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Wizards Unite’ mistakes to avoid while playing



If you’re anything like me — the sort of person who kept playing Pokémon Go for many, many years after it stopped being cool — then you’ll likely have already downloaded Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

I summoned the app shortly after it came out in the UK and U.S. last Thursday. And although it hasn’t quite become the obsession that Niantic’s last game was during that glorious summer of 2016, I am still pretty hooked.

One thing I remember about the start of Pokémon Go is how little I knew about the game in those early weeks. Simple tricks I only found out about later. Dumb mistakes I kept making that cost me valuable wizarding resources.

My aim is to try and avoid making similar missteps this time around. With that in mind I’ve put together a few things I’ve already learned to stop doing in the game, which I’ve either found out firsthand or through research on subreddits like r/harrypotterwu and r/WizardsUnite.

Wands at the ready!

1. Don’t use your gold key on five or 10 kilometre portkeys 

Use those silver keys wisely.

Use those silver keys wisely.

Image: wizards unite/sam haysom/mashable composite

In Wizards Unite, portkeys essentially play the same role that eggs do in Pokémon Go — they’re an item that can be picked up on the main map, but only unlocked by walking a set distance. The rarer the portkey, the further the distance required. The keys act like the incubators. You start off with a gold key (a permanent item you’ll have forever), and find one-time-use silver keys throughout your adventure.

Unlike PoGo, however, the silver keys — the disposable egg incubator equivalent — seem relatively easy to acquire. But it might not always be that way. The only thing in this world that’s guaranteed is your little golden key, so it’s best to use those precious silver ones sparingly.

The optimum way to do this is to save them for five kilometre and 10 kilometre portkeys, so you’re not burning through them on the two kilometre ones (save the gold key for those).

2. And don’t open your portkeys if your vault is full

Don't place that boot until you've cleared your vault.

Don’t place that boot until you’ve cleared your vault.

Image: wizards unite/sam haysom/mashable composite

This is a mistake I’ve made several times already. It’s a mistake I seem to keep making, no matter how many times I remind myself not to do it. Maybe it’s something to do with the little buzz of excitement that comes when you get that screen flashing up to say you’ve unlocked a portkey. I don’t know.

The point is, if your vault is full (say, of potion ingredients), then you won’t be able to claim those sweet portkey rewards without paying coins to expand it. You can’t dip out, clear some space, and then dip back in again, so make sure you have room before you step through the magical portal.

3. Don’t forget to check shiny foundables

Keep an eye out for foundables that have a healthy glow.

Keep an eye out for foundables that have a healthy glow.

The little Pokémon icons that appear on the map in PoGo are pretty handy, aren’t they? They mean you can decide whether or not to try and catch something without actually having to engage it.

Wizards Unite isn’t quite the same. Instead of cheerful little Pidgeys and Spearows, you’re greeted with a map full of spinning medallions (these are the “foundables” you have to go about freeing on your quest). Okay, so they’re at least colour-coded — you can tell the type of foundable you’ll be encountering without having to tap on it. But it’s sort of annoying that you can’t easily pick out the super-rare ones when you’re in a hurry.

Well, steady on there, because you actually can! Apologies in advance if you figured this out immediately — for some reason it only dawned on after a few days playing — but the rarer foundables are easy enough to spot: they all glow. Any medallion that has a golden light streaming off the top of it (like in the image above) is well worth your time. Its difficulty rating should be “high” at the very minimum.

Which leads nicely on to my next point…

4. Don’t be shy with those potions

This beast is going to require some serious potion action.

This beast is going to require some serious potion action.

Image: wizards unite/sam haysom/mashable composite

Potions are the great leveller in Wizards Unite. If you come up against a particularly stubborn beast, casting a nice Exstimulo Potion on it will make it that little bit easier to rescue. You can get potions by levelling up, but the most common, Hermione Granger-approved method is brewing them up in your cauldron. It’s worth having several in the queue, so you constantly have a decent supply.

Now, you don’t need to be throwing potions at everything you encounter, but you’ll probably want to use them for foundables with a difficulty rating of “high” or more. It’s worth it for these rarer ones, as they have an irritating habit of resisting all magic and then promptly vanishing after you’ve burned through most of your spell energy.

5. Don’t use your dark detectors too early

Hold on to these bad boys.

Hold on to these bad boys.

Image: wizards unite/sam haysom/mashable composite

Speaking of rare foundables that like to burn through your energy, it’s time for a quick word on dark detectors. These are basically Wizards Unite‘s answer to lures. You find a nice cosy inn, pop them down inside and — hey presto! — a bunch of foundables start to pop up.

The thing is, dark detectors aren’t quite the same as lures, those things that encouraged foundables out of hiding and hopefully into your hand. They’re a little more complex. Inside an inn, for instance, you’ll find room for three dark detectors — the more you add, the more foundables (and it seems, the more rare foundables) you’ll start to encounter.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll get over-excited by this feature and thump down three dark detectors in the closest inn ASAP — only to discover that the “severe” and “emergency” foundables that begin popping up are too strong for your laughably weak spell-casting arm.

All of which is a fairly rambling way of saying that it might be best to wait until you’re a higher level (say, 10-15 or more) with a decent stock of potions before you start thumping down dark detectors. That way you’ll have a better chance of reaping their rewards.

6. Don’t forget to “prestige” a completed page

It's worth doing for that sweet XP.

It’s worth doing for that sweet XP.

Image: wizards unite/sam haysom/mashable composite

Isn’t it nice when you have a completed page in your registry? And isn’t it equally not nice when the stupid little red notification dot on the game’s main menu won’t disappear, and you don’t know why?

Well, good news and bad news. The good news is there’s probably a simple way to get rid of that dot. The bad news is you may have to lose your beautiful set of stickers to do it.

Basically, when a page in your registry is completed (i.e. once you’ve freed enough of the right foundables to fill it with stickers), a tiny little icon will appear in the top-right corner (see above). If you tap this you have the option to “prestige” the page in question — this basically wipes the stickers, but means you’ll get more XP when you encounter foundables that are listed on that page in future.

Obviously more XP means you’ll be levelling up quicker, so it’s worth it in the end!

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