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Is Pokemon Unite Pay to Win?

Pokemon Unite is the newest MOBA on the block, and players are already reporting that the game may be Pay to Win.

Pay to Win features in video games are universally known as one of the worst parts of the industry. When one of your favorite games has Pay to Win features, you’re often forced to grind for endless hours or spend money on microtransactions.

After all, without spending money, you’re going into online multiplayer at a disadvantage. And if your enemies have opened their wallets, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with them right from the get-go.

Pokemon Unite
(Source: Nintendo)

But is Pokemon Unite Pay-to-Win like so many games before it? Microtransactions in a game like this could greatly affect its longevity, so we’ve put together a full analysis for you.

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Pokemon Unite – Pay to Win?

Is Pokemon Unite Pay to Win? Our verdict is largely yes, but it’s not too straightforward.

To first get a handle on whether or not Pokemon Unite is Pay to Win, it’s important to get to grips with all of the game’s many currencies.

Make sure to choose the best Pokemon Unite starter so you don’t have to buy them later!

UPDATE: Pokemon Unite Pay to Win Concerns Discussed on Reddit

Pokemon Unite Currencies & Microtransactions Explained

  • Aeos Gems – the only paid currency in Pokemon Unite. Used to buy Pokemon, Battle Pass, and Holowear, and many other items.
  • Aeos Coins – Obtained through battles (up to 2100 per week), as well as through events, challenges, and Energy Rewards
  • Aeos Tickets – Obtained as ranked match season rewards, as well as from events, other sources, and the paid Battle Pass
  • Energy – Obtained from battles. Can also be bought with paid currency Aeos Gems.
  • Item Enhancers – Used to upgrade held items. Key item in becoming stronger. Can be earned through gameplay, or bought with Aeos Tickets.
  • Fashion Tickets and Holowear Tickets – obtained from various sources such as Energy Rewards – purely for cosmetics and can’t be bought.
Pokemon Unite Microtransactions pay to win Aeos Gems
(Source: Nintendo)

Now, with this many currencies in play, it can be hard to keep track of your spending in Pokemon Unite – a sign of a Pay to Win game.

But what do you really need to keep an eye on?

Well, Aeos Coins can be used to buy the all-important Battle Items for reasonably cheap. They can also be used to buy Pokemon, and most players will be able to pick at least one new recruit in their first week, thanks to the sheer amount of challenges and objectives to complete.

We don’t predict that this high rate of drops will last forever though. And for a cheap cost of Aeos Gems, or a slightly higher amount of Tickets, you can boost your Coin earnings for up to a week.

It’s important to check our Pokemon Unite Tier List before spending your hard-earned Aeos Coins!

Upgrading Items in Pokemon Unite

But where Pokemon Unite could really be straying into Pay to Win territory is with its item upgrades. After all, just by modifying your Held Items, players can head into Pokemon Unite already stronger than their opponents.

Right now, I build my Pikachu with a Muscle Band, which I’ve upgraded to Grade 10 by spending my (earned) Item Enhancers. Although each upgrade only cost a handful of Enhancers each, to reach Grade 11 I now have to spend 25 Item Enhancers on a single boost.

Already, my item has gone from giving me +1 Attack to +5 Attack and +2.5% Basic Attack Speed. What’s more, for reaching Grade 10, the item now also increases my Basic Attack damage by 2% of the opposing Pokemon’s remaining HP.

And that’s only Grade 10, each item can be upgraded up to Grade 30 – with far greater benefits to boot.

pokemon unite pay to win
(Source: Nintendo)

It’s a decent boost that I now have over a new player, or one less upgrade-savvy. And although I haven’t spent any money on these boosts, I could buy more Item Enhancers should I choose.

Each Item Enhancer costs 10 Aeos Tickets, which can’t be purchased outright. But when your Tickets run out, players have the option of using Aeos Gems in their place – truly securing the title as Pay to Win.

On top of that, you can also buy the Pokemon Unite Battle Pass.

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Pokemon Unite Battle Pass – Pay to Win

By purchasing the Pokemon Unite Battle Pass, I’d get access to a fair few extra Aeos Tickets. The Battle Pass gives out a good amount for free too, of course, but I’d be earning more with a purchase.

The only way to buy a Battle Pass is with 490 Aeos Gems, or 840 for a 10 level boost. With that in mind, the Battle Pass would set me back around $8 a season.

Yes, some may see the Pokemon Unite Battle Pass as being Pay to Win, but that’s far from the worst extent of it. Thanks to Aeos Gems being allowed to upgrade Held Items, players can directly pay for advantages in-game.

Of course, Play to Win users can catch up eventually, but not without one of the biggest grinds in recent gaming history.

Would you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

More Pokemon Unite Guides

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Comments 2

Comments

Lex

Saturday 24th of July 2021

This article is incorrect! Attempt to buy more 'item enhancers' than you have tickets for, it THEN asks you if you'd like to use gems, so you very much can just max out all your items with real money. Its super shady and sneaky how they've implemented it this way, and everyone is thus mis-reporting it. I thought the industry was getting better and passed this, but I guess not...

FastRiff

Saturday 24th of July 2021

The answer is 100% yes If the game allows you to buy items that push your general stats during game. And I saw what stats a full upgraded item does give you. its crucial for a moba to exclude such items in general. items should if ever be bought during a match with the gold or whatever in match currency it uses. Main stats should be neutral, this game is practically the definition of pay to win

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