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Pokémon Unite: 10 essential tips & tricks for beginners

Pokémon Unite can be a challenging game for MOBA newcomers. From jungling and selecting Held Items to scoring points and chasing Legendaries, there’s a lot to wrap your head around when starting out. However, after a few matches, you’ll quickly realize things aren’t as difficult as they seem.

If you find yourself starting over at your Base more often than you’d like, here are a few tips to help improve your skills. Learning the ins and outs of Pokémon Unite might take some time, but these 10 tricks will keep your teammates happy — and keep you in the battle.

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Understand each Battle Type

Cinderace attack in Pokemon Unite

The easiest way to become a better Pokémon Unite player is to understand how each Battle Type is supposed to function — and how Pokémon in that class can impact a match. See Crustle slowly headed your way? Watch out for Rock Tomb, which can block your path to escape. Is there a Pikachu lurking up ahead? Try to get close and deal damage quickly — its HP is among the lowest in the game.

Understanding each Battle Type won’t happen overnight, but make a conscious effort to learn about how each of the five is supposed to act in battle. Do that, and you’ll be able to predict how your enemy is going to move before they even do it.

Learn every map

Only a handful of maps are available in Pokémon Unite, but they all offer slight variations of the usual MOBA format. Some will spawn Wild Pokémon that provide buffs when defeated, while others might include only a few Goal Zones that you’ll need to be aware of. Understanding where Wild Pokémon spawn and which lanes turn into massive chokepoints is vital to your success — head down the wrong lane at the wrong time, and you might be looking at an unexpected trip back to your base.

Work as a team

Gameplay from the Japanese Pokémon UNITE beta test.
Gameplay from the Japanese Pokémon UNITE beta test.

If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to work with your team. At the very least, you’ll need to stick together and organize which players will take which lanes. For the best chance of success, however, you’ll want to coordinate attacks and lane pushes to maximize your score count.

Each Battle Type in Pokémon Unite is well-suited to helping out their team. Whether you’re running as an Attacker, Defender, or Supporter, there’s almost no reason to venture out on your own — unless that’s part of your team’s master plan and you’re confident in your skills.

Focus on the objective

With so much action happening at once, it’s easy to get carried away on the battlefield. Instead of constantly chasing down opponents, make sure you keep your eye on the prize — score pointing. Once you’ve downed a few Wild Pokémon or knocked out a few members of the opposing team, make sure to score those points at a Goal Zone. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting knocked out yourself and losing your entire stash.

You’ll also need to keep an eye out for Legendary Pokémon and other Wild Pokémon that offer temporary stat boosts when defeated. They’re not easy to take down, but they’re more than worth the effort.

Don’t forget about Wild Pokémon

Charizard fighting Wild Pokemon in Pokemon Unite.

Speaking of Wild Pokémon — don’t forget to use them as an easy way to level up. No doubt it’s more fun to chase down real players, but these NPCs are easy XP and offer some of the best targets for low-level players. If you’re entirely new to Pokémon Unite, they also give you a chance to test out different skills in a fairly low-stakes environment.

Held Items are important

As you fight your way through Pokémon Unite, you’ll earn Aeos Coins that can be used to purchase items. And — if you’re hoping to keep up with other players at your level — you’re going to want to make liberal use of these. Held Items provide small stat boosts and various perks, such as improving your HP or providing you with free XP.

When the right Held Items are used with your Pokémon, you’ll notice a significant performance boost on the battlefield. With so many available items and more than a dozen playable Pokémon, there’s a lot of creativity when it comes to finding a mixture that best fits your playstyle.

Don’t fight near enemy Goal Zones

Venusaur scoring points in Pokemon Unite.

Combat in Pokémon Unite is already difficult, so do yourself a favor and avoid fighting near enemy Goal Zones. Because these offer their respective team a shield and restore HP, there’s no reason to try and eliminate enemies lurking by their own Goal Zones.

Instead, try to stun them or force them backward with other skills. Ignoring them typically isn’t the best solution — after all, you’ll need to score points somehow — but trying to get a full-blown knockout is a futile effort for new players.

Retreat when needed

You’re minding your own business, steadily eliminating Wild Pokémon and leveling up. Then, out of nowhere, come two or three opponents to steal your spot. If you don’t think you can fend them off, there’s no shame in retreating. Not only will you dodge the lengthy respawn timer, but you’ll also hold on to your precious points — just make sure you head to a Goal Zone as soon as the coast is clear.

Keep your level up

Greninja attacking in Pokemon Unite.

One of the most important aspects of Pokémon Unite is keeping pace with the rest of the lobby. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself a few levels behind the competition — making it difficult to score points or hold your lane.

As a newcomer, consider purchasing the Exp. Share item. This grants you consistent XP if you happen to be the lowest-level character on your team. You’ll also want to focus on improving your jungling abilities and overall skill usage, as that will help you level faster.

Focus on pulling last hits

Like all MOBAs before it, pulling last hits remains an important part of Pokémon Unite. Anyone who makes a list hit on either Wild Pokémon or the other team is granted more XP than the rest of the combatants — making it important to time your attacks and ensure powerful skills are off cooldown as their HP bar begins to dwindle.

You can also take advantage of this tactic to help teammates level. Deal a bit of damage to Wild Pokémon, call over your low-DPS teammate, and let them deliver the finishing blow. With any luck, you’ll be able to level both yourself and your team at an accelerated pace by working together and alternating which player delivers the final blow.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance journalist whose gaming addiction began with the SEGA Genesis. His work has been published on…
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