Everything we know about Pokémon Unite – release date, gameplay, and more

Pokémon Unite will be a cross-platform, 5v5 MOBA

Pokémon Unite sees the world of Pokémon branch out into yet another genre of the gaming world in what is the franchise’s first MOBA title.

Announced during the Pokémon Presents broadcast on June 24, Pokémon Unite will be a “free-to-start” 5v5 League of Legends-style team-based strategy game developed by Chinese gaming giant Tencent’s TiMi studios. These are the same brains behind another popular MOBA title, Arena of Valor, as well as the creators of Call of Duty: Mobile. The main premise of the game is to bank more points than the other team in the game’s designated scoring zones, while also being able to take on opposition players in battle. Like in the main games, your Pokémon can evolve and learn new moves as you level up throughout a game.

While many are excited for the game, Pokémon Unite has been divisive within the ranks of hardore fans. With many expecting Pokémon Presents to potentially reveal some new details about the main series, many were disappointed that the announcement was actually a MOBA game. This has resulted in the official broadcast racking up over 120,000 dislikes on YouTube at the time of writing.

While details are limited at the moment, here’s what we know so far about Pokémon Unite.

Pokemon Unite release date

The release date for Pokémon Unite is currently unknown, but it will likely drop towards the tail end of 2020 or early 2021.

Pokémon Unite was announced on June 24 during a Pokémon Presents broadcast by the game’s producer Masaaki Hoshino.

Pokemon Unite platforms

Pokémon Unite will be a cross-platform game and will release on Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as the Nintendo Switch.

Is Pokemon Unite coming to PC?

Pokemon Unite will not be available on PC when it launches. Tencent hasn’t yet commented on its availability post-launch.

Pokemon Unite trailer

The official trailer for Pokémon Unite can be watched below.

Pokemon Unite gameplay

Exact details around Pokémon Unite’s gameplay are still a little sketchy, but we got a pretty good look at what to expect during the game’s reveal.

In basic terms, it is like the majority of MOBAs out there. It has two teams of five with different attacks and abilities going head to head on a multi-laned map. But there are a few differences from the likes of Dota 2 or League of Legends.

The main objective isn’t to destroy an enemy base. It is to score more points than the opposition by banking points you’ve earned in one of the five scoring areas on the opposition’s side of the map. Points are earned through catching wild Pokémon which appear across the map and need defeating to capture.

However, the enemy team can decide to engage you in battles, either to guard their scoring zones, slow down your efforts in racking up points, or to distract from another player sneaking into a scoring zone.

Scoring zones also act as healing areas. Returning to one of your own zones will regenerate some of your health.

Scoring enough points in a certain zone will destroy it. Currently we don’t know what the limit is, but this gives players less places to score and heal as the game goes on.

Points scored in the last two minutes of a game are doubled, meaning games can be pulled back from the brink if your team can bank enough points in the final stages.

In terms of your Pokémon, it will always start each game at level 1 in its lowest evolutionary form, so Charizard players will always begin as Charmander, for example. Defeating wild Pokemon will increase your level and at certain levels you will evolve.

As you level up, you will also acquire new moves. Type effectiveness is not present in Pokémon Unite, but each Pokémon has “unique traits and abilities” and will have exclusive move pools of different attacks. Moves have varying power and range, and you have three slots for regular moves, so it will probably be wise to pick a mixture of long and close range abilities for your game.

Each Pokémon also has a signature Unite Move, which is essentially its ultimate. This is a big move that deals a lot of damage to any nearby Pokémon.

The demonstration match shown in the Pokémon Presents broadcast, which you can watch below, lasts for ten minutes. Whether this will still be the case when the game launches is unclear.

Pokemon Unite map

The map in Pokémon Unite is different from the classic square, three-laned MOBA map you’ll find in the likes of League of Legends or Arena of Valor.

The map is essentially oval in shape, with only a top and bottom lane. Top and bottom lanes are connected with three vertical lanes. The five scoring zones on each side live on the two main lanes, with two on top, two on bottom, and one where the two lanes meet beneath the opposition’s spawn.

In Pokémon Unite, you will always play from left to right. Your team will always spawn on the left of the map, and the enemy team on the right.

Pokemon Unite characters

A number of fan-favourite Pokémon were shown during the Pokémon Unite reveal. Ten playable characters were seen in action, with a host of others as wild Pokémon you have to capture throughout the game.

The Pokémon Unite playable characters are:

  • Venusaur (plus Bulbasaur and Ivysaur)
  • Charizard (plus Charmander and Charmeleon)
  • Blastoise (plus Squirtle and Wartortle)
  • Pikachu
  • Snorlax
  • Lucario
  • Clefable (plus Clefairy)
  • Machamp (plus Machop and Machoke)
  • Gengar (plus Gastly and Haunter)
  • Talonflame (plusFletchling and Fletchinder)

Wild Pokemon that have been spotted in Pokémon Unite footage so far include:

  • Aipom
  • Rotom
  • Stufful
  • Bewear
  • Joltik
  • Galvantula
  • Altaria
  • Toxicroak

Legendary bird Zapdos can also be seen flying above a scoring zone for a split second in the Pokémon Unite trailer, but it is unclear whether it is as a playable character, a wild Pokémon, or potentially some form of boss.

That’s all we know so far about Pokémon Unite, but stay tuned – we’ll update this guide as soon as we have more information on this exciting new MOBA.

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