If you’re a fan of League of Legends or Dota 2, then you’re not a stranger to MOBAs, or multiplayer online battle arena games. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically where the primary goal is to destroy or take over the opponent’s base. This is done by forming a squad of five [...]


Pokemon Unite is the MOBA we never knew we wanted


If you’re a fan of League of Legends or Dota 2, then you’re not a stranger to MOBAs, or multiplayer online battle arena games. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically where the primary goal is to destroy or take over the opponent’s base. This is done by forming a squad of five characters who have their own unique skills and characteristics. As you battle it out, each character will level up and learn new skills. Towers placed strategically across a map will allow you to turn the tide of the game by either being destroyed by you, or your own fort being held down so that the enemy can’t attack you. Now take all this, and add your favorite Pokémon to it. That’s basically what Pokémon Unite is all about.

Developed by TiMi Studio Group, Pokémon Unite was released for the Nintendo Switch late July and the game is also planned to launch for both Android and iOS in September. Having a Switch, and being a die-hard Pokémon fan, I decided to take Pokémon Unite for a spin. The game is around 950MB for the Switch (other platforms may vary). Having a fair knowledge of MOBAs, and also having seen the trailer for Unite, I was excited to see what the game had to offer, and I was not disappointed at all.

Pokémon Unite has the typical earmarks of any MOBA title. You have a number of Pokémon to choose from for your team. They can be melee (like Machamp or Lucario) or ranged (like Pikachu or AlolanNinetales). Charmander, for example, is a good all-around melee attacker. Different Pokémon are also ranked according to their difficulty in play styles, as well as their roles, being either support, offense, or defence. Each Pokémon has a breakdown of their stats so that you can decide and say “I choose you!” In a twist, all Pokémon start off at their first evolutionary stage. So if you pick Machamp, you will start off the match with a machop. Machop will evolve after reaching a certain level (akin to the regular Pokémon titles).

Where Pokémon Unite differs from traditional MOBAs is the way you score points. Rather than having to destroy your enemy’s base, Unite introduces a scoring system akin to basketball. Scoring is done by defeating either wild Pokémon that spawn throughout the map, or your opponent team. Once you have earned points from defeating a wild Pokémon, you must make your way to one of the opponent’s goal circles and drop your points into the circle. Each circle has a maximum score of 100. Once the score is reached, that goal circle is destroyed. Destroy as many goal circles as you can and victory is yours.

But you have to be careful. Your opponents aren’t going to take it easy on you either. There are numerous team fights that will happen in addition to battling wild Pokémon. If you die during one of these fights, some of the points you have collected will be lost, so be careful when engaging in team fights when you’re at low health. The beauty of Unite is that while a game of DOTA or League can take upwards of an hour to complete, a match in Unite is limited to 10 minutes. By the end of 10 minutes, the team that has the higher score is deemed the winner.

In addition to the wild  Pokémon, certain  Pokémon will spawn as bosses. These include the legendary and mythical  PokémonZapdos, Regigigas, and Zeraora. Defeating the boss  Pokémon is no easy task, but is definitely worth it. For example, defeating Zapdos will give extra points for your team, and your opponent’s goal zones will become defenceless for a limited time.

My first match in Unite was with a trusty Pikachu. In keeping with tradition, Pikachu doesn’t evolve, but rather learns new, more powerful moves. Going against water-type  Pokémon didn’t seem to deal extra damage, but it didn’t hurt to pick my fights either. Fortunately for me, the wild  Pokémon were a combination of Corphish and Aipom that were easy enough to take down.

Later on in a match, stronger  Pokémon such as Audino and Bouffalant will spawn, meaning you have to level up your  Pokémon as well. For example, levelling up Pikachu gave me a number of familiar moves to choose from such as Thundershock, and its signature move, Thunderbolt. I could choose two regular attacks at any given time, swap them out if needed when Pikachu levelled up, and then use its ultimate ability when getting into team fights.

If you’re the type to go chasing after your opponents, be warned that the opponent’s territory has a mechanism that will slow you down, so be extra vigilant that you’re not caught in a sticky situation. This mechanism is disabled when you destroy the opponent’s goal zone. If you find yourself at low health, you can teleport back to your base location, heal up, and continue the fight. You can also use items such as potions to heal a portion of your health, or head to one of your goal zones. Alternatively, berries – similar to Sitrus Berries from the main games – can be found across the map. These restore a small portion of health.

At the end of each match, you are awarded XP points to up your level. You can also unlock new  Pokémon after reaching certain levels. Like many other games,Unite also has a Battle Pass, so you can either play this as a free to play game or pay to get extra content. Logging in every day also gives you rewards and gifts such as potions, and even  Pokémon. Once you have levelled up your account, you can even take part in ranked battles. The higher your rank in these battles, the tougher the battles will be. But the pay-offs are equally worth it as you get higher tier rewards as well.

Because battles have a time limit of 10 minutes, you can pretty much play around 5-6 matches within the span of an hour. Matches can get quite competitive, but that doesn’t mean they’re not also insanely fun. Just make sure you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi network. This helps you get the best possible gameplay experience without lags and delayed attacks due to low signal or ping issues. In addition, if you’re playing on the Switch, make sure you run the game at 60fps, rather than the default 30fps. This gives you a much smoother gameplay.

Overall, TiMi Studio Group have done a stellar job with  Pokémon Unite. It combines traditional MOBAs with elements from  Pokémon and basketball, and does it brilliantly. Unite being a multiplayer title, you can invite your friends to join your party as well. This adds an extra layer of gameplay to the mix as you can communicate and call out shots to score that winning goal. If you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, fret not, because you can join the fun when Unite launches for Android and iOS.

Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.