Pokemon Unite may be using actual players’ user names to hide its bots. Like many other games that have a heavy multiplayer component, Pokemon Unite likely uses bots to help keep players from waiting in queues for too long. Although Pokemon Unite hasn’t formally confirmed that the game uses bots, many players have noticed how some “players” seem to lag far behind other players, even in high ranked matches. Although bots help fill up games and hypothetically even the playing feel, Pokemon Unite players have noted how a bot can quickly become a disadvantage that’s too steep to overcome.
One Pokemon Unite player pointed out that the game might be using real players’ user names to mask its bots. In a recent Reddit post, user u/Iago_bra noted that his user name was used in a game earlier that day where he used a Snorlax. However, the user claimed that he didn’t have a Snorlax and even posted a picture of the in-game store showing that Snorlax was still available to purchase. Several users in the comment section posted similar experiences, so this seems to be deliberate.
Notably, this may help explain the unexpected friend requests some players receive in Pokemon Unite from random players. If a bot uses your user name in a match, a player on their team can add them as a friend afterwards.
While this bot issue is a bit weird, there is one silver lining. A bot’s performance while using your name won’t impact your in-game stats and rankings. Still, the uses of bots is a hotly debated topic among Pokemon Unite players, especially when it could impact a player’s chance of ranking.
Pokemon Unite is a MOBA-style free-to-play game currently available on the Nintendo Switch. Players control a single Pokemon in 5v5 team matches that involve trying to score goals on opponents. Players defeat wild Pokemon to gain XP and Aeos Energy and then try to deposit that energy in their opponent’s goals to score points. The team with the most points at the end of the match wins. Notably, players only receive one free Pokemon at the beginning of the game, but they can earn up to 7 additional Pokemon through various bonuses and can purchase the remaining Pokemon either through in-game currency earned by completing matches or by spending real-world money. Various cosmetics and avatar items are also available.
Pokemon Unite is free to download now on the Nintendo Switch. Mobile versions of Pokemon Unite will be made available later this year.