Pokémon Unite survey exposes the game’s worst flaws
Despite its popularity, Pokemon Unite has issues that need to be addressed.
Pokémon Unite has garnered a lot of attention since its July 21 launch, giving players an accessible, free-to-play online battle arena that’s very different from your typical Pokémon experience.
Despite its popularity, the Pokémon MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) has its fair share of issues. To get to the bottom of what these issues are, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company released an in-depth survey, soliciting responses from the community.
These questions run the gamut and cover all aspects of Pokémon Unite, from its monetization to balancing, and other aspects like its visuals. Though the game received mostly positive reviews, the community’s response to this survey points towards many of the game’s most pressing issues.
Pokémon Unite needs a Zapdos nerf
One of the most commonly requested changes is a nerf to the Zapdos boss, a Legendary Pokémon that spawns during the later portions of a match that is regarded as overpowered. A nerf would adjust some aspects of the encounter to make it more manageable.
As Twitter user @BrysonKilluh notes, a team can defeat Zapdos to take the lead, even if they had failed to gain a single point throughout the entire match.
“Zapdos needs a heavy change, [because] it feels like whoever wins is based on who gets the bird,” Twitter user @BlackBeartic wrote. “It invalidates the previous eight minutes of the match unless you were like absolutely steamrolling them.”
The survey features a question about whether players feel their team is usually overtaken within the last minute of the match, so perhaps this will be addressed in the future.
Pokémon Unite relies too much on pay to win
Pokémon Unite is a free-to-play game that features microtransactions. This is typical of many similar games, but they can quickly lose appeal if monetization isn’t balanced. While Pokémon Unite’s in-game purchases aren’t as egregious as other games, spending real money is sure to give you an advantage.
For instance, players can purchase Enhancers to upgrade held items, which grant stat boosts like increased damage, attack, and defense. Enhancers improve how effective each held item is and can sway the course of the match if optimized. It’s certainly possible to enhance your held items by earning currency, but those who spend real money can quickly skip over the grind.
“People having level 30 items already [because] they dropped a few 100 dollars is super unfair, and noticeable with certain combinations,” Twitter user @Kobazco wrote, “It makes ranked super hard to climb sometimes.”
This issue could be tackled in a number of ways, including decreasing the grind required to obtain currency by playing. Pokémon Unite doesn’t emphasize pay-to-win as much as other free-to-play games do, but a tweak to its held item enhancement system already feels necessary.
As part of the survey, players are asked if the game “overemphasizes” spending money to be successful. It seems like many of them would say yes.
Adjust the Pokémon Unite Aeos Coins and Energy weekly cap
Speaking of pay-to-win, Pokemon Unite only allows you to earn 2,100 Aeos Coins and 1,400 Aeos Energy per week. This directly encourages players to spend more real money in-game since grinding isn’t much of an option in this case, even if you wanted to. Of course, there is no limit to how much real money you can spend in Pokémon Unite.
Many users have lamented being able to purchase a currency that impacts the gameplay. But in many free-to-play games, you’re still able to grind to obtain this currency, as well. This makes the Pokémon Unite weekly cap odd and frustrating.
Twitter user @Artlocked suggests that Pokémon Unite “remove the weekly cap of coins and Aeos Energy balls or at the very least increase it far more than the actual cap.”
This issue is in line with the game feeling like it’s pay-to-win, as it disallows players to put in the time to even compete with those who have spent real money. If someone wants to grind, they should be able to with no artificial cap that encourages spending money.