zirco Trading specializes in Holowear, which can be obtained using Aeos gems, the paid currency.

The Fashion Tickets are used for items for your avatar and can only be used in the Fashion Ticket Exchange and can be earned by completing events or through Energy Machine Rolls, unlocked at Trainer Level 6. Holowear Tickets can only be used in Zirco Trading and are also earned through Energy Machine Rolls. These tickets give players accessories for their Pokémon.

How much does Pokémon UNITE cost?

Pokemon Unite Machamp Snorlax

Pokemon Unite Machamp Snorlax (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon UNITE is a free-to-play game with in-game purchases, following in the footsteps of other free-to-play MOBA games.

Zackery Cuevas

Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. He likes playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.