Pokemon Unite has faced plenty of criticism for being pay-to-win since it launched.
Pay-to-win games are often frowned upon by gamers who believe video games should showcase skills with what is given. The fact of the matter is that some game developers simply don't care and go for a pay-to-win model for profit.
So, is Pokemon Unite following its own pay-to-win model? A very vocal section of players seem to think so. There are a handful of things to break down to truly determine if it is, though.
Pokemon Unite: Is it pay to win?
There are clearly things in Pokemon Unite that give players a competitive advantage. One can purchase items, essentials to upgrade said items, and also purchase extra health.
That is the definition of pay to win, isn't it? Let's break it down as it pertains to Pokemon Unite. As a free to play game, it makes sense that there are methods of monetization.
Players can buy the Battle Pass, use real money for character cosmetics, and unlock various Pokemon to use in battle. It doesn't stop there, however. That is where the pay-to-win accusations begin.
Item upgrades are where the pay-to-win method becomes apparent in Pokemon Unite. Simply by playing, players obtain Item Enhancers that upgrade their Held Items, making them more effective.
If players run out of Item Enhancers, they can spend more Gems to replenish their reserves. Gems cost real money and for those with deeper pockets than others, fully upgrading items with actual money is no big deal.
The further players progress in Pokemon Unite, the more likely they are to face an opposing team with one or more users who are absolutely boosted. This is because they spent money on upgrades.
That seems pretty pay-to-win. Of course, a better player will usually come out on top of a battle no matter how much money is shoved into upgrades. That's just the truth for most games.
Overall, Pokemon Unite should not be labeled as pay-to-win. It should be mentioned as a game which allows players to pay to increase their chances of winning.
Until a true skill gap forms, no one knows the overall effect of these purchased upgrades.