Pokemon Unite Releases Update Notes, Community Underwhelmed

by in General | Sep, 8th 2021

Pokemon Unite has been out for a little over a month, and the game has cemented itself well with Pokemon fans who are likely experiencing their first MOBA if they never got around to play League of Legends. The game’s success as a MOBA has led to its first tournament being organized by JCG, a Japanese esports brand that organizes tournaments and live events for games like Apex Legends, Shadowverse, and Rainbow Six: Siege.

Since the event and registration form was posted on the Japanese Pokemon Unite website, it would infer that the team working on Pokemon Unite can already see the community’s fervor for competitive play. Ensuring the game is balanced and bug-free is a task that many developers must undertake with live-service games, especially those that attract competitive play and see nascent esports scenes developing for their title. Pokemon Unite has its fair share of bugs, including a menu bug that went live with the Blissey update that we covered, along with other issues the game suffers from. A cursory glance at the Pokemon Unite subreddit shows that the community is struggling with some rather common issues for most MOBA titles. However, there seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the Pokemon Unite Twitter account announced that an upcoming update was underway.

Pokemon Unite’s Balance Changes, or Lack Thereof

Following the link posted in the Pokemon Unite account’s tweet leads to Pokemon Unite’s latest balance changes. In the notes for Ver., a ‘substantial’ update for Blissey was included:


  • Sp. Def increase
  • Safeguard changes:
    • Removes all status conditions from the user and the designated ally Pokemone and grants both Pokemon a shield. While these shields are active, the shielded Pokemone become immune to hindrances.
    • Cooldown reduced.
    • Area of effect increased.
  • Safeguard+ changes:
    • Upgrade now increases the amount of damage nullified by Safeguard’s shield effect.

And that was it. Considering that the game has specific bugs for nearly every Pokemon in the game right now, including an extremely unbalanced bug that gives Crustle nearly infinite ult. With Zapdos and Dreadmaw being key objectives to winning games, this makes Crustle perhaps the most necessary Pokemon for competitive players to draft on their teams as infinite ult allows him to tank and kill wild Pokemon with ease.

Granted, the game’s lifespan is less than two months old right now, but the live-service game ecosystem has conditioned players into expecting routine hotfixes and balance changes. No doubt the Pokemon Unite team has bigger changes planned, but with the existence of the Crustle ult bug and other gameplay bugs that make competitive play difficult, it may require that Nintendo and TiMi learn to prioritize immediate game fixes along with larger-scale content updates. It doesn’t help that Pokemon Unite utilizes a ‘pay-to-win’ model that may have alienated those looking to become seriously competitive at the game.

Tencent’s experience in the MOBA space will definitely assist in getting Pokemon Unite up to speed with development trends in the industry. Seeing as Nintendo is still relatively new to the games-as-a-service model, it’s help that Nintendo will greatly benefit from.


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