7 Things to Know Before Playing Pokemon Unite

What is Pokemon Unite?

Pokemon Unite is the latest MOBA to the scenes and is playable on the Nintendo Switch. MOBA stands for “multiplayer online battle arena” and is typically classified by two teams fighting on a predefined battlefield. 

In Pokemon Unite, the map includes two lanes, top, and bottom, as well as a Jungle area on either side of the map. The purpose of the game is to score as many goals in the enemy lane territory before the 10-minute timer runs out.

While Pokemon Unite isn’t as complex as League of Legends, you should still educate yourself on the core components of MOBA games before jumping in. Here are 7 things that you should absolutely know before playing your first match in Pokemon Unite!

Pokemon Unite feature image

Battle Prep is Key 

Before the match, you can adjust a few things in the “battle prep” screen, essentially creating a loadout for your Pokemon. You can go into a fight with up to three held items, once you reach trainer level 10, which provides passive buffs to your Pokemon. 

These boosts include everything from health regeneration to attack speed. The internet is already full of guides on which items to equip for specific Pokemon, so search for your main and choose the items appropriately.

Additionally, you can edit your default moveset prior to going into battle. You can always opt for a different move once you get in the arena, but it’s nice to have your presets to reduce the cognitive load during the game.

You Can Heal At Your Battle Zones

Incoming damage is a constant threat in Pokemon Unite. Luckily, the game provides several options for restoring your health.

One of the best ways to get HP back is by standing in your respective Battle Zone after you’ve taken damage. As long as your Pokemon is in the circle, you will continue to regen health over time. This can be very useful when trying to fight off an opposing Pokemon in your lane.

Additionally, there are two yellow fruit items behind the Battle Zones that instantly give you back some health. These respawn over time and are a lifesaver when you’re being chased by multiple enemies when your health is low!

Pokemon Unite Battle Zone

Fast Travel to Battle

A few minutes into the match, you’ll see an orange arrow pointing out of your base. These allow you to Superjump to one of six designated locations in the arena.

Press ‘down’ on your keypad to initiate the Superjump, select your drop location with the right joystick, then hit ‘ZR’ to bounce over to your destination. Be careful of diving into a cluster of enemies!

Executing a superjump in Pokemon Unite

You Die Quickly Against Multiple Enemies

As much as possible, you should avoid taking fights when outnumbered. This is especially the case late in the match when enemies have gained abilities that deal a ridiculous amount of burst damage.

If numbers aren’t in your favor, it’s usually better to retreat than to sacrifice your Aeos energy from a death. Enemy Pokemon also gain a nice XP bump from killing you, which makes them stronger and even tougher to kill.

It Takes Longer to Dunk More Points

Dunking Aeos energy is one of the core components of Pokemon Unite. The more energy you have to deposit, the longer it will take to score at an opposing base.

To deposit your max 50 energy points, it takes a full 5 seconds! Be sure to look out for opposing enemies in the area since you are vulnerable to attacks while trying to deposit. If possible, try to dunk with a teammate so you can watch out for each other as you are scoring.

Scoring Points at a Battle Zone

Upgrade Items For More Lethality

This is one of the more controversial topics in Pokemon Unite. Each item can currently be upgraded to level 20 by using in-game currency. This essentially means that the longer you play the game, the more currency you’ll have, and the higher your item levels will be. All other things being equal, someone with maxed-out items will usually win a 1v1 fight against the same Pokemon with lower item levels.

You don’t have to worry about upgrading until Trainer Level 9, and I would advise choosing 2-3 items to boost to level 10 before spending points anywhere else.

Upgrading items in Pokemon Unite

You Can Teleport in Pokemon Unite

You can return to your base at any time by initiating the “to base” command in Pokemon Unite. It only takes about three seconds and it will transport you back to safety from the battlefield. At base, you regain health almost instantly, so this is a great way to get back to full strength quickly.

Try to do the teleport animation while in tall grass to avoid being seen. If you are being chased, consider running away from the enemy Pokemon until they give up their pursuit before attempting to teleport. Taking damage of any kind will cancel out the teleport animation!

Returning to Base in Pokemon Unite

Winning More Games in Pokemon Unite

Once you have these 7 tips under your belt, you’ll be well ahead of the curve in your Pokemon Unite journey! Beyond these, you need to learn a few different Pokemon to be the most effective teammate possible. I recommend at least trying every Pokemon once to see what they can do and understand how to play against them.

Personally, I’ve been maining Zeraora – super broken at the moment – and am enjoying playing in the Jungle! Check YouTube for Pokemon-specific guides and then hop into the ranked queue for some more challenging matches!

What are your tips for people looking to get into Pokemon Unite? Join the conversation in the comments section, below!

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