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Wands out: the Harry Potter mobile game from the makers of Pokemon Go is live

Harry Potter mobile game
Niantic (Image credit: NIantic)
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Ready your wands, Potterheads: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the free-to-play mobile game by Pokemon Go creator Niantic, is live on iOS and Android – at least in the US. 

The game was originally set for a worldwide release on Friday, June 21, so its planned global rollout might just have started early. Expect it to expand to other regions shortly.

In Wizards Unite, players are tasked to roam around the real world hunting down magical objects and creatures before those nosy Muggles (or NoMaj) chance upon them. You’ll check your phone (as a technology-savvy wizard) to track them down; once found, look at them through the camera, and trace patterns on your screen to cast spells and lock down the magical contraband.

Sound familiar? It’s based on the same AR tech as Niantic’s previous games, Pokemon Go and the cyberpunk-esque Ingress before it. If you liked those games and have a nerdy penchant for JK Rowling’s zeitgeist-defining game, it’s free to download and play – with the expected microtransactions.

 So...what’s next? 

There’s a lot of promise for a new game set in the Harry Potter franchise, and fans have been waiting for Niantic’s game set in the Wizarding World for years. If the game feels a bit limited, remember where Pokemon Go started and how far it’s come…and expect Niantic to have a similar commitment to its new title.

And just like with Pokemon Go, expect user feedback to influence the direction of the game.

"It would be brash and arrogant if we said the game isn't going to change, and it's perfect in its current iteration," Wizards Unite producer Alex Moffit told Mashable (opens in new tab). "We know that it's going to evolve, and we're going to learn a ton from our players as time goes on." 

One last heads up for you adventurous Android Q beta testers: Wizards Unite doesn't seem to be working on the latest Android Q beta 4, according to Android Central.

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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.