Niantic has finally released its newest game – Harry Potter Wizards Unite. This game has been hotly anticipated since it was first announced in 2016. Being another Niantic product, it is inevitably going to be compared against Pokémon Go as well as Ingress Prime. To help Pokémon Go players that want to start playing both games here is a basic breakdown of the similarities and some new features. For full up-to-date information, guides, and tips on Wizards Unite, visit our sister site Wizards Unite Hub.

Similarities to Pokémon Go

Having the same parent company is going result in a lot of features we love from PoGo adapted for the Harry Potter world. Most obviously, Wizards Unite has your avatar walking around on a real world map finding things. In Pokémon GO, you are looking for and catching Pokémon, while in Wizards Unite you are trying to find Foundables. We’re here to help you along in the Wizarding World by offering comparisons between it and our beloved Pokémon World.

Foundables/Pokémon

Foundable EncounterWhat is a Foundable? Well, it is a magical object that is being affected by the Confoundable Curse. This Curse causes other Magical Items or Beings to affect Foundables and increase the risk they both will expose the Magical World to the Non-Magical World. To acquire these Foundables you must perform a spell, instead of throwing a Poké Ball, and depending on how accurately and quickly you trace the motion dictates your Spell’s Quality, think of Named Throws in PoGo. If successful, the Confoundable will be defeated, and you can record the Foundable in your Registry.

This is pretty much a one to one with Pokémon. Some Foundables are more rare than others, and some areas seem to spawn more Foundables of a certain type. Instead of possibly using a Berry and throwing a Pokéball, Wizards Unite lets you use a Potion and then you cast a Spell. The speed and accuracy of your Spell Trace improves the chances the Curse on the Foundable is removed, this is similar to how Curveballs and Named Throws improve the Catch Rate in PoGo.

The Registry/Pokédex

On to the Registry, which may at first remind PoGo Trainers of the Pokémon Box, but it is more like the Pokédex. The Wizard doesn’t keep the Foundables, they are returned to where they came from, some Foundables are people, and that might be a little awkward keeping Hagrid in your suitcase. Instead, a record of the Foundable is saved in your Registry.

Wizards Unite RegistrySome Foundables only require 1 successful encounter to register, but some require more. If your spell does not successfully protect a Foundable it Disapparates (flee), in this case, the Foundable is registered as seen in the Registry. Once all the Foundables in a section of the Registry are fully acquired, that section can be Prestiged. Prestiging cause the section to reset, a higher number of Foundables is required to re-complete the section, and more XP is given after acquiring Foundables from that section.

In addition to Foundables, the Registry also records any Oddities discovered in the over-world. An Oddity is also part of the Confoundable Curse but is a Magical Being that is found in the over-world and directly battled. These require multiple spells and can result in you being out Dueled. This is a game mechanic that doesn’t have a great comparison in PoGo. The closest comparison would be to PvP Training with the Team Leaders, as both have offensive and defensive moves, and the goal is to outlast an NPC. It more harkens back to Main Series Pokémon Games, though, where you must battle a Pokémon before attempting to catch it.

The Over-World Map

Gyms and Pokéstops have been reincarnated as 3 different locations for Wizards Unite: Inns, Greenhouses, and Fortresses.

Inns much like Pokéstops, provide you with Spell Energy. Spell Energy is required to cast spells; each cast costs 1 Energy, and much like your Poké Ball stash, can deplete quickly.

Greenhouses provide Potion Ingredients. Potions serve a function similar to Berries in PoGo, but are different enough they seem more like a new feature. Unlike PoGo, in the over-world, players will find Greenhouses where a player can discover Potion Ingredients as well as plant Seeds to collect later.

Wizards Unite Over-World

Fortresses are more in line with Gyms in PoGo. To enter you must use a Runestone, these are given as rewards for completing areas of your Registry or can be purchased. In a Fortress an individual, or a team of Wizards, can battle through the various floors, the floor and Runestone numbers dictate the difficulty  of the foes encountered. The first time you visit a Fortress, the game does a good job of explaining how it works. The foes encountered in a Fortress do not contribute to the Registry, but upon beating them, many rewards are obtained. Fortresses can be battled with up to five total Wizards and have a 30 second lobby timer. One nice improvement over PoGo is if you leave the lobby before the 30 second timer runs out, you get your Runestone back.

There are some new locations that were not in PoGo that are in Wizards Unite, and it seems that in parks that already have Points of Interest, additional points were placed. The above image shows an Inn, Fortress and 2 Landmarks; as well as a Portkey Portmanteau, an Ingredient, and 2 Foundables.

Inns and Spell Energy
Graphic created by Orange Wizard

 

Professions/Teams

In Wizards Unite there are no teams, instead, there are 3 professions. These professions are Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor.

Each profession has its strengths and weaknesses. Much like Raiding, all three professions can work together at a Fortress and play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Professions are way more involved than Teams in Pokémon Go. The in-game description of these three are as follows:

  • Aurors are combat veterans who defeat Foes by Combining their innate leadership with a litany of debilitating spells. Aurors are most effective against Dark Forces and least effective against Beasts.
  • Magizoologists are trained in the care and preservation of magical creatures. In combat, Magizoologists focus on healing and helping their Teammates and are most effective against Beasts and least effective against Curiosities.
  • Professors are highly adept spellcasters who use their in-depth magical knowledge to debilitate Foes while also supporting their Teammates. Professors are most effective against Curiosities and least effective against Dark Forces.

Unlike that of Pokémon Go, WU offers, what is called, a Skill Tree for each Profession. These Skill Trees increase your Wizarding Stats and require Scrolls, Spell Books, and Restricted Section Books. These are acquired as rewards for completing Achievements as well as acquiring a certain amount of Foundables in each category.

A Wizards Profession can be changed at any time and as many times as desired and doesn’t require the purchase of a Team Change Medallion. This means a Wizards could complete all three Skill Trees if desired.

For a detailed breakdown of the Professions and their Skill Trees check out our Wizards Unite Hub Wiki.

Breakdown of Professions

Vault/Pokémon Items Storage/Bag

Your Vault in Wizards Unite, is much like your Items Storage/Bag in Pokémon Go; however, your Vault is divided into five sections: Potions, Ingredients, Utility, Runestones, and Seeds and Water. An important note is Utility and Runestones sections have no inventory limit, while the other three sections do.

Potion Brewing Screen

Potions: A new feature in Wizards Unite are Potions. While some of the Potions are similar to Berries in PoGo, the way to achieve them is vastly different. Potions can be brewed at any time and require Ingredients and time to complete. The Ingredients are found in Greenhouses and the over-world map. You can cue up 4 Potions at a time; this is a good idea to optimize your Cauldron. After Level 10 you can buy 4 more spots in the cue. There is also a Golden Cauldron that can be rented and brews potions 10% faster.

Additionally each Potion can be completed 15% faster if it is stirred correctly; this sequence of stirring is called Master Notes. To stir the click on the Stick in the Cauldron and perform the required finger motions. The game does not give you these Master Notes, but our Wiki Guide on each Potion does, or check the Guide on Master Notes.

Ingredients: are used to make potion. Ingredients can be found in a few places, most commonly just out in the over-world. They can also be harvested from Greenhouses and are sometimes found in the room where transported to after using a Portkey.

Utility: is where Dark Detectors and Silver Keys are stored, think of Lures and Incubators in PoGo, definitely a welcome improvement. See below for more information on Portkey Portmanteau, Dark Detectors, and Silver Keys.

Runestones: are used to enter Fortresses. The Runestones come in various Levels and Types. The Runestone Types correspond to the families of Foundables in the Registry. A Runestone’s Level determines the difficulty of the enemies you face in a Fortress and the amount of loot rewards you get, while its family determines the type of Registry rewards received.

Seeds and Water: are used to grow Potion Ingredients. They can both be found in the over-world. To plant a Seed, a Wizard must visit a Greenhouse and choose which seed to plant. Each type of plant takes a different amount of time to be harvest. While waiting for the Seed to grow, any Player can contribute Spell Energy to increase the yield of a Ingredient. Once fully grown the Ingredient can be harvested by any player visiting the Greenhouse.

Dark Detectors & Baruffio’s Brain Elixir/Lures

Dark Detectors and Baruffio’s Brain Elixir are essentially your Lures for Wizards Unite. While Dark Detectors are pretty similar to your standard Lures, a new feature to Wizard Unite is that 3 Dark Detectors can be stacked to generate even rarer Foundables. An interesting difference with BB Elixir is that it’s considered a Potion and can be brewed at any time if the Ingredients are on hand. Dark Detectors reside in the Utility section of the Vault and have no limit on inventory, while BB Elixir resides in the Potion section and are limited as such.

Portkey Portmanteau and Keys/Eggs and Incubators

Portkey Portmanteau are roughly the equivalent to Eggs in Pokémon Go. These items are found in the wild in the over-world. There are three types: 2 km, 5 km, and 10 km.

To open Portkey Portmanteau, you need to use a Key, which are essentially your Incubators, and walk the required distance. There are currently 2 Keys: Gold and Silver, you get one Gold Key that can be used infinitely while Silver Keys can only be used once. Silver Keys are gained from leveling up,  completing tasks, or can be purchased. Once a Portkey Portmanteau is opened the Portkey can be used, it transports you to a Magical Room where you find 5 glowing orbs that reward XP, Energy, Ingredients, etc. along with registering a Foundable in your Registry.

Assignments/Research Tasks

A later addition to Pokémon Go was the introduction of Research Tasks. In Wizards Unite they are called Assignments and are already part of the game. There are three types of Assignments: Daily, Special, and Statute of Secrecy (SOS).

Daily Assignments are a more involved version of Streaks in Pokémon Go. Every day there are seven Dailies to complete including one that requires you to finish the other six. They are pretty basic and easy to complete such as ‘Return 10 Foundables’.

Special Assignments have not been implemented yet, but it appears to be similar to Mythical Pokémon Research in PoGo.

SOS Assignments are meant to help the story flow and work as a Tutorial.

Also in this Game Menu are your Wizarding Achievements, these work like Badges in PoGo, but result in rewards upon completion. A fun feature of Wizards Unite is that once Wizarding Achievments are reached, the resulting Badges and Titles can be displayed on your Ministry ID. Your Ministry ID is your profile that is seen by your in-game Friends.

Weather

This game too has a Day/Night Cycle as well as Weather. Both of these are said to affect the Foundables as well as the Potion Ingredients in the over-world. This is pretty much the same as Pokémon Go.

Friends

Just like Pokémon Go, you can trade Friend Codes with other Wizards. At present, you can’t send items or trade anything with Friends, but you do receive bonuses while battling in Fortresses with Friends.

New Features for Wizards Unite

Landmarks

Landmarks are areas denoted in the game where you will find a higher number of a certain type of Foundable. While similar to a nest in PoGo, it is marked with a banner and the zone it includes is outlined in the World Map. This is an exciting addition, and it would be nice to have in Pokémon Go.

Maximum Level

A top question is always what’s the highest level and how do I get there, well in Wizards Unite the Highest Level is 60, and it requires 17,608,500 XP to achieve.

Final Thoughts

While Wizards Unite’s framework in Pokémon Go is clearly apparent, Niantic does a good job in making it feel like a different game and world. The Wizards Unite world is more detailed it is definitely expected for a Media Franchise that has mostly been live action. Most of the obvious analogs to PoGo found in WU are refined and seem to have considered player feedback from PoGo. The casting of Spells is more interesting than simply throwing a Pokéball; however, the accuracy rating still seems arbitrary and even with the Spell variability, it becomes trite and tiresome in a few hours of play (both in my opinion.) The Registry and Prestiging are a nice retooling of the Pokédex, but it is definitely going to take some time and practice to learn and remember all of them. I do hope that the Registry becomes more responsive and registering Foundables speeds up, as of now it seems Foundables don’t always want to register fully, but this can easily be chalked up to initial game bugs.

Frankly my only complaint, and it’s not minor – is the time it takes to go from clicking on a Foundable in the over-world to being able to click on another. This process goes as follows: click on a Foundable, click through information about it and its difficulty, trace a Spell, get a Spell casting rating, watch as the spell animation plays, then either get a message that the Spell failed and repeat your Spell trace or watch as a successfully Spell animation plays, after a successful catch the XP rundown is played out, and lastly if the Foundable is new you are automatically sent to the Registry to register the Foundable. The whole process seems to take a painful amount of time and as of yet now Fast Catch trick to speed it up has been found. While the animations are well done fun to watch the first time around, I don’t need to see a Pixie get encased in a Bubble every time. I also don’t need a full rundown of the Foundable every time I encounter it.

All and all I personally think Wizards Unite is a good game, for anyone playing Pokémon Go it’s hard not to make immediate comparisons, good and bad. For PoGo players I think it is different enough that it will be entertaining and easily playable for all. It will definitely be a nice way to mix it up, while still exploring outdoor areas, when there is no event in PoGo or for Level 40 Trainers that already have it all. Personally I have a work and personal cell phone and it has been very easy playing both at the same time. For Harry Potter fanatics that didn’t play Pokémon Go, I think this game will be great. Just as PoGo got Trainers out and moving, and introduced millions of Trainers to like minded people; I think Wizards Unite will well Unite all the want to be Wizards.

As a lifelong fan of both franchises, I plan to continue playing both. My initial impressions have me favoring Pokémon Go, but I am definitely going to hold out until the end of summer on which I prefer. I know I initially was mixed on PoGo coming from the Main Series Games, but over time some of the changes grew on me and changes to PoGo made it evolve and become more fun. I hope the same is the case with WU and I really hope that with another game Niantic will take good features from one game and try them in the other.