In Pokémon UNITE, a MOBA twist on the classic Pokémon formula, players will not only battle their Pokémon against others, but catch some as well. Battling and catching Pokémon tie directly into the game’s scoring mechanic, which is the way to win Unite Battles.
After defeating any Pokémon, including those in the wild and controlled by opposing trainers, Pokéballs will drop for the player to collect. Depending on the Pokémon defeated, players will be rewarded with different amounts of Pokéballs that need to be brought to the opposing teams goals to successfully score points. Goals that reach the capacity are destroyed, allowing players to access deeper parts of their opponents’ side of the map and win the game.
Scoring goals can be interrupted by other players, though. When going to score, the player must channel in place for a few seconds before the Pokéballs are scored. In that time, they can be interrupted by opposing players attempting to save their goals. And when you are defeated, you lose a large amount of the Pokéballs that you collected, allowing the opposing team to pick them up and score in your goal while you are waiting to respawn.
Various items assist in the scoring process to both speed it up and prevent others from interfering. Battle items, which can only be used once per match, can both grant your Pokémon buffs and inhibit opponents from obtaining Pokéballs and scoring goals. For example, the Goal-Getter item increases your goal-scoring speed for a short duration, while the Slow Smoke slows down opponents hot on the pursuit. Since these items are of limited use, it is important to use them at the appropriate time to ensure that your Pokéballs successfully make it into the opponents’ goal.
Pokémon UNITE launches on the Nintendo Switch on July 21 and mobile devices in late 2021.