Pokemon UNITE

Beta Review: Is Pokemon UNITE Good?

Beta Review: Is Pokemon UNITE Good
This is Game8's review of Pokemon UNITE during its Network Beta Test on the Nintendo Switch. Read on to see our rating for the game and if Pokemon UNITE is worth picking up or not on release!

Pokemon UNITE Review Score and Rating

Pokemon UNITE - Official Pokemon UNITE Logo

Overall Score
Gameplay Accessibility Art & Graphics Fun
7/10 8/10 8/10 7/10

This rating is exclusively for the Japanese Network Beta Test.

Rating Explanations
Overall: The total rating of the game. The scores available range from 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
  • Gameplay: How we rate the mechanics and systems designed and put in the game.
  • Accessibility: How we rate Pokemon UNITE's barrier of entry and the general new player experience.
  • Art: Rating how beautiful and appropriate the game's graphics are.
  • Fun: At the end of the day, a game needs to be fun! This is our rating for how well Pokemon UNITE excels at providing a fun and enjoyable experience for players in general.

To read our full game review, check out the Game Review article by clicking the link below:

Game Review: Pokemon UNITE

To Whom Does Pokemon UNITE Cater Towards?

  • Those who prefer a MOBA that is relatively easier to pick up and learn than other titles in the genre.
  • Those who prefer short and straightforward matches.
  • Pokemon fans who are curious about the MOBA genre.

Pokemon UNITE Network Beta Test Review

Pros Cons

This review is exclusively for the Japanese Network Beta Test.

Pro: New Player Experience

Pokemon UNITE - Tutorial Menu

Pokemon UNITE has very solid tutorials right off the gate. Aside from your standard starter matches, there are additional training courses available from the main menu. These courses teach different aspects of the game in more detail.

This may seem like a minor detail for MOBA veterans, but the new player experience is something other MOBAs often neglect. Introducing various game mechanics without chucking new players into the deep end is something Pokemon UNITE competently addressed and should be commended.

Pro: Length and Pace for Casual Matches

Pokemon UNITE - Start of a match

Match Length

Time investment in a match is one of the things that makes MOBAs relatively inaccessible for new players. Current kings of the genre have an average match time of 30-40 minutes, which can potentially make the experience a grueling one — especially if you're on the losing side.

Pokemon UNITE offers a unique solution to this issue by introducing a 10-minute time limit per match! While this seemingly terrible idea won't work for other MOBA titles, Pokemon UNITE's unique match style allows it to thrive in this time-based system.

Pokemon UNITE matches are essentially score-based bouts between two teams. The team that scores the most points after 10 minutes wins. This means players can enter matches without investing much of their time into each one.

Casual Match Pacing

10-minute matches are insanely short — even by mobile MOBA standards. This means the overall movement around the map is incredibly fast-paced.

Junglers may find themselves needing to rotate towards their team's lanes earlier than they would initially expect. The laning phase tends to shift into the mid-game at around four minutes into the game, where most teams have their second evolutions already set.

Things speed up to the point of absolute chaos at the final two minutes of the game. Doubled points and the appearance of a Legendary Pokemon call for increased aggression as teams scramble to gather as many points as they can before the buzzer sounds.

Do not be deceived by Pokemon UNITE's colorful aesthetic. This game's lightning-fast pace can even throw some MOBA veterans off for the first few matches!

Pro: Learning Curve and Depth

Pokemon UNITE - Pokemon Menu
Pokemon UNITE's learning curve is easy to pick up because of the first two pros of this review. The combination of decent tutorials and short match times allows players to learn the general flow and mechanics of the game quicker than most MOBAs.

The game also has a surprising amount of depth due to its Pokemon moves system. Each Pokemon has its own set of skills or moves. Pokemon moves can then be upgraded to accommodate different playstyles, allowing players to tweak their chosen Pokemon to suit their preferred style in every match. Overall, this creates an environment where build diversity is at a good state — at least where the Network Beta Test was concerned.

Combine Pokemon UNITE's moves system with other staples of the MOBA genre, like items or map rotations, and we have ourselves an upcoming MOBA game that is more welcoming than most titles in the genre but maintains a viable level of competitiveness through its in-depth mechanics.

Con: Ranked Matches are Too Short

Pokemon UNITE - Short ranked matches

One of the issues we found during the Network Beta Test is how short the matches are. While 10 minutes is a nice length for casual matches, we feel that ranked matches should have more minutes for their matches for better overall match quality.

Why 10-Minute Ranked Matches Don't Work

The problem with 10-minute matches in ranked mode is that players don't have enough time.

Ranked matches are games where players are pit against opponents of equal skill levels. Players should be in an environment where a ranked match's length is long enough for more nuanced gameplay and strategy.

Ranked matches have the potential to be better if we simply had more time. Imagine 20-minute matches instead of 10. This can lead to situations where those on the losing side can simply avoid direct fights and focus on coming back via defending and farming the jungle or the opposite lane of where their opponents are at. Once the former has caught up in terms of exp, they can start to equalize and even win the match because the game gave them enough time to do so.

Another benefit of having more time is that the quality of the matches themselves gets better. Teams are inclined to think of more in-depth and unique strategies to win the game because they have the time to do so. The game's exp and score gain can also be adjusted by the new match length.

The current iteration of ranked matches heavily favors the team that can secure the laning phase of the match due to its short length, which brings us to the final point of this review.

Con: Matches Can Easily Snowball Out of Control

Pokemon UNITE - Final Score Screen

A MOBA is a game of maintaining the advantage but still has avenues and systems in place for losing teams to come back from a dire situation. This delicate balance was thrown out the window during Pokemon UNITE's Network Beta Test primarily due to its match length.

10-minute matches are too short to host a lot of the dynamic gameplay that MOBAs are known for having. The team that can secure the first four minutes of the match can easily maintain the lead to victory. The losing side is mostly forced to defend most of the time and wait for the winning side to make a mistake. The losing side also cannot afford to split the map much. By the time they catch up, their opponents have already banked too many points to make a comeback.

Pokemon balancing can also be a factor in this case since certain Pokemon like Lucario, Garchomp, and Absol thrive in the snowball meta a bit too much.

Product Information and Official Site

Release Date Nintendo Switch: July 2021
Android / iOS: September 2021
Price Free to play with in-game purchases
Developer The Pokemon Company / TiMi Studios
Genre MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
Supported Languages English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional)
French, Italian, Spanish to be added late 2021.
Number of Players 10 Players (5 vs. 5)
Japanese Title ポケモンユナイト(Pokemon UNITE)
Official Site Pokemon UNITE Official Website
Official Twitter Pokemon UNITE Official Twitter

Pokemon UNITE Related Links

Pokemon Unite Latest News

Latest News

Updates and Patch Notes

Updates and Patch Notes

Version 1.13

Version 1.13 Patch Notes List
(December 5, 2023)
(December 12, 2023)
(January 9, 2024)
(January 15, 2024)
(February 22, 2024)

Version 1.12

Version 1.12 Patch Notes List
(September 7, 2023)
(September 14, 2023)
(October 18, 2023)
(November 13, 2023)

Version 1.11

Version 1.11 Patch Notes List
(July 18, 2023)
(July 22, 2023)
(August 7, 2023)
(August 15, 2023)

Version 1.10

Version 1.10 Patch Notes List
(June 8, 2023)
(June 15, 2023)
(June 26, 2023)
(July 3, 2023)

Version 1.9

Version 1.9 Patch Notes List
(February 27, 2023)
(March 3, 2023)
(March 8, 2023)
(April 4, 2023)
(April 13, 2023)
(May 11, 2023)
(May 16, 2023)

Version 1.8

Version 1.8 Patch Notes List
(December 1, 2022)
(December 8, 2022)
(December 22, 2022)
(January 11, 2023)
(January 31, 2023)
(February 14, 2023)

Version 1.7

Version 1.7 Patch Notes LIst
(September 2, 2022)
(September 5, 2022)
(September 9, 2022)
(September 16, 2022)
(September 28, 2022)
(October 13, 2022)
(October 27, 2022)
(November 16, 2022)

Version 1.6

Version 1.6 Patch Notes List
(July 21, 2022)
(July 27, 2022)
(August 4, 2022)

Version 1.5

Version 1.5 Patch Notes List
(April 28, 2022)
(May 6, 2022)
(May 16, 2022)
(May 16, 2022)
(May 30, 2022)
(June 20, 2022)
(June 30, 2022)

Version 1.4

Version 1.4 Patch Notes List
(January 20, 2022)
(January 26, 2022)
(February 24, 2022)
(March 11, 2022)
(March 14, 2022)
(March 17, 2022)
(March 18, 2022)
(March 28, 2022)

Version 1.3

Version 1.3 Patch Notes List
(December 9, 2021)
(December 10, 2021)
(December 14, 2021)
(December 20, 2021)
(December 28, 2021)

Version 1.2

Version 1.2 Patch Notes List
(September 22, 2021)
(September 27, 2021)
(September 29, 2021)
(October 08, 2021)
(October 13, 2021)
(October 20, 2021)
(October 26, 2021)
(November 10, 2021)
(November 16, 2021)
(November 18, 2021)
(November 30, 2021)

Version 1.1

Version 1.1 Patch Notes List
(July 28, 2021)
(August 4, 2021)
(August 6, 2021)
(August 18, 2021)
(September 1, 2021)
(September 8, 2021)

Latest Maintenances and End Times

Server Maintenance End Time and Date
September 1 Maintenance September 2, 2022
7:00AM UTC
July 20 Maintenance June 21, 2022
7:00AM UTC
June 19 Maintenance June 20, 2022
7:00AM UTC
April 27 Maintenance April 28, 2022
7:00AM UTC
January 19 Maintenance January 20, 2022
7:00AM UTC
December 8 Maintenance December 9, 2021
7:00AM UTC
Mobile Release Maintenance September 21, 2021
12:00AM PT

Maintenance Schedules and End Times

News and Hot Articles

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UNITE 1st Anniversary Phase 1 UNITE 1st Anniversary Phase 2
UNITE Joins the Pokemon World Championship! Pokemon UNITE Game Review
Nintendo Switch Release Date Beta Features and Summary
Is Pokemon UNITE Free to Play? Is Pokemon UNITE Pay to Win?
Release Time & Countdown In-Game Purchases Guide
Pokemon UNITE Beta Review How to Fix Connection Errors
Appearing Characters Available Consoles and Platforms
Are There Bots in Ranked? Crossplay Guide: Is Pokemon UNITE Cross Platform?
MOBA Terms and Glossary Hex Bug Details

Pokemon Release Information

Pokemon Release Info
Pokemon UNITE - Gardevoir IconGardevoir Pokemon UNITE - Blissey IconBlissey Pokemon UNITE - Blastoise IconBlastoise Pokemon UNITE - Mamoswine IconMamoswine
Pokemon UNITE - Sylveon IconSylveon Pokemon UNITE - Greedent IconGreedent Pokemon UNITE - Decidueye IconDecidueye Pokemon UNITE - Tsareena IconTsareena
Pokemon UNITE - Dragonite IconDragonite Pokemon UNITE - Trevenant IconTrevenant Pokemon UNITE - Aegislash IconAegislash Pokemon UNITE - Duraludon IconDuraludon
Pokemon UNITE - Azumarill Icon Azumarill Pokemon UNITE - Espeon IconEspeon Pokemon UNITE - Delphox Icon Delphox Pokemon UNITE - Glaceon IconGlaceon
Pokemon UNITE - Buzzwole IconBuzzwole Pokemon UNITE - Tyranitar IconTyranitar Pokemon UNITE - Mew IconMew Pokemon UNITE - Dodrio Speedster IconDodrio
Pokemon UNITE - Scizor IconScizor Pokemon UNITE - Clefable IconClefable Pokemon UNITE - Zoroark IconZoroark Pokemon UNITE - Sableye IconSableye
Pokemon UNITE -Urshifu IconUrshifu Pokemon UNITE - Dragapult IconDragapult Pokemon UNITE - Comfey IconComfey Pokemon UNITE - Goodra IconGoodra
Pokemon UNITE - Lapras Icon No RoleLapras Pokemon UNITE - Chandelure IconChandelure Pokemon UNITE - Umbreon IconUmbreon Pokemon UNITE - Leafeon IconLeafeon
Pokemon UNITE - Inteleon IconInteleon
Pokemon UNITE - Mewtwo X IconPokemon UNITE - Mega Mewtwo Y Icon
Pokemon UNITE - Blaziken IconBlaziken Pokemon UNITE - Mimikyu IconMimikyu
Pokemon UNITE - Meowscarada IconMeowscarada Pokemon UNITE - Metagross IconMetagross Pokemon UNITE - Gyarados IconGyarados Pokemon UNITE - Miraidon Icon (Temporary).pngMiraidon


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