Pokémon UNITE beginner’s guide | Tips and Tricks

Pokémon's take on the MOBA genre can be a bit confusing, but these tips will help you quickly master Unite Battles.

Screengrab via Nintendo

Whether you’re a veteran of the MOBA genre or just a fan of the Pokémon series, Pokémon UNITE has all of the tools to help you dive headfirst into UNITE Battles.

Much like other MOBA titles, Pokémon UNITE pits five players against another team of five players that control different Pokémon. The Pokémon available to choose from are separated into different classes based on their strengths: Attacker, Defender, Supporter, Speedster, and All-Rounder. Though each Pokémon is categorized, the moves they can learn leveling up can be used for both attacking and defending, making each battle feel new and exciting.

The twist in this MOBA, however, is that instead of destroying opposing towers and invading their bases, players must work together to score goals using Aeos Energy. The team with the most Aeos Energy collected and scored at the end of the 10-minute game is the victor, though there are many ways to ensure prowess on the battlefield even if it’s the first time you’ve played this genre of game.

Here’s our guide for beginners of Pokémon UNITE, aimed at helping both seasoned MOBA veterans and those picking up this new title for its solid collection of Pokémon.

Don’t forget the wild Pokémon

Players may feel compelled to lash out at opposing players for their Aeos Energy, though doing so will often reap less rewards early on in the battle. Therefore, it is important that players take advantage of catching the wild Pokémon scattered across the map to harness Aeos Energy efficiently.

As you level up, the wild Pokémon around the map level up as well, and most will even evolve to offer more Aeos Energy. Some wild Pokémon, such as Ludicolo, Bouffalant, Drednaw, and Rotom, will offer extra buffs on top of Aeos Energy. These buffs are vital in advancing on opponents’ goals and disrupting them from scoring on your own goals.

However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid opposing players completely. Should an opponent be attempting to score on one of your goals, you have the ability to stop them before doing so—especially if they have a lot of Aeos Energy, as the scoring process will take longer to finish. During the late game, opponents will likely have an abundance of Aeos Energy gathered from around the map ready to be scored. 

Defeating them will not only have them drop a bit of the Aeos Energy they were carrying but will also take that chunk away from them when they respawn, making it very important to worry about opponents as the game progresses.

Complete the tutorials and head to the Practice Area

Pokémon UNITE has six tutorials that can be accessed via the Practice tab in the menu. Each of these tutorials focuses on a different skill that is imperative to know before players dive into Unite Battles. They also offer players a large amount of Aeos coins upon completion, which can be used in the shop to purchase Unite licenses for more Pokémon to use.

Within the Practice tab also lay the Practice Area, where players can get a more hands-on look at the mechanics of the game before they head online to battle other players. Every Pokémon is available to use in the Practice Area, regardless if you have their Unite license or not. This also acts as a great way to test a Pokémon of your interest before dropping a hefty sum of Aeos coins on their Unite license.

Review a Pokémon’s moves and ability

Within the Pokémon tab, players will be able to learn more about each Pokémon within the game. Each Pokémon starts with two base moves that can then be turned into other moves as the player levels up. These moves then power up even further when the player progresses towards their final level, allowing for even more proactivity across the map. Some moves also combo with other moves, such as allowing them to do more damage if used consecutively or resetting another move’s cooldown. 

Unite Moves act as this game’s version of “ultimate” moves, requiring players to charge them up before use. These are some of the strongest attacks at a Pokémon’s disposal and can be vital in turning around a bad fight, but can only be used once before having to be charged up again from zero percent. There are different types of Unite Moves depending on the Pokémon’s category, and they cannot be changed or switched out for other moves like the rest of a Pokémon’s moveset.

Every Pokémon also has an ability that affects some portion of their gameplay. For example, Pikachu’s ability Static paralyzes opponents when it is attacked, while Talonflame’s ability Gale Wings lets it move faster when at high HP. Each of these abilities can be viewed alongside moves by pressing Y on the individual Pokémon, and are vital to knowing exactly how a Pokémon plays.

Battle items and hold items can come in handy

There are two types of items usable within Pokémon UNITE: battle items and hold items. Both types of items can be accessed via Battle Prep on the main menu, though have different functions that aim to bring out the full potential of your Pokémon.

Battle items provide either a buff to your Pokémon or a debuff to your opponents when in battle. Only one battle item can be equipped at a time, and after it is used it goes on a short cooldown. For example, a Potion can restore a decent amount of HP to your Pokémon in a pinch, while Slow Smoke creates an area where opponents’ movement speed is lowered for a short duration. All Battle Items can be obtained by increasing your trainer level.

Hold items are specific to a desired Pokémon and can be changed before beginning a match. These items work differently from Battle items in that they are always active and can be leveled up to provide even greater benefits. Leveling up hold items requires Item Enhancers, which can be purchased in the shop alongside other hold items. As the player levels up their trainer level, they will be able to equip up to three hold items at a time on any given Pokémon, allowing for different combinations of effects that could benefit your Pokémon and those that hinder others.

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