A first look at Wizards Unite gameplay and mechanics

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Harry Potter Wizards Unite
Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Today Niantic has given us a first look at their upcoming title – Harry Potter: Wizards Unite – and shared some key mechanics and features that are coming this summer. We’ve already written at length about Niantic’s Real World Platform and we’re happy to confirm that we were right: Wizards Unite is built on the NRWP. Without further ado, let’s see how Wizards Unite gameplay looks like, which features are coming and what can we look forward to.

General facts

  • There are no teams, no schools and no houses. Players play together as members of the Statue of Secrecy Task Force
  • The game takes place after the Calamity, a magical event that has allowed Foundables to cross over into the real world.
  • The game features better graphics, models and sound effects than Pokemon Go
  • Warner Bros. San Francisco is a partner developer on the game
  • Niantic product marketing boss Archit Bhargava said Wizards Unite had been designed as a Harry Potter fan’s “forever game”, designed to last “decades”
  • The game will be free-to-play, no energy limitations or such. Pokemon GO style model of monetisation.
  • In-game purchases will be tailored to those who want to up their speed or efficiency
  • The game is much more complex than Pokemon GO.

Foundables

Foundables are Wizards Unite equivalent of Pokemon encounters, however Foundables include magical items, creatures and characters.

  • There should be around 100 Foundables when the game launches. Some Foundables are only available during the night, under particular weather and some are even tied to moon phases (example: Werewolf can only be encountered during full moon)
  • Foundables are collected and stored in a Registry (Pokedex-like collection feature). Your Registry has following “pages”:
    • Care of Magical Creatures,
    • Dark Arts,
    • Hogwarts School,
    • Legends of Hogwarts,
    • Ministry of Magic,
    • Magizoology,
    • Magical Games and Sports,
    • Mysterious Artifacts,
    • Wonders of the Wizarding World and
    • Oddities.

Potions

Potions are a core feature in Wizards Unite. Potions can be crafted by collecting ingredients from the world map. They can be used to heal mid-combat and to improve spell output (check the gameplay video above). Some Potions can also induce special effects, such as poison that deals damage over time, etc.

Fortresses

Strongest Foundables are available from Fortresses. 

  • Fortresses are 5 man dungeons that require a Runestone to enter
  • Real-time battles at a specific location
  • Fortresses feature various floors / rooms filled with different enemies
  • Players will need to create multi-class teams to clear a Fortress
  • Each player picks an enemy on a Fortress floor which he / she will fight against
  • You lose by running out of time or by being defeated
  • Rewards and difficulty increases every floor

Professions

Players can choose from three different Professions:

  • Auror – strong at casting spells and defeating dark wizards (Death Eaters etc)
  • Magizoologist – tanky support class, strong versus magical beasts (Basilisk etc)
  • Professor – class with “deep magical knowledge” (no further info was given)
  • Each Wizards Unite class has its own:
    • skill tree with unlockable skills
    • stat bonuses to accuracy, power, etc
  • Each profession features a different game play style and it will be mandatory to use multiple classes to defeat Fortresses
  • It’s not clear if you can switch classes once you pick one.

Map

Wizards Unite map has the following overworld locations:

  • Fortresses – structures that serve as 5-man dungeons, similar to Pokemon GO gyms and raids
  • Inns – locations to pickup food items to refill your spell energy
  • Greenhouses – locations to pickup potion ingredients
  • Landmarks – areas where a particular Foundable is more likely to spawn

The map uses Niantic’s Real World Platform and location database for all locations. Special items called Portkey allow you to enter a rich AR experience featuring an iconic location from the Wizarding World (Dumbledore’s office!).

How to pre-register

Pre-registration is now available on Google Play, so sign up today. If you’re an iPhone user, stay tuned for more updates.


Official description

In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players will take on the role of a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force working to solve the mystery of the Calamity. Players will be able to explore their real-world neighborhoods and cities to discover mysterious artifacts, cast spells, and encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way.

Game features include:

  • Real World Exploration – While Players explore the real world, they will find a variety of Wizarding locations on their Map, including Inns, Greenhouses, Fortresses, and magical Traces where Players can trigger specific Encounters.
  • Mysteries – A deep, multi-year narrative arc will have players solving various mysteries including the truth behind what caused the Calamity.
  • Spell Casting & Advanced AR+ Encounters – Magical Traces will trigger richly detailed 3D encounters in full 360-degree advanced AR+ where players will need to cast various spells (tracing a glyph on screen) to defeat confounding magic.
  • Wizarding Challenges – Synchronous multiplayer challenges in Fortresses on the Map will present a complete RPG experience featuring shared arenas, combat encounters, and group-wide arena effects.
  • Professions – Players can specialize in different professions: Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor. Players from different professions will be encouraged to work together to defeat Wizarding Challenges and unlock rare content.
  • Portkeys – Upon discovering and activating a Portkey Portmanteau, players will be able to reveal an immersive VR-like experience and transport themselves to explore iconic Wizarding World locations.
  • Potion Crafting – Players can collect ingredients from Greenhouses on the Map, within distinct biomes, and during various weather conditions to brew different Potions that can improve their gameplay.
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