Yesterday, Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite launched on mobile devices in the U.K. and USA from Niantic, developer of Pokemon Go. Like it’s predecessor, Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite is an augmented reality game. It tasks players with walking around the real world to perform tasks to preserve the Statute of Secrecy. Unlike Pokemon Go, Wizard’s Unite actually has some semblance of a story that takes place after the books’ events. A dark wizard has scattered all manner of magical artifacts around the world. Harry Potter and Constance Pickering (the Head of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force) have tasked you with tracking down the missing items and casting spells to collect them.
Gotta Catch ’em All
Upon initial startup, the game introduces you to the registry. The Registry is a collection of every object you have found and successfully freed from the world. The Registry is divided into ten categories, with each category having three sets of collectables to find ranging from characters, to locations, to items. It is enough to make every Squib weep. By collecting items for the Registry, players rank up and earn items to be used to assist in their pursuits. To capture an item, players click on Traces(like the one below) and cast a spell that will be graded based on the speed of the cast and accuracy of the motion. So far, it seems that the casting speed is significantly more impactful on the overall spell score than accuracy. Potions can assist in the spell score as well, but you won’t be able to brew those until Level 4.
A Living World
The Wizard’s Unite world is populated by more than just random encounters. Prominent locations in your hometown will show up as inns where players can collect resources, runestones, and seeds. Portkeys will spawn into the world and must be unlocked with golden or silver keys. After inserting a key, the player must then walk a certain distance to cause them to transport the player across the Potterverse (my first one sent me to Hagrid’s Cabin at Hogwarts). Certain locations will have a high density of Traces of a certain type, so if you want to grind one of the Registry categories, keep an eye out for these areas. Seeds can be planted in Greenhouses, locations that appear as blue crystals on the map. These can then be harvested in order to brew elixirs. Finally, you can drop runes at Fortresses to initiate Wizarding Challenges.
Wizard’s Unite Tips and Magic Tricks
For new players, the amount of content can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for new players to get them rolling in the Wizard’s Unite.
- Check Your Portkeys: Precious Portkey Portmanteaus must be unlocked using keys. Each player is gifted with a golden key. This key allows for unlimited unlocks, and silver keys are a one-time use item that accomplish the same goal. Silver keys can be earned through various activities in the game, including leveling up. Check your portkeys after walking any significant distance to ensure you always have your golden key working on an unlock.
- Adjust the Settings: Wizard’s Unite can be a bit of a data drag on your cell plan. By downloading all assets in the settings menu, the game will cache locally instead of drawing down data every second you are in the app. This will be a huge benefit to those on limited data plans. If you are going to do this, enable the ‘Notify About New Assets’, so you can make sure you always have the most up to date version of the game. Finally, flip the ‘Battery Saver’ on, you won’t notice any difference in performance, but the game won’t suck up nearly as much of your battery life as usual.
- Check Daily Assignments: Assignments change over at midnight every night. These daily quests will provide you with coins, XP, potion making tools and more. You can accomplish most of these tasks over the course of a day out, but some need to be specifically targeted. If you keep an eye on them, you will make sure you don’t miss out on free bonuses.
So far, we are impressed by Wizard’s Unite’s depth of content and server stability. All told, the amount of different activities to do in the world is significantly more impressive than even in the current incarnation of Pokemon Go, much less how the game launched. So get out there; you’re a wizard now.