Is Pokemon Unite: Pay to Win?


The release of Pokemon Unite has lead many to question if the game is a pay to win title. While the new free-to-play game created by TiMi Studios in partnership with Nintendo, has no upfront cost, there are purchasable bundles in Pokemon Unite that allow you to skip a lot of the grind. But it is not much different from the likes of League of Legends or Valorant which are not considered as pay to win titles. Players who do spend money get to skip a lot of the grind to unlock new Pokemon, however Pokemon Unite is not pay to win as all of the content is available to all players. But is the grind worth your time and do you get meaningful progression? Let’s find out.

Is Pokemon Unite pay to win?

No Pokemon Unite is not a pay to win game. In Pokemon Unite, spending money does makes your progression easier and quicker. However, players who spend money do not receive an advantage, they skip over the grind of earning the in-game currency.

The number one source of monetization in Pokemon Unite is its Licenses. Players can purchase Pokemon Licenses to unlock new Pokemon. These licenses can be purchased using not just earnable currency (Aeos Coins) but also real money.

There are also purely cosmetic items available for purchases in the game which do not affect your chances of winning in any way.

The progression system for unlocking new Pokemon is very similar to League of Legends and the grind can be subjectively easy or difficult, depending on the amount of time you spend on the game.

Earning Licenses in Pokemon Unite

While earning Pokemon Licenses using in-game currency can be difficult, you can outright purchase them using real-world money. If you work towards completing your challenges and tutorials, you should get your first unlock within three or four hours of playing. However, progression does slow down once you complete all the tutorials and the primary source of currency will be your daily challenges. You need to keep completing your challenges for Aeos Coins.

There are also some free Pokemon available to all players for free including Slowbro and Venusaur. Currently, Zerarora is also being given out for free to Switch owners but it is unknown if it will be available for Android and iOS users when the mobile release happens in September. More free characters may be added in the future and the progression speed currently is in line with other games featuring unlockable characters.

Pokemon Unite shop

Pokemon Unite is not a pay to win game and while it does include microtransactions, they are mostly trainer or Pokemon cosmetics. Players do have the option of purchasing Pokemon with real-world money but anyone who does not wish to pay for Pokemon Licenses can earn them through currency earned from in-game challenges as well.