One of Niantic’s signature elements in its games is a competitive aspect between teams. An element of both Ingress and Pokémon GO, division into teams has been influential in Augmented Reality game play, bringing players the interaction that can be lacking in other parts of the game. Today I’ll be discussing how these pieces of previous games could apply to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite following the game’s release.
What will the Wizards Unite teams look like?
At the moment, no one from Niantic or Portkey Games has given any indication what teams will look like in Wizards Unite. However, a few theories are popular among Harry Potter fans, especially those with experience playing other Niantic games.
The most obvious choice for teams in Wizards Unite would be to center them around the four Hogwarts houses: Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and Ravenclaw. As in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the game could offer players a choice between the houses, aligning them with a group for the rest of the game.
The four houses would offer a well-known path to team integration, but they could offer unbalanced teams. A disproportionate number of new wizards and witches could choose Gryffindor or Slytherin due to their fame, which would make it difficult for Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff players to win any competitions.
An alternative option would be for Wizards Unite to sort players into houses based on a quiz. This is already how Pottermore sorts fans. While this could lead to balanced teams, it could also upset players who want to be in their favorite house.
Hogwarts houses isn’t the only possible team formation. After all, Hogwarts is only a minute piece of the Wizarding World. There are so many other wizarding schools around the world.
While it’s true that some have speculated there will be teams for each wizarding school, this doesn’t seem particularly viable if players get to choose their team. Hogwarts would most likely be most popular, along with Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. It’s unlikely that many people would choose to become part of a Mahoutokoro team with little knowledge of the school.
However, Wizards Unite could assign players to a wizarding school based on their real-world location. For example, Americans could be on the Ilvermorny team. This would allow for balanced teams, but it could also upset Harry Potter fans who want to be on a Hogwarts team.
There is another reason to doubt Hogwarts houses or wizarding schools as teams in Wizards Unite. Only school-age children attend wizarding school. According to Pottermore, part of the Wizards Unite game play involves, “build[ing] up your very own, illustrious wizarding career.”
Other Wizards Unite team possibilities
For these reasons, I think there could be another option for the teams. If the game centers more around the Fantastic Beasts franchise, then it’s possible there will be a side for and against Grindelwald’s efforts. Gitta of The Portkey Adventures discusses this theory in the video below, which is queued up to when she shares her supporting evidence.
Another possibility could be sides that react differently to these magical beasts. Two opposing teams in Wizards Unite would be similar to Ingress in which two teams react to the discovery of Exotic Matter, or XM, in different ways.
The flaw to this theory is that it’s unlikely many players will decide to side with the “bad side” of the Fantastic Beasts story, whether that’s supporting Grindelwald or opposing Newt Scamander’s beasts.
Therefore, the structure of the teams will most likely be similar to that of Pokémon GO: based around concepts previously known but not previously in conflict. In Pokémon GO, the teams of Mystic, Instinct, and Valor are represented by the legendary birds. The birds have been featured as powerful Pokémon previously, but have never been used to represent a conflict.
In Wizards Unite, we could see teams based on magical creatures such as the Hippogriff and the Phoenix, represented by a previously unknown witch or wizard. This is fairly likely, as the teams will be able to take different perspectives as seen in Pokémon GO.
Team balancing will be an issue no matter what, and we’ll have to see how many teams Niantic makes. I believe there will be between two and four teams to have representation from all teams and cause enough conflict to keep the game interesting.
What will the Wizards Unite teams do?
My guess is that Niantic will choose to follow a similar pattern to both Pokémon GO and Ingress in regards to the real-world areas. We already know Wizards Unite will rely upon the same data used in Ingress and Pokémon GO to create its maps.
Contested areas will be in public places to be held and attacked by various teams. I think these will drop items for all teams, regardless of which team controls the area. While I think teams will likely be able to control some sort of important area, I also think there will be multi-team battles similar to the raids in Pokémon GO that have been largely successful. According to Niantic, part of the Wizards Unite game play involves, “team[ing] up with others to take down powerful enemies.”
I believe that these areas, situated in prominent locations that will likely be the same as in Pokémon GO and Ingress, will likely hold some sort of magic and dish out rewards for “owning them” with a player’s team. The teams will likely want to attack and/or defend these areas to try to earn their desired rewards by holding them for extended periods of time.
To conclude, I believe there will likely be a multi-team structure in Wizards Unite, one that will try to control areas similar to those in Pokémon GO and Ingress. These areas could give out rewards to their “owners” periodically.
How do you think the teams will work? Leave your answers in the comments below!