Is Pokemon Unite Pay to Win?

by Patrick Mark
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Pokemon Unite is the latest MOBA game released on the Nintendo Switch in late July 2021. Which was also release on mobile on the 22nd September 2021.

Being a free-to-play MOBA, many have addressed the issue that most games of the genre have in common : being pay to win.

But first, we need to talk about the general currencies in Pokemon Unite

Aeos Coins

The most general currency which can be obtained by playing the game. You earn a small amount of Aeos Coins after every match which can be used to purchase Pokemon Unite license and Held Items. However Aeos Coins come with a weekly cap of 2,100.

Aeos Gems

Every game has a currency that can be bought with real life money, in Pokemon Unite it is Aeos Gems. These gems can be used to buy almost anything in the store, while Pokemon Skins in Zirco Trading are the only items that can be exclusively bought with Aeos Gems.

Aeos Tickets

Aeos Tickets in general are hard to come by as you can only obtain them through event rewards and even the Battle Pass via rewards. Though rare to obtain, this currency is mainly used to buy items in the Aeos Emporium. From Held Items to in game experience boost and even Item Enhancers which is consumed when leveling up Held Items.

Fashion Tickets

Can only be used in the Fashion ticket exchange in Aeos Emporium to exchange for trainer cosmetics.

Holowear Tickets

Similar to Fashion Tickets but used for Pokemon Cosmetics, though this section is limited compared to the wide selection from Zirco Trading.

Sitting on the Fence

While Pokemon Unite’s currencies are straightforward, where do players draw the line of being pay to win? For starters, Held Items are given to Pokemon to increase their stats in-game and provide a passive bonus that encourage different playstyles. Although the additional stats look like small numbers may seen as minimal affect even when maxed out, players can take advantage of this mechanic and snowball their way in the ranks.

Furthermore, Held Items can be upgraded by using Item Enhancers, which can only be purchased in the store using Aeos Tickets or can be obtained from the Battle Pass. To reap the full benefits of a Held Item, it needs to be leveled up to the maximum level of 30, which requires a hefty amount of Item Enhancers.

Depending on when you started playing, the game would provide items that makes the whole item enhancing less painful. Among the items are a 7-Day Max-Grade Trial Card which gives you the full benefit of a Held Item for free for the proposed period and even a Super Item Enhancer which upon consumption will instantly grant a Held Item to level 30 permanently and you get 3 of these just by playing the game.

Cashing In

Because Aeos Tickets are a limited currency available in Pokemon Unite. Aeos Gems however can be use to purchase Aeos Tickets in a 1:10 ratio where 1 Aeos Gem = 10 Aeos Tickets. It may look like a commendable amount but when you do the math, you will need about 2,587 Aeos Gems to get a held item fully maxed from level 1 to 30 which equals to RM167.98 in terms of real life money.

Battle Pass

Pokemon Unite is no exception when it comes to having Battle Pass that reward players with in-game items just by playing the game and completing challenges.

The main attraction of an in-game Battle Pass is providing seasonal cosmetics but as for Pokemon Unite, what most players get the Battle Pass for is that you’re able to obtain more Aeos Tickets on top of extra Item Enhancers which players can get to further enhance their gameplay.


All in all, every game is bound to provide consistent revenue for a company’s growth. Pokemon Unite is by no means a pay to win game. We can’t deny that players get a  head start by maxing our Held Items for the extra boost and purchasing Pokemon Licenses using real life money, which will all be accessible to all players just by playing the game. In the end, it is also a game centered around individual skill and teamwork which cannot be bought with money. On top of that,  Pokemon Unite has only been officially released for less than a year, so there’s no telling what plans they have for the game.

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