Pokémon Unite, the Nintendo Switch’s pocket monster-themed MOBA, is still going strong over a month since its release. But for some reason, lots of players seem to get cold feet right before joining a match.
Teaming up with randos in an online multiplayer game is always going to be a crapshoot. Everyone has their own ideas of what’s important in a match, and varying skillsets and experience don’t always align. Sadly, there’s still no replacement for getting your own squad together and strategising with one another in real time over voice communications on the Switch, which leaves a lone wolf (read: friendless loser) to the fickle whims of the universe when it comes to levelling up.
That said, one mostly expects to be disappointed by teammates during a match, not before the fighting actually kicks off. Not so in Pokémon Unite!
Joining a Pokémon Unite game is easy. Simply select “Unite Battle” on the main screen, choose the kind of match you want to play, hit the “Start” button, and the game will quickly fill out both teams with players who have gone through the same process. After everyone indicates they’re ready, you move onto the character select screen and hop into the match.
But that’s where folks are getting tripped up. For some unknowable reason, players will get all the way to the ready up screen and just disappear. This leaves everyone else twiddling their thumbs as the countdown expires, a 30-second period that I’d much rather spend, you know, playing the damn game. And it happens constantly; once, I even had to sit through three straight cycles of this nonsense before finally getting a match where everyone wanted to play.
It’s just so baffling. Pokémon Unite is still super popular, which means it takes less than a second to find nine other players for a ranked match. Where is everyone going in that infinitesimal amount of time? Do they start the matchmaking process and then run out of the room? I guess it’s possible some folks realise they don’t have the time for a full game and wait out the countdown because there isn’t currently a way to back out of these temporary lobbies, but it still blows me away that it happens so often.
I really like Pokémon Unite, but as always, hell is other people. If you happen to be one of these vanishing players, please comment. I need to know why you do what you do.