The free-to-play Pokémon Unite is finally available to download on Nintendo Switch.
It takes the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) formula popularized by games like League of Legends and mashes it with Pokémon. It’s no doubt a match made in heaven for some. There’s a lot that goes into playing a match of Pokémon Unite, but one of the most important decisions is the Pokémon you select for battle.
Even more crucial is the Pokémon you pick as your starter, which can significantly impact the early stages of the game. While there isn’t necessarily a “bad” starter option, some are better than others depending on your playstyle (and knowledge of the genre).
Since picking your starter is so important, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible when you begin the game. Here, we’ll go through all of the Pokémon Unite starters, which role they play, and what the best options are depending on your approach
List of all Pokémon Unite starters
Right off the bat, Pokémon Unite has five starters to choose from, but there are technically two additional Pokémon you can acquire before you even jump into an actual match.
The five base starters are as follows:
- Eldegoss — Ranged Supporter
- Snorlax — Melee Defender
- Pikachu — Ranged Attacker
- Charizard — Melee All-Rounder
- Talonflame — Melee Speedster
Additional Pokémon you can obtain from the start:
- Zeraora — Melee Speedster
- Slowbro — Ranged Defender
If you play Pokémon Unite before August 31, you’ll gain access to Zeraora for free. Simply check your mail in-game to claim the creature before the offer expires. As for Slowbro, you get this Pokémon as a reward for reaching level 2, which can be done by completing the tutorial.
So, before you even begin a match online, there are seven possible Pokémon you can take into the field. With the two additional Pokémon mentioned above, you’ll get to keep both of them — as opposed to the base starters, which only allows you to select one of the five.
The best Pokémon Unite starters
Pokémon Unite developer TiMi Studio did an excellent job of making a balanced lineup of starters to choose from, with Pokémon that mostly feel satisfying to use. Because of that, there isn’t one starter that overshadows the rest. Instead, you’ll want to pick a starter depending on your play style and familiarity with MOBA games.
After you finish the tutorial, you’ll be rewarded with a Unite License, which grants you access to a particular Pokémon. Remember, you can only pick one of the five, so you’ll want to be absolutely sure when you get to this point.
If you’re new to MOBAs and just want to get out there and deal damage, we suggest going with an Attacker. In this case, that’s Pikachu. This Pokémon not only deals high damage, it does so from afar, allowing you to keep your distance from your opponents. When learning how the game works, this is a great option, as it allows you to focus less on getting in your opponents’ faces, and more on dishing out damage. Pikachu is a satisfying option that is straightforward and rewarding to play as.
By the same token, those who want to get up close and personal without worrying too much about taking damage should use Snorlax, a Defender type. This is essentially the tank role and can be used to protect your other teammates while pummeling the competition. As long as you’re okay with being slower, Snorlax is a great choice.
Players looking to focus on the objective more should consider using a Speedster. Talonflame and Zeraora are the two Speedster options from the start. This role excels at dishing out significant damage, with high mobility, and emphasizes scoring points thanks to its speed. If you’re new to MOBAs, you might opt to pick something else since this role is better suited for aggressive players.
An overlooked starter is Eldegoss, a Supporter Pokémon. This role is meant for players who like to sit back a bit while buffing allies. Likewise, the Supporter role can also de-buff enemies, as well, and is a great addition to any team. The issue is that it’s a more passive role, which is often glossed over when compared to others. If you want a high-action Pokémon, we recommend choosing something other than Eldegoss.
Finally is the All-Rounder type, in this case, Charizard. It might be tempting to pick this option since it’ll cover all your bases, but Charizard might give you some trouble at the start. It’s not a bad option by any means, but the fact that All-Rounders don’t really specialize in any category could cause problems depending on the situation.
To sum it up, we recommend picking Pikachu if you’re unfamiliar with MOBAs. If you’re an experienced MOBA player, Talonflame and Zeraora are great options, that work for those looking to play the objective.