August 23, 2019
I Played Harry Potter Wizards Unite and Here’s What You Should Know

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the fantastic images, characters, and magical beasts from the Harry Potter universe in the Muggle world around you? Then look no further than Harry Potter Wizards Unite, the new Pokemon Go inspired mobile game from Niantic.

Instead of adorable Pokemon, there are baby nifflers, vanishing cabinets, and new as well as familiar characters. Wizards Unite allows wizards, witches, and muggles alike to come together to save the wizarding world from the latest threats once again and maintain the statute of secrecy.

Below, you will discover all you need to know before you dive back into the wizarding world to cast spells against Confoundables and return the world to its normal (if that’s even possible) state that we have all come to know and love!

What Is Harry Potter Wizards Unite?

If you have heard of or played Pokemon Go, then you’re already a step ahead. Wizards Unite is essentially the Harry Potter version of the original Niantic game. However, it brings back all of the aspects of the wizarding world (i.e., Mooncalfs, Peeves the Poltergeist, the Quibbler, and much more).

The AR feature in Wizards Unite is impressive, and I couldn’t help but be impressed. I convinced most of my friends to download the game before a night out, and I could not believe that I was seeing flobberworms and trolls in my friend’s kitchen!

The image quality of this app is remarkable. As someone who’s never played much of Pokemon Go, I was apprehensive about the AR portion of the game until I started playing. It’s incredible how detailed every aspect of this game is.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know much about Harry Potter Wizards Unite before I began playing. I heard “Harry Potter” and “Game” and immediately became excited about another game since Hogwarts Mystery came out in April of 2018.

I knew it would be comparable to Pokemon GO, but I didn’t think that it would include as many elements as it does. I found this a bit overwhelming at first.

The game begins as most do: a brief introduction and setting up your profile before you get into it. I enjoyed setting my Hogwarts House (Hufflepuffs Unite!), registering my wand, and after a few levels, choosing a profession. You can be an Auror, Magizoologist, or Professor, which you can switch if you change your mind.

I loved that there are some familiar faces of Harry Potter to help you understand the objectives of the game. However, I felt like those segments were a bit long and didn’t really hold my attention. I ended up skipping through most of them and had to go back and do some research about what the objective of this game actually is.

Wizards Unite came out on June 21st, 2019 after being announced in November of 2017. Much like Pokemon Go, this new Niantic game allows users to feel like they are really in a world surrounded by magical creatures, objects, and characters.

Instead of encountering gyms, lucky eggs, and, of course, Pokemon, there are fortresses, inns, and spells to be cast to return Foundables to normal.

The trailer for the Wizards Unite app does a great job of letting players know what they can expect from the game. You can find it on the Harry Potter Wizards Unite official website along with any other information you might need.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Features

Wizards Unite uses GPS to keep track of a player’s avatar and allow them to interact with Foundables (magical items, memories, people, etc.) that have been confounded to return them to their normal magical state. You can see your avatar moving around the map with you, and if you are in a car, your avatar will be seen flying on a broomstick.

It also allows players to encounter fortresses (where battles occur), inns (where you can replenish power), and herbology houses (where you can add items like Bubotubor pus for your brew potions inventory).

Harry Potter Wizards Unite encourages players to get up and go (safely) explore their neighborhood and surrounding town to benefit from everything the app has to offer.

Wizards Unite is free to download, and after entering the general information (email, name, date of birth, etc.), you create your account.

TIP

Before putting together your player bio, I highly recommend heading over to Pottermore to take the sorting hat quiz and find out what your wand is. There are options to personalize your player bio with this information in the game.

Once you reach a high enough level, you can also select a profession. In this game, you can purchase additional galleons with Muggle money. This allows you to personalize your avatar, gives you more energy, and buys additional potions ingredients.

So far, I haven’t felt the need to spend any additional Muggle money to move forward in the game, but I am a pretty low level. It will be interesting to see if in-app purchases become more necessary as the game progresses.

What I Liked About Harry Potter Wizards Unite

When you initially start playing, your character shows up as a purple wizard (it’s incredibly Gandalf-like if I’m being honest). That’s until you choose a house, and then it alternates to the color of the house you’re in.

Although I wish you could personalize your avatar, so it’s more than a witch’s hat and a long cloak walking around on the screen, the fact that it shows some house pride is cool albeit underwhelming.

The personalization available for your player photo makes up for the lack of options in your avatar. For my player photo, I added a Hufflepuff scarf, plus Harry’s glasses and scar.

I also love the details of this game. While initially, my favorite Foundables to come across were the magical creatures, subsequently, I’ve loved seeing the character Foundables.

I recently encountered Arthur Weasley transfigured into a rubber duck, and Ron being terrified of a spider, which were both great to see. It’s such an amazing nod to the Harry Potter universe. It shows that the creators put thought into the game rather than throwing in the elements we’re already familiar with.

The fact that they included characters only seen in the books, like Peeves the Poltergeist, was great as well, even though he dissolved before I could save him.

I was also pleased to see that it wasn’t just featuring components of Harry Potter but Fantastic Beasts as well. Who doesn’t love a baby Mooncalf or a Niffler? While there is a bit of a learning curve to spell casting, I will say that after casting a few spells, it really does get easier.

What I Didn’t Like about Harry Potter Wizards Unite

My biggest issue with Wizards Unite is having enough space to play. I live on a main road, and there are never any Foundables around! I’ve been to plenty of friends’ houses since downloading this game, and I’ve encountered Foundables inside their homes. It’s difficult to think about it, but maybe my house (sigh) isn’t that magical?

In the center of my town, there are plenty of magical creatures and characters to save. However, it’s inconvenient that I have to walk far away from home to play this game, though I don’t think my dog Bruno minds!

Besides the fact that your objective in the game is to save Foundables, I’m not exactly sure what the point of this game is. I have a bad habit of just scrolling through when there’s informative dialogue, which probably means I’ve missed something important. At the same time, I’d rather spend my time playing the game than reading the informative information you get when first starting out.

Another issue I have is that there are a lot of daily assignments in this game. If you don’t live in a central area or a city, it can be challenging to complete them. During a typical day, the only place I’ve had any magical activity on the app is at work. That said, I can’t exactly stop everything to rescue a confounded hag or Hogwarts professor.

Similarly to Pokemon Go, in the short time I’ve played this game, which has been just about every day since it’s been released, I haven’t exactly felt like I’ve gotten anywhere. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to “beat” this game. It’s fun to play, and having some Harry Potter magic in my day-to-day Muggle life is always a bonus. However, I would have no issues with deleting this game and never playing again.

I’ve been pretty addicted to Hogwarts Mystery, and while it can be slow if you aren’t willing to spend some Muggle money, I like that I’m engaged and moving along in a story. Harry Potter Wizards Unite doesn’t give me that same feeling. It’s great that you don’t have to spend any extra money while still being able to play in the app. Still, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything in Wizards Unite.

What Do My Fellow Potterheads Think of Wizards Unite?

Since the release of Wizards Unite, my Instagram blew up with people playing it, sharing their friend codes, and expressing some initial thoughts on the game during the first days of its release. I reached out to a few Harry Potter super-fans for their first reactions to the game, and so far, most of them seem to love it!

Oliver (@OliversBrighton), the owner of the incredibly magical Oliver’s Brighton, has been playing Pokemon Go and eagerly awaiting the release of Niantic’s newest game. Here’s what he has to say:

Oliver

I currently play the Pokemon Go version of Niantic’s game which I thoroughly enjoy, but from owning a wizarding shop, it’s obvious that the wizarding world is my most loved fandom. The idea of being able to experience any level of Harry Potter in my day to day life excites me.

Another Harry Potter superfan, Bloss (@thehufflepuffqueen1) shares the same enthusiasm for this game as Oliver.

Bloss

With Wizards Unite, you can actually play a limitless amount of time and I have already had hours of fun spending quality time with my partner wandering around parts of our town that we haven’t even explored before, and working as a team to complete challenges. I love the AR game concept and think that Niantic’s new edition is fantastic.

Although Wizards Unite has only been out for a short time, so far, users can agree that there are only a few shortcomings to this wildly popular game. Oliver’s least favorite part of the game is that it is “addicting,” while Bloss and Rachel (@isuspectnargles) agree that in-app purchases are their least favorite.

Bloss

The thing I like least is in-app purchases…I know all games need these to make money but the reason I disliked Hogwarts Mystery was due to how money-orientated it was. However, I would love game developers to focus less on the excessive costs for extras.

Rachel

The only aspect of the game I’m not so keen on is the Spell Energy. Not everybody lives close enough to an Inn to boost their spell energy and the only other way to do so is by spending actual Muggle money which I don’t like doing. I think this could put some people off of playing the game after a while.

Despite some of the shortcomings of Wizards Unite, it doesn’t seem to have hindered people from becoming obsessed with this game so far.

However, I can relate to Rachel’s issue of not having easy access to an area where I can replenish my energy without having to hop into a car to get there. While it doesn’t seem to be a general issue yet, it will be interesting to see if this presents problems for players down the line.

Is the New Harry Potter Game Worth It?

After playing the game and seeing it take Harry Potter fans by storm, I think as a whole, Wizards Unite is definitely worth your time. It is engaging, encourages users to get up and move to progress in the game, and so far hasn’t been as focused on in-app purchases as other games in this genre.

Plus, who doesn’t love having a bit more Harry Potter magic in their life? I definitely do!

However, on a personal level, I’m not sure how long this game will hold my attention. I love all things Harry Potter, but the fact that my home is in a magical dead zone has really hindered my gameplay so far. It has made it difficult to level up and experience all that Harry Potter Wizards Unite has to offer. Of course, I will continue to play, but the question is for how long.

What about You?

Have you been playing Harry Potter Wizards Unite? What are some of the issues you’ve been facing so far? Has your location allowed for better or worse gameplay?

What do you think of the in-app purchases? What’s your favorite Foundable you’ve come across so far? Leave a comment or find me on Instagram and let me know your thoughts!

Megan Subsick

Contributor

Hi all, I’m Meg and I first fell in love with the Harry Potter Universe when my third grade teacher began reading it aloud in class. That day after school I got home, snuck into my older brother Alex’s room, and stole his copy of Sorcerer’s Stone. It was the first chapter book that I ever read in a single day. The rest is history (of magic).

Each year I counted down the days for the next film or book to come out in an effort to rejoin the magic of the wizarding world. When the series ended, I thought that the magic was over. Fast forward to July 30th 2016. I had been studying Shakespeare abroad in London for a few weeks when I realized I would still be in the city for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I have since seen 4 times and counting). Despite being a huge fan of the series, I had never been to a midnight release and this was my chance!

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