There's been no shortage of Pokémon spinoffs over the franchise's more than twenty-year history. From photography-focused titles like Pokémon Snap to mobile phenomena like Pokémon GO, Nintendo hasn't been shy when it comes to testing new ideas. The latest experiment, Pokémon Unite, introduces a new free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) experience to Pokémon fans.
Whether you're a seasoned player of titles like Smite or League of Legends or simply a long-time fan of the series, you'll quickly realize that Pokémon Unite isn't merely another Pokémon game or even traditional MOBA. To get yourself battle-ready and compete with the very best, check our tips and tricks for Pokémon Unite.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Complete the tutorials
Tutorials aren't usually the most fun introductions to a video game, but in the case of Pokémon Unite, they are crucial to understanding the nuanced mechanics of the game. Carve out 15 to 20 minutes to complete the basic and advanced tutorials. You'll be rewarded with not only knowledge, the greatest gift of all, but also Aeos coins, which players can use to purchase in-game items.
On the surface, Pokemon Unite is relatively simple, but having a firm grasp of scoring mechanics, the importance of lane strategies, and the benefits of player buffs will mean the difference between victory and defeat. Thanks to its intuitive design, anyone can pick up and play Pokémon Unite. However, if you want to climb the ranks to Pokémon Master, you'll need to master the fundamentals.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Communication is key
The tide of a match in Pokémon Unite can drastically change incredibly quickly. This dynamic makes communication with your teammates critical to your success. While the game offers options for in-game text communication and objective pinging, we strongly recommend squadding up with some friends and using voice chat instead.
Nintendo Switch players know that playing with friends on the system is often harder than it should be, but it's worth it to play with people you can communicate with and trust. You can team up with up to five people at once in Pokémon Unite. Playing with friends is a great way to perfect the basics, experiment with Pokémon combinations, and coordinate attack and defense strategies.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Know your role
Unlike other Pokémon games, Pokémon Unite doesn't abide by standard Pokémon rules. Pokémon types do not factor into combat; instead, every Pokémon serves a combat role. There are five roles in total, each with different strengths and weaknesses:
- Attacker: Have low Endurance or health, but deal heavy ranged damage to opponents. They generally act as your primary damage-dealers in lane.
- Speedster: Have high mobility and Offense for making quick attacks and scoring points. This role is best suited for controlling the middle lane and pouncing on weakened enemies.
- All-Rounder: Highly tenacious fighters with balanced Offense and Endurance. These Pokémon can typically hold their on in one-on-one encounters.
- Defender: Have remarkably high Endurance and are excellent at protecting allies and keeping enemies from scoring.
- Supporter: A role designed to buff and heal allies or inflict status conditions on enemies. Partners extremely well with Attackers or All-Rounders.
Your role will determine which lane you should pursue, so be aware of where your Pokémon should ultimately be. The game provides lane recommendations based on your class, but coordination with your team and their position is always the best approach. It's always important to choose a role that plays to your personal strengths as well.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Evolutions
Now while you may be able to disregard Pokémon types, you can't forget about Pokémon evolution. Some Pokémon need to evolve to reach their true potential. Before you go rushing into battle with your Charmander, you might want to boost your experience points by battling the wild Pokémon littered around the map. That way, you'll be able to realize your Pokémon's full potential.
But just because your Pokémon doesn't evolve doesn't mean they don't change as the battle rages on. As you level up and earn experience, you'll get the option to upgrade your moves, as well as learn new ones. Experiment with all of the moves to find the playstyle that works best for you.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Battle Items and how they work
Similar to the mainline titles, Pokémon can hold items that give them a boost while in battle. This approach replaces the standard gear system in MOBAs like League of Legends. Upgrading these items and equipping the optimal loadout for each Pokémon can drastically improve your odds of winning. There are two different kinds of items in Pokémon Unite:
Held Items: Held items can be equipped to Pokémon and provide stat boosts. You can equip three at one time. The first slot unlocks at the start, but the second slot unlocks when you reach Trainer Level 7, and the third slot unlocks at Trainer Level 10.
Battle Items: Battle items can be used in the middle of a battle for an instant effect. Your Pokémon can only hold one at a time.
Many of the items in Pokémon Unite are incredibly situational, so it's essential to understand when and how to use them. We've also constructed a guide of the best builds in Pokémon Unite, as well as additional information on what Battle Items to use with your favorite Pokémon.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Getting back into battle fast
Eventually, even the best players might get the wind knocked out of them and forced to respawn at their home base. It's especially annoying in the heat of battle, but when things start getting hectic, look for the panel inside your base to super-jump back to one of the points around your base. This option becomes available about halfway through the match as player levels (and respawn timers) start to climb.
You can also quickly warp back to your base by holding down on the D-pad. It's a handy way to get back to home base fast if you're under attack.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Customizing your settings
Pokémon Unite is a simple game with a surprising amount of depth and a surprising number of customization options. Aim assist, FPS adjustments, and advanced control schemes are all available to players at the start, so feel free to mess with the controls until they feel just right.
Pokémon Unite tips and tricks: Know your roster
There are over 800 Pokémon, so it's only natural that Pokémon Unite has a wide variety of Pokémon available to players at the start. Here is the starting roster of Pokémon Unite:
- 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)
- Blissey (Supporter)
- Gardevoir (Attacker)
- Blastoise (Defender)
- Sylveon (TBD)
- Mamoswine (TBD)
Some Pokémon are better than others, but learning how each Pokémon compliments one another and how best to synergize with your team is what will eventually make up the metagame of Pokémon Unite. So start experimenting now!
New MOBA on the block
Unite and fight!
Pokémon Unite is the new free-to-play MOBA game featuring intense battles with some of your favorite Pokémon.
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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.