Dubbed ‘Harry Potter GO,’ Niantic’s next phenomenon is set to launch sometime in 2019. Here’s everything you need to know!
Harry Potter fans are getting a slew of new games on console and mobile starting this year, since Warner Bros. and its subsidiary, PortKey Games, makes a push with Harry Potter content. The game I’m personally most excited for is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, here’s everything you need to know right now!
April 18, 2019: Niantic launches Harry Potter: Wizards Unite beta test in New Zealand
Niantic has launched the beta testing phase for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in New Zealand for both Android and iOS. You can grab the game on the Google Play Store right now and pre-register if you’re not in New Zealand, but all iOS users will need to wait a bit later before they can pre-register.
Early gameplay footage reveals map-based gameplay that is similar to Pokémon Go. However, you’ll be collecting magical artifacts and returning them safely back to the wizarding world before Muggle eyes are exposed to magic. You’ll also be facing off against other witches and wizards in magical duels by casting spells with your finger. There are Ministry-issued badges to earn and collect, too.
Stay tuned for more updates about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite as we get them.
April 10, 2019: Niantic allows players to reserve their Pokémon GO trainer nicknames for use in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
In an email sent out to Pokémon Go players, Niantic is giving you the opportunity to reserve their trainer nicknames so that you can use them in the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game. If you want to duel wizards and search for magical “foundables” with the same name you’re already using to catch friendly-Pokémon, you can reserve your name now.
While there’s no new information on an official release date, it certainly does seem this is another step in the right direction. We can only hope that a release (in any form) has to be coming up in the next few months, and the anticipation is killing us!
March 11, 2019: New gameplay footage for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!
In a blog post the developers gave us a first look at the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and unveiled quite a bit of information about what you will do in the game.
“A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables,” and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes.”
For a full breakdown of all the new gameplay details announced keep on reading below!
February 28, 2019: Niffler spotted in London arcade in new teaser!
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite hit us with another teaser for the upcoming AR mobile game, and this time it’s cute as can be! It seems as though more magic is spreading to the muggle world and now magical beasts are venturing out into the real world.
December 21, 2018: Developers of Wizards Unite release a new teaser.
It’s going to be a magically Christmas after all, as the developers of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite pushed out a new teaser trailer featuring a broom streaking across an empty highway by itself. While no new game info has been released yet the official Twitter for the game tweeted this along with the teaser video:
“Riderless broomsticks were spotted flying erratically in the Muggle world. Stay alert for any other cases of unexplained magical activity! #WizardsUnite”
It could be a hint that more information will be released in the near future!
November 14, 2018: Niantic and WB Games release a first teaser trailer for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!
While the trailer doesn’t show any actual gameplay, there are a few details we can discern from the live action trailer. It appears wizards and witches around the world will be responsible for keeping the wizarding world safe and out of sight from the Muggle world.
The official Harry Potter Wizards Unite website has also been updated to tease us all about the upcoming AR game set in J.K. Rowling’s wizard universe:
“The Ministry is looking for witches and wizards willing to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to save the wizarding world from the Calamity. As a member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force (a new task force formed in partnership between the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards) you will hone lightning fast wand reflexes, an ability to sniff out the faintest whiff of magical disorder from afar, and proficiency in advanced casting of multiple spells.”
What is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an upcoming mobile game created by Niantic Labs — Pokémon GO fame — in conjunction with Warner Bros. It will be an augmented reality (AR) game that will take place in the Harry Potter universe. You may have also heard it called Harry Potter GO, because of the relation to popular Pokémon game, but the actual title is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite release date
Unfortunately, there’s no official release date for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite as of right now. A beta for the game is available right now, but only in New Zealand. There have been multiple hints that Australia will be the next region to get the beta version of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, but no official confirmation from Niantic or the team behind the game about when new regions will be added.
It’s hard to guess exactly when it will come to North America, but with the game actually in beta, I imagine more and more regions to be added in the coming weeks and months.
How to play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
With the beta being available in New Zealand, we’ve been able to glean a good amount of information about the gameplay aspects. However. keep in mind that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is in beta, meaning everything is subject to change before the final product is released.
Much like Niantic’s previous titles (Pokémon GO and Ingress), Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will require you to physically move around to encounter new creatures and find interesting places to interact within the game.
“As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more.”
Foundables are a wide range of creatures, objects, and people from the Harry Potter universe that will spawn semi-randomly on the map. Different locations will be more likely to spawn certain Foundables than others, and weather conditions, time of day, and the current moon phase all have an effect on which Foundables can be found.
When you encounter a Foundables, you’ll be taken into AR mode and prompted to cast a spell. You cast spells by tracing the lines that appear in your screen. After you have defeated or dispelled the Foundable, you will earn experience points, and other items to help you along the way.
One thing is clear, you’ll be able to cast spells to help protect the Wizarding World from the Calamity and restore order and even to fight dangerous foes; however, spells will use Spell Energy that you’ll need to replenish!
“As you cast spells, you’ll consume Spell Energy. Be sure to regularly stop by Inns, found at Muggle locations around the world, to collect food and drinks that replenish your Spell Energy.”
It seems to me that you’ll refill your Spell Energy a lot like you refill Pokéballs in Pokémon GO, whereas instead of going to Pokéstops, you’ll go to Inns.
Niantic promised there would be multi-player aspects to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Fortresses seem to be at least one multi-player aspect included in the game.
“Fortresses are host to Wizarding Challenges, real-time multiplayer battles against dangerous foes, including Death Eaters and soul-sucking Dementors. You won’t want to face these threats alone–gather your friends to take on threats of even higher levels and recover rarer magical Foundables from within the Fortress walls.”
So far, it seems our friends a Wizards Unite World have been taking a look at how Fortresses work currently.
Fortresses are found out in the world and are filled with AI controlled foes, that players can either take on alone or team up with other players. Each Fortress appears to have 20 floors and each floor is harder than the last, and some even have a level requirements, meaning you have to have someone in your party at least be the minimum level.
Players will have the option to specialize in three different magical professions once they reach a certain level — Auror, Magizoologists, or Professor — which will grant players access to unique skills and abilities to help you on your journey.
When it comes to battling enemies at a Fortress, it seems it would be wise to team up with other wizards and witches that have chosen a different profession than you, thus having a wider range of abilities to use in battle!
So far it seems that Aurors are strong against Dark Forces, Magizoologists are strong against Beasts, and Professors are strong against Curiosities.
What’s a wizard or witch without their favorite brew? The ability to brew potions will be a component of gameplay in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, allowing you to find ingredients on the map that will vary by time-of-day, temperature, and weather conditions. You can also find potions ingredients in specially designated greenhouses found in the game.
Portkeys; the seemingly mundane objects that can instantly transport you anywhere will be in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
“Make sure to also keep an eye out for Portmanteaus, which can be unlocked to reveal Portkeys that whisk you away to iconic wizarding world locations. For the first time, you’ll be able to step into a full 360-degree Advanced AR immersive experience in places like Ollivander’s Wand Shop.”
No details on where or what type of Portmanteaus we should be looking for or whether Portkeys will offer you any other benefit than an AR experience, but it’s really cool to see the game explore the deep and rich Wizarding World we all know and love.
How can I get updates?
Obviously, I’m pretty invested in the game’s development and will be covering all the news and rumors I can find right here on iMore.
You can also go to the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite website to sign up to the email newsletter.
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