It wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without the agonizing choice of picking who your starting Pokémon will be. Pokémon Unite is no different, but unlike other Pokémon games, you’re not too locked into your choice.
After completing the first tutorial, the game will let you select one Pokémon Unite license from a selection of five, permanently adding that Pokémon to your roster of playable characters. In addition, you’ll also get a second permanent addition just by increasing your trainer level to two: Slowbro.
That still leaves the dilemma of picking one of the other five. Even the most casual Pokémon fan will recognize a few of the faces on this list: Pikachu, Charizard, Snorlax, Eldegoss, and Talonflame.
Here are our picks for the best starters in Pokémon Unite.
Arguably the most iconic and recognizable of all Pokémon, Pikachu is also one of the best starter options in Pokémon Unite.
Pikachu is lightning quick and the Pokémon’s electrical attacks have excellent range, meaning Pikachu is one of the most proficient and deadly Attackers of any of the characters in that class. One of Pikachu’s Special moves in Thunder Shock can upgrade to Electro Ball, which deals damage to any Pokémon in its circle and also slows them down. Slowing enemies is key to securing kills for yourself or a teammate.
Pikachu’s Thunderbolt ability (upgraded version of Electro Web) deals massive area damage and stuns opponents, while the Unite move Thunderstorm delivers an absolutely massive amount of damage. With so much damage output, Pikachu is a great starter selection since the Pokémon is relatively easy and satisfying to use.
Serving as the tank or the Defender, Snorlax is the best at that position from the available starters. An absolute unit when it comes to size, Snorlax makes up for what it lacks in speed with a maxed-out Endurance stat.
Playing as Snorlax, your goal will be to soak up as many hits from opposing and wild Pokémon as possible. Snorlax’s selection of abilities make this an easy task to accomplish, though. You absolutely should upgrade the Tackle ability into Heavy Slam, an area-of-effect dash attack that deals lots of damage and knocks opponents into the air, temporarily preventing them from using their abilities.
Early on, you can take advantage of Snorlax’s Rest ability to heal yourself at any time. Later in the match, this can be upgraded to Block, which creates a shield that allies can pass through. Snorlax’s Unite move Power Nap is like a combination of Rest and Heavy Slam since you roll around over enemies while asleep.
Talonflame is one of the fastest Pokémon in the game. The bird’s abilities are perfect for the chasedown artist looking to pick off retreating enemies or gank those who push up too far.
You’ll want to upgrade Peck into Flame Charge, an unstoppable dash in one direction that deals damage, lights enemies on fire, and increases your own movement speed. Acrobatics can be upgraded into Fly, a move that sends Talonflame into the sky, giving the bird a few seconds where they can’t be damaged and letting it choose where to come crashing down.
Flame Sweep is one of the slightly harder Unite moves to master since you get sent flying in a single direction while dragging any enemies with you, but it can be used wisely with certain teams.