What are the unown pokemon? Unown, the Symbol Pokémon, was introduced in handheld entries Pokémon Gold and Silver. It has 28 forms – one for each letter of the Latin alphabet (A–Z), along with a question mark and exclamation mark. These tend to make up special messages to players in the main series games, such as in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, where Unown would literally spell out hints as to where to catch them.
Catching your first three Unown in Pokémon Go will unlock a new Medal specifically for finding all forms, which will upgrade to Silver on 10 unique forms caught, and then Gold for all 26.
While this medal does not increase the chances of finding or catching Unown, it is a psychic-type Pokémon, so upgrading your Psychic medal to platinum will, of course, help increase your catch-rate.
Similar to Pokémon with multiple forms – such as Castform – Unown only occupies one entry in the Pokedex. It does, however, display all forms you’ve caught, with each one represented by a floating bubble.
However, it’s worth noting since the addition of Furfrou and the ability to change forms, this is not a form you can change; if you want Unown B, you need to catch Unown B, for example.
Other interesting things to note are that it Unown doesn’t evolve, it’s weak to bug, dark and ghost Pokémon (although has no real use in Go Battle League), has no gender, and in Pokémon Go has the moves Hidden Power and Struggle.
What we know about Unown in Pokémon Go
Unown has been available to catch in the wild since the introduction of Gen 2’s Johto update in February 2017, as seen in countless Reddit reports and YouTube videos, such as this one by BroNixTV, showing three forms in action:
While there’s some research and discussion on whether Unown is assigned to certain spawn points or biomes – including an investigation specific to London – there has been nothing conclusive. Unown could be part of many biomes, or none at all, but either way it’s incredibly rare to find.
So how do you increase your chances of finding one? Simply by keeping a keen eye on your in-game radar, and possibly using (unofficial and fan organised) online radars and trackers in many of the world’s cities that can flag up the appearances of rare creatures.
Unless you can catch one at an event, catching Unown is a case of patience of and a healthy dose of luck – something seasoned Pokémon Go players should be used to by now!
How to catch every Unown in Pokémon Go
Completing the ‘Unowndex’ is one of those badges of honour that Pokémon players love to chase. However, doing so in Pokémon Go is vastly more difficult than any of the main series games — especially if you’re late to the party.
Concept and creation
Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, the Pokémon series began in Japan in 1996 with the release of the Pokémon Red and Blue video games for the Game Boy. In these games, the player assumes the role of a Pokémon Trainer whose goal is to capture and train creatures called Pokémon.
Players use the creatures’ special abilities to combat other Pokémon. The ultimate goal of the games is to complete the entries in the Pokémon index (Pokédex), a comprehensive Pokémon encyclopedia, by capturing, evolving, and trading to obtain creatures from all Pokémon species.
While they were designed to resemble aliens at first, the designers noticed that they began to look like letters of the alphabet, leading them to lean into this and make 26 different forms corresponding to the Latin alphabet. Unlike others in the franchise, Unown do not have singular voice actors, but instead are voiced by several at once.
Unown are Psychic-type Pokemon, and are hieroglyph-like, thin, black symbols found on walls. First appearing in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Unown went on to have a total of 28 different forms, with the latter two Unowns meant to look like a question mark and an exclamation point. In the Pokémon universe, it is said that each form has different abilities.
It is unknown whether the Unown came first, or the letters they resemble. The in-game Pokédex states that Unown can make telepathic contact with other beings.
If multiple Unown come together, their power increases, Unown’s only known move in battle is “Hidden Power”, an attack whose type depends on the individual values of the user. In the movie, Professor Oak studies a new pair of Unown, which are actually modeled after Cyrillic. It is generally not used in battle due to low stats and its limited move pool.
In video games
Unown made its debut appearance in the Pokémon series in Pokémon Gold and Silver. In this game, they can be found in the Ruins of Alph of Johto and are triggered once the player completes the puzzles in the caves found in the Ruins, with a character prompting players to collect all 26 variations of Unown. It also appeared in Pokémon Crystal, where a new story connected to Unown was added.
It has appeared in most sequels to Gold and Silver excluding the two pairs of games, Pokémon Sword and Shield and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet due to these two game pairs not having all Pokémon available.
Unown also appears in Pokémon Legends Arceus, with the 28 variants found at different points in the game, locations indicated to the player by hints written using Unown-based text.
26 forms of Unown were added to Pokémon Go as part of 80 Pokemon from Gold and Silver, although it is uncommon for a player to find any forms of Unown. It has also appeared in other Pokémon games, such as the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series. Unown has also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series.
It first appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee as something that can be summoned with a Poké Ball to attack a player’s opponents. Its F form also appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a collectible.
In other media
The Unown appear from time to time in the Pokémon anime. They star as the main antagonists of Pokémon 3: The Movie, existing in their own dimension until they are brought out by a girl named Molly, who had recently lost her parents. Reading her mind, they make her wishes come true, including creating the Pokémon Entei to be her father, who kidnaps Ash Ketchum’s mother to serve as her mother.
However, Molly soon learns that her wishes come with threatening consequences and attempts to stop them, but the Unown are out of control, forcing Entei to sacrifice itself to send the Unown back to their dimension. Unown also appears in the Pokémon Adventures manga. The different variants of Unown appear in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
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