Pokémon Unite Players Sure Don’t Like Surrendering

Pokémon Unite Players Sure Don’t Like Surrendering
Pikachu about to get rekt in Pokémon Unite. Should have surrendered, as I suggested. (Image: Nintendo / Kotaku)

Picture this: You’re playing Pokémon Unite as your favourite monster (Greninja mains, sound off in the comments), whooping some arse. But as the game goes on, you find that your team is seriously STRUGGLING. What do you do, choose the surrender option or stick it out until the end? Matches may be pretty short in Pokémon Unite, but y’all should really consider throwing up the white flag sometimes.

In MOBAs, surrendering is the process of giving up a match, whether that’s not long after it starts or just before it ends. There are typically restrictions on when and how many times you can surrender. Pokémon Unite presents its own stipulations, though most tend to not use it. That should change, as surrendering doesn’t affect you or your ranking. And yet, I almost never see people use the surrender option in-game.

Now, I know, I know. Quitters never prosper. “Git gud” at video games. You can feel that way, but I’m here to tell you that there’s actually nothing wrong with surrendering. In fact, it’s an act that should be encouraged. So I took to Twitter to ask Pokémon Uniters whether they surrender and I basically got an overwhelming “nah man, never.”

The replies make some sense. One player told me it “seems as though you can always come back,” while another said it “depends” on whether they’re playing with adults or kids. Most, though, agreed that match length makes surrendering feel kind of pointless. And others have a few very specific conditions that have to be met before they even think about going to give up in the game, which is a little wild to me.

Kotaku EIC Patricia Hernandez, who is level 40 and has regrettably already put around 200 hours into the game, notes that attitudes toward surrendering might vary depending on the mode. In the tryhard world of Ranked, for example, people sometimes force a vote right after losing the first Drednaw fight, which tasks players with defeating a wild monster in exchange for some experience points and a shield Drednaw reveals itself twice in a match, but the first one happens fairly early on — so some players tend to just throw in the towel right off the bat.

But Wait, How Do You Surrender In The First Place?

Dear reader, I’m glad you asked. While it’s more simplified than other MOBAs I’m familiar with, like Arena of Valor and Smite, Pokémon Unite’s user interface isn’t the most intuitive. Critical information, including the overall team score, is absent when pausing the game. So figuring out how to surrender can be a frustrating task, especially as your team’s getting whooped on. But I’ve got you. Here’s how to surrender in Pokémon Unite if you’re playing on the Nintendo Switch:

  • Hit that Plus button on your Switch controller
  • Press that Minus button to get into the Settings
  • Tap that X button in the Settings menu to Surrender
  • (Optional) Spam Surrender until your team finally does it

Pokémon Unite only gives you three surrenders per match. Once all three have been expended and if the team doesn’t agree to surrender, then the can of whoop-arse that was opened earlier will stay open till the end of the match. And that’s a shame, particularly when a comeback seems unlikely. You know what I’m talking about, when the game hits you with that YOU’RE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP message, informing you that your team is getting thoroughly smacked.

But of course, not all is lost just because you’re team’s STRUGGLING. As several people told me on Twitter, Zapdos can be the delineating factor between a crushing defeat and a close victory. Killing it nets you and your team a cool amount of points while providing handy buffs that can change the battle’s tide. But the legendary bird only spawns once in the last two minutes, making it the obvious objective for the down and out as the match reaches its final stretch. So if you’re losing, under-leveled (maybe because teammates were feeding the other players, who knows), AND the other team captured Zapdos, it’s pretty much curtains. Surrendering is the only option here, regardless of your kill-death ratio.

Still, for reasons I refuse to agree with, Pokémon Unite players just don’t want to surrender. According to my Twitter replies, the act of surrendering is situational to most, but a handful are adamant that giving up is non-negotiable. They would rather meet their death in a losing battle, watching teammates wantonly hand over their life — and experience and points — to the opposing team, instead of living to fight another day by simply surrendering? Y’all make no sense to me.


  • Throwing up the white flag in Pokemon Unite to surrender if you’re team is struggling Jeremy no fucking way absolutely not I ain’t surrendering if my team was struggling in a ranked match that would make me lose my chances of reaching Expert rank.
    So the answer is fuck no I’m not surrendering if my online team is struggling against team orange in Pokemon Unite.

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