Pikachu Guide: Builds and Best Items | Pokemon UNITE

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Pikachu Guide: Builds and Moves

The best guide on how to play Pikachu in Pokemon UNITE for Nintendo Switch and Mobile. Check here for the best builds, Held and Battle items, movesets, as well as the latest nerfs, buffs, counters, matchups, and more!

Pikachu Basic Info

Tier Rating: S Rank Icon

Role: Attacker
Attack Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Special
Difficulty: Novice
"Pikachu is a Pokémon that excels at attacking opponents from far away with electricity. Sometimes the attacks even leave opposing Pokémon paralyzed!"

Pokemon Unite Tier List

Pikachu Best Lanes

Top Icon.pngTop Jungle Icon.pngJungle Bot Icon.pngBottom
4 Stars.png
5 Stars.png
3 Stars.png

Tips & Strategies for Every Lane

Pikachu Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
✔︎ Huge Damage Sustain
✔︎ Wide Attack Range
✔︎ AOE Stun for Crowd Control
✖︎ Very Squishy
✖︎ Low AOE Burst
✖︎ No Escape

Best Builds for Pikachu


Control Build

Moveset Held Items
Battle Item

This is the most effective build to use Pikachu with given its priority to attack and the effective use of its moves that inflict stun. This is also the perfect move combination for Pikachu's Unite Move allowing for a more devastating attacking strategy.

Burst Build

Moveset Held Items
Battle Item

The Burst Build is a more strategic offensive option as compared to the Control Build. It takes into account a well-timed singular attack to help ease out a congested lane and then escape to avoid damage.

Stun Support Build

Moveset Held Items
Battle Item

A defensive build that focuses on support rather than attack, Pikachu abuses its stun moves in this build while making sure it stays alive to continue providing ample offense and support. Not as viable as the first two, but this can work in teams filled with Attackers and/or Speedsters with Pikachu taking a back seat and letting the others take the kills.

Pikachu Best Items & Moveset

Item Description
Exp. Share.pngExp. Share While the Pokemon has the fewest Exp. Points on the team, it gains (2/3/4) Exp. Points per second. In addition, when a nearby teammate defeats a wild Pokemon, that teammate gains slightly more Exp. Points.
Buddy Barrier.pngBuddy Barrier When the Pokemon uses its Unite Move, that Pokemon and the nearby ally Pokemon with the lowest HP are each granted a shield equal to (20/30/40)% of their max HP.
Wise Glasses.pngWise Glasses Increases Sp Attack by (3/5/7)%.
Choice Specs.pngChoice Specs Increases the damage of moves by a minimum of (40/50/60) when they hit. The higher the Pokemon's SP. Atk. the more the damage is increased

Held Item Tier List: Best Items to Equip

Exp. Share will add more HP on top of Buddy Barrier. Further, this increases your mobility allowing Pikachu to escape skirmishes or provide support easier. The Buddy Barrier provides a decent amount of HP to offset Pikachu's fragility and would help your teammates survive as needed. Shell Bell's main function is to keep Pikachu's health up whenever necessary. Use your moves often to maximize the effect of this Held Item.

Best Battle Items

Item Description
Eject Button.pngEject Button Makes your Pokemon move quickly in the specified direction.

Eject Button allows Pikachu to have a quick getaway when things get dicey, it also allows you to catch up to a fleeing low-health enemy.

Best Moveset

Move Description
Thunderbolt ImageThunderbolt Summons a powerful blast of lightning after a short charge, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon in the area.
Upgraded: Increases the damage dealt by Thunderbolt.
Electro Ball ImageElectro Ball Hurls an electric orb, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon within the area of effect. Deals extra damage based on missing HP of enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the damage dealt by Electro Ball.

Thunderbolt is a must have for team battles as it locks down any enemies caught within the AOE with a long stun. Stopping enemies in teamfights is the top priority, if they are stunned they cannot use skills which is a huge advantage for you and your team.

Though not as huge as the Thunderbolt, the Electro Ball can stun enemies within an AOE as well as deal huge damage when timed correctly. The less health your enemy has, the more Electro Ball deals damage. Use this skill to chase down enemies on the run!

Which Moveset Do You Think is Best For Pikachu?

Let us know why in the comments!

How to Play Pikachu

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Charging Up

Pikachu is a glass cannon - easily shattered but deadly when used. You'll want to be playing away from enemies, behind tougher allies (preferably Defenders) and stunning any enemies that get close and escape.

Pikachu has strong stun capability, so use this to hold enemies in place to defeat them in one go.

AoE or Single Target

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Using Thunder

The choice of Thunder or Electro Ball at Level 4 should be made based on if you need AoE damage for team fights or high damage single target stun. Similarly, at Level 6 the choice of Volt Tackle or Thunderbolt should be made based on crowd control or AoE necessity.

Attack Safely from Range

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Attacking Safely from Range, 440x237

Since Pikachu's attack range is quite large you can easily kite and poke enemies safely at the edge of the attack range, before stunning them and finishing them off with an Electro Ball or Thunder. Using Battle Items like Eject Button or X Speed can be used as an emergency retreat or X attack to ensure a KO.

Farm Wild Pokemon with Ease

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Farming Wild Pokemon Easily

Since Pikachu's moves deal high AoE damage and stun, Pikachu can easily clear the Vespiquen and Combee Camps for XP and Aeos Points as well as help take out Rotom. If playing on Bottom lane, Drednaw can even be soloed due to Pikachu's long range and stuns which helps avoid Drednaw's knock up ability.

Save Thunderstorm for Team Fights

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Using Thunderstorm, 440x237

Since big team fights typically break out around important map objectives like Rotom, Drednaw and Zapdos, Pikachu's Unite Move Thunderstorm should be saved until then. While the damage is not great, it has a large area of effect and can be used to finish of the enemy team at low health.

Pikachu Combos

Control-Damage Combo

Control-Damage Combo
Thunderbolt IconElectro Ball IconThunderstorm Icon
Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Control-Damage Combo
This combo focuses on controlling a group of enemies and using your best AoE moves to deal insane group damage. Use Thunderbolt to keep a group in place and then use Electro Ball to hit them all at once. If they are still within range and your Unite move is fully charged, you can follow that up with Thunderstorm which hopefully clears off the rest of the enemies.

Burst Combo

Burst Combo
Electro Ball IconVolt Tackle IconStandard Attack Icon

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Burst Combo
The Burst combo focuses on making sure Pikachu moves away after every attack since Volt Tackle has the benefit of allowing you to move quickly away from the point of impact. Use Electro Ball first to keep your target in place and then use Volt Tackle. Then, begin retreating away while still launching your standard attacks when you can. Once fully recharged, continue with the combo.

Matchups and Counters for Pikachu

Hard Counter
Fair Matchup
AbsolBlisseyCharizardCinderaceCramorantCrustleGardevoirLucarioMr. MimeTalonflameVenusaurWigglytuff
Good Matchup
Alolan NinetalesEldegossGreninjaSlowbro

✘ : Counter | = : Even | : Advantageous
1. The chart is based on our own experience playing Pikachu.
2. Pokemon within each tier are unordered
3. Any Pokemon not shown here are still under investigation.

Close the Gap to Counter Pikachu

Pikachu has no escape moves to rely on once its cornered. Closing the distance between you and Pikachu increases your chances of winning a fight. Most likely if you chase a Pikachu, it will either stun you and run or attempt to use its UNITE move as a ditch effort to burst you down. If you survive the fight, punish Pikachu accordingly.

Best Counters

Pokemon Explanation
Zeraora ImageZeraora Rating: ★★★★★
Spark can be proc'd three times, making it a deadly gap closer.
Discharge just deals disgusting amount of damage and grants a shield to Zeraora, lowering the chances of being bursted down.
Gengar ImageGengar Rating: ★★★★
Hex can close a gap instantly, leaving Pikachu unable to react.
・ Gengar's UNITE move, Phantom Ambush can be chained with Hex for a Double TP wombo combo.
Machamp ImageMachamp Rating: ★★★
Bulk Up grants a CC Debuff, making Machamp imune to stun in the early game.
Barrage Blow combined with Submission makes Machamp an unstoppable train of anti-crowd control.

Even Matchups

Even matchups for Pikachu are those who can either match its amount in damage or survive its damage burst.

Mexican Stand-off

Pokemon with High Damage and Crowd Control
Cramorant Image Gardevoir Image Cinderace Image

Pikachu can go toe-to-toe against these Pokemon in an even setting. Whoever gets the jump first, most likely will win the match up as these Pokemon have good damage output.

Halt, Citizen!

Thick Defense and Crowd Control
Blissey Image Crustle Image Wigglytuff Image

Pikachu can dish out awful stuns to the enemy but once it gets a taste of its own medicine, the tables get turned. If debuffed, Pikachu can only watch in terror as the enemy team chip away at its health. Thick Defenders also pose a problem as they block the path to the more squishier Pokemon.

Best Matchups for Pikachu

Pokemon with lower damage output in the early game will have no chance since they will have a hard time catching up to you in damage if you stomp them early on. Pokemon with hardly any damage output at all will only be a mild nuisance.

Pokemon Explanation
Alolan Ninetales ImageAlolan Ninetales Unless Alolan Ninetales traps Pikachu, it would not have much difficulties with Ninetales given its fragility (even with boosts from Aurora Veil). Add stun into the mix, it almost becomes a free kill.
Eldegoss ImageEldegoss Eldegoss has no good damaging move that can counter Pikachu and Pikachu's stun moves will be its doom.
Greninja ImageGreninja A single stun and follow up combos will make quick work of Greninja and offers little counters to Pikachu's moves.

Best Teammates for Pikachu

Pokemon Explanation
Zeraora ImageZeraora Good melee support to Zeraora's rushing attack style
Pikachu on its own is a very volatile character. But, with Zeraora at its side, with its potent rushing and slashing attacks, stunning an opponent will spell its early doom with Pikachu's stunning attacks and Zeraora to finish it off.
Snorlax ImageSnorlax Can act as a shield for Pikachu
Pikachu can use its potent attacks behind Snorlax's block. When Block ends, Pikachu can then switch to defensive mode using its stun attacks while Snorlax becomes the offense, using its slamming moves.
Eldegoss ImageEldegoss Offers more survivability for Pikachu
Pikachu's main problem is its fragility - but with Eldegoss at its side, it can help solve that somewhat, allowing Pikachu to use its attacks more often.

Looking for teammates to synergize with you? Head over to our Friend Request Board to find other trainers to join you in your grind or just to hang out with!

Friend Request Board

Pikachu Moves and Ability

Pikachu Ability

Static ImageStatic The user unleashes electricity when taking damage, stunning nearby opponents. Will not take effect again until 10 sec. cooldown ends.

Move Slot 1 (R)

Thunder Shock ImageThunder Shock
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Sure Hit
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 5s
Total Damage: 481 (Lv. 3)
Fires electricity at a target area, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon.
Thunder ImageThunder
(Lv. 4)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 8s
Total Damage: 1115 (Lv. 4) / 2947 (Lv. 15)
Summons a barrage of lightning strikes at the target area, dealing damage to enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the number of lightning strikes.
Electro Ball ImageElectro Ball
(Lv. 4)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Sure Hit
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 5s
Total Damage: 735 (Lv. 4) / 1869 (Lv. 15)
Hurls an electric orb, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon within the area of effect. Deals extra damage based on missing HP of enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the damage dealt by Electro Ball.

Move Slot 2 (ZR)

Electroweb ImageElectroweb
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 414 (Lv. 3)
Throws an electric net, stunning the enemy Pokemon.
Thunderbolt ImageThunderbolt
(Lv. 6)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 8s
Total Damage: 683 (Lv. 6) / 1358 (Lv. 15)
Summons a powerful blast of lightning after a short charge, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon in the area.
Upgraded: Increases the damage dealt by Thunderbolt.
Volt Tackle ImageVolt Tackle
(Lv. 6)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 10s
Total Damage: 610 (Lv. 6) / 1015 (Lv. 15)
The user engulfs itself with electricity and leaps forward, damaging and knocking up enemy Pokemon hit by the Move.
Upgraded: Reduces the cooldown of Volt Tackle.

Unite Moves (ZL)

Thunderstorm ImageThunderstorm
(Lv. 9)
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 139s
Total Damage: 3096 (Lv. 9) / 4388 (Lv. 15)
Summons a lightning all around the user and increases Movement Speed. Any enemies around the user will get struck by lightning.

Pikachu Stats and Evolutions

Pikachu Evolutions

This Pokémon does not evolve.

Pikachu Stats

Level HP Defense Special Defense Attack Damage
1 3292 35 27 134
2 3399 40 31 140
3 3517 45 35 146
4 3646 51 40 153
5 3788 58 45 160
6 3945 65 51 168
7 4117 73 57 177
8 4307 82 64 187
9 4516 92 72 198
10 4747 103 80 210
11 5001 115 89 223
12 5280 128 99 237
13 5588 142 110 253
14 5927 158 122 271
15 6300 175 135 290

Attack Damage is the damage of the Basic Attack as tested against the Training Dummy.

Pikachu In-Game Stat Listings

Offense Endurance Mobility Scoring Support
4.5 Stars.png 1.5 Stars.png 2.5 Stars.png 2 Stars.png 1.5 Stars.png

Pikachu Skins (Holowear)

Hip-hop Style
PikachuHip-hop Style

Season 1 Battle Pass Reward
Fashionable Style
PikachuFashionable Style

Aeos Gems 400
Purple Unite Style
PikachuPurple Unite Style

Aeos Gems 350 / Holowear Ticket 18
Orange Unite Style
PikachuOrange Unite Style

Aeos Gems 350 / Holowear Ticket 18
Festival Style
PikachuFestival Style

All Pokemon Skins (Holowear)

Pokemon UNITE Related Guides

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List of All Pokemon and Builds

Top 5 Master Rank Picks & Win Rate

▼ All data based on Master Rank Top 100

Pokemon Tier Most Played Average Win Best Lane
Lucario.png Lucario SS Tier 18% 79% Bot
Snorlax.png Snorlax SS Tier 15% 79% Top
Greninja.png Greninja A Tier 13% 79% Jungle
Eldegoss.png Eldegoss A Tier 12% 79% Bot
Cramorant.pngCramorant S Tier 10% 79% Top

Master Rank: Top Ranked Win Rates

Pokemon by Role

All Pokemon Roles
Attacker Icon.pngAttackers All-Rounder Icon.pngAll-Rounders Defender Icon.pngDefenders
Speedster Icon.pngSpeedsters Supporter Icon.pngSupporters

All Pokemon Guides and Builds

Pokemon Roster
Pikachu.pngPikachu Charizard.pngCharizard Snorlax.pngSnorlax Crustle.pngCrustle
Greninja.pngGreninja Eldegoss.pngEldegoss Talonflame.pngTalonflame Lucario.pngLucario
Venusaur.pngVenusaur Mr. Mime.pngMr. Mime Slowbro.pngSlowbro Absol.pngAbsol
Machamp.pngMachamp Wigglytuff.pngWigglytuff Alolan Ninetales.pngAlolan Ninetales Cramorant.pngCramorant
Gengar.pngGengar Garchomp.pngGarchomp Cinderace.pngCinderace Zeraora.pngZeraora
Gardevoir.pngGardevoir Blissey.pngBlissey Blastoise Icon.pngBlastoise Mamoswine Icon.pngMamoswine
Sylveon Icon.pngSylveon - - -

Pokemon by Characteristics

Attack Type
Melee Pokemon Ranged Pokemon
Physical Pokemon Special Pokemon
Stat Rankings
HP Ranking Defense Ranking
Sp. Def. Ranking Basic Attack Ranking

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    • Eastern Time Zone
      Currently 2 player team
      I main Gengar Jungle / Eldegoss or Wigglytuff Support
      2nd player is Pikachu Attacker.
      Looking for players to join in Ranked who have a general understanding of the game mechanics, team fights, and how to rotate properly.
      We generally play around night time around 10p-1a most days.
      Friend Code is 7P0LFG3

    • is sylveon really that good now since the nerf?

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