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Pokémon Unite MOBA coming this summer

Oh, and Lucario does a slam dunk

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Pokémon Unite, a multiplayer online battle arena-style game, is coming this summer, The Pokémon Company announced Thursday. The game is scheduled to launch on Nintendo Switch in July and on mobile platforms starting in September.

The Pokémon Company also debuted a new cinematic trailer for Pokémon Unite on Thursday. It shows all sorts of Pokémon like Pikachu, Mr. Mime, Absol, and Snorlax. We also see Scorbunny beat a Lillipup and evolve into a Raboot.

Pokémon Unite will be a free-to-play game. The developers are planning cross-platform play between Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, and users will be able to sync progress across platforms.

The game takes place on an unexplored ocean island called Aeos Island. Players will form teams of five and compete to score more points than their opposing team. In the game, players will be able to evolve their Pokémon with a new form of energy called Aeos energy. At the start of each match, your Pokémon will restart to level 1. As you level up during the match, you’ll be able to evolve your Pokémon and unlock powerful moves like the Unite Move — which sounds like an ultimate.

Here are more details from The Pokemon Company on the rules of Pokémon Unite:

Unite Battles are where Trainers and their partner Pokémon compete in 5-on-5 team battles. The key to victory in a Unite Battle is to have a higher score than the other team when time runs out. To earn points for your team, you must gather Aeos energy by defeating wild and opposing Pokémon and then deposit that energy in one of the opposing team’s goal zones. Unite Battles take place in various stadiums, and the rules for each stadium differ. There can be different numbers of team members, different match lengths, and even different Legendary Pokémon that appear.

Sticking with the tradition of MOBAs, different Pokémon will have different strengths and weaknesses in Pokémon Unite, thus making each one more suitable for a specific role like “attacker, speedster, supporter, or all-arounder.” Everyone starts out in a beginners cup, but there will be a ranked ladder mode as well.

There are some fun highlights outside the arena as well. Namely, you’ll be able to dress up your Pokémon in “a variety of outfits,” in addition to customizing your trainer. So you’ll be able to add some flair to that Pika-power.

The next level of puzzles.

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