Switching Things Up: Pokemon Unite for Mobile
Creators aside, nobody expected a MOBA spinoff of Pokemon to work, and perhaps even the creators didn’t expect it to succeed. Yet here we are, with Pokemon Unite being a hugely popular Switch game. Its days being exclusive to the Nintendo handheld, however, are numbered, as the game is finally making a move to mobile.
In a Nutshell: Pokemon Unite for Mobile Newbies
That’s right – Pokemon Unite is going to launch on mobiles next week. Before going onto the details, however, a quick rundown on what the game is. After all, the launch on mobile is going to open up the floodgates of fresh blood onto the game, so it’s only right that they know what they’re getting into.
Like what’s been previously said, Pokemon Unite is a MOBA, where players choose from a select number of Pokemon to play as. These Pokemon are divided into five roles:
- Attacker – main purpose is to deal damage
- Speedster – known for mobility, also has much focus on offense
- All-Rounder – has balanced offensive, defensive, and utility abilities
- Defender – has high health and defense
- Supporter – provides much team utility such as healing, damage prevention, and mobility
Unlike most MOBA’s however, there are a few key differences. Instead of the game going on indefinitely until the enemy’s core structure is destroyed, a match only lasts 10 minutes. Also, there are only two lanes, and towers are replaced by goal zones. To break them, players have to score goals on them. The points scored onto these goals are from the wild Pokemon scattered throughout the arena, with each wild Pokemon varying in the number of points given when killed. Other than the usual ordinary wild Pokemon, there are three special wild Pokemon:
- Rotom – beating it causes it to travel across the enemy’s top lane and renders a goal defenseless upon contact, removing the channeling time needed when scoring big points
- Drednaw – gives the team of the player that beats it EXP and a shield
- Zapdos – renders all enemy’s goals defenseless
New Platform, Bigger Player Base
With the basics out of the way, let’s move on to the implications of this move to mobile on the game. First, it’s going to make the game’s audience way bigger than it used to be. While the Nintendo Switch is no slouch, with other 78 million units sold worldwide, it will never be able to compete against the number of phone owners.
Now that playing Pokemon Unite no longer needs a Nintendo Switch, anyone with a phone that can run it will be able to play it. Given the sheer number of phone owners in the world, to say that there will be a lot of new players is an understatement. There are already 5 million pre-registrations for Pokemon Unite, and it’s going to get bigger once the game starts getting much positive word of mouth on the platform.
Heck, lots of people will finally know that the game exists for the first time. Because no matter how big the Nintendo Switch sales may be, the more casual part of the entire global gaming population does not know its games. Really puts into perspective the “don’t you have phones?” mobile game-related joke that blew up a few years ago.
As for the concerns on whether a mobile MOBA could work, the genre is nothing new to the platform. League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legends, and Arena of Valor are all proof of that, so prospective mobile players should see no problem taking up Pokemon Unite.
Mobile vs Switch: Everyone Wins
Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that Pokemon Unite is going to be a cross-play game. That means Switch and smartphone players will be going up against one another. Now, before screaming that it’s not going to be fair for smartphone users, let’s lay down some facts. The joy-cons does indeed give better mobility compared to a touchscreen. However, touchscreen users should have better aim with their skill shots, as they can aim it to the exact location using their fingers. At the end of the day, it’s similar to a controller versus mouse debate, with each one having its pros and cons.
Last but not least, Pokemon Unite players – new ones and Switch players that want a fresh start or just want to smurf around – should pre-register now. Currently, with 5 million pre-registered players, everyone will be getting a free Pikachu with a costume. If it hits the new goal of 7.5 million, everyone will be getting 1,000 Aeos tickets for free.
So, are you going to be a new Pokemon Unite player next week? An old one that already has it on the Switch? Or a Switch owner that’s going to pick up the game on mobile for some reason? Tell us about it in the comments.