Pokémon Unite launches on mobile today, with a great strategy to help you connect

Pokémon Unite
(Image credit: Pokémon)

You can now download Pokémon Unite on Android and iOS, after its Switch launch earlier in the year - this is one of the most anticipated mobile games this year, wracking up at least 5 million pre-registrations according to the company itself.

You can find the Play Store link here for Android devices and App Store link here for iPhones, and they'll bring you to the store listing pages (if you're on your phone) where you can download the game – that is, if you weren't one of the millions of people to pre-register, in which case it'll download automatically.

Pokemon Unite is what's known as a multiplayer online battle arena game, or MOBA, where two teams of five players compete to earn more points by collecting Pokemon then using them to fight – it's been live on Switch for two months now, where it saw nine million downloads.

Prolific mobile gamers may have pricked up their ears at one particular word in that previous paragraph: 'multiplayer', as mobile games which require internet connections have had troubled launches of late. However Pokémon Unite has a clever way to stop all its fans playing at once.

Analysis: Pokémon is pretty united

Online games use 'servers' to host players – when you boot up the game on your device, you'll connect to this server to play. A server can only host so many players though, and when too many try to connect, the game can crash or fail to let people connect.

We've seen this time and time again, most recently with Witcher: Monster Slayer, a Pokemon Go-style location game where you wander around real towns and kill ghouls and the like. The game was a hit at launch, but that meant many gamers struggled to connect, with some left waiting half a day or more to do so.

When a popular game releases, excited gamers all rush to play it as soon as possible, which means there's a lot of demand on the servers. That's why people can't connect - there's not enough supply of server space.

This isn't the case for Pokémon Unite though, for one great reason: you're not playing online as soon as you download the game. Instead you have to set up a profile and go through a little tutorial, to ensure you know how to play the game, while assets download in the background.

This is a genius way to ensure the multitude of people downloading and installing Pokémon Unite don't all try and access the servers at once, as the tutorial might slow some people down. By being staggered, the players won't overload and crash the servers, and they'll try to play the game over a longer period of time.

We've tested out Pokémon Unite briefly, and we could easily play a few games without staring at a phone loading screen. If only this was the case with the Witcher Game a few months back.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.