Pokemon Unite launches on mobile today, but you might have to wait to play

It's safe to say that Pokemon Unite is one of the most anticipated mobile games this year – the phone-friendly port of the popular Switch game wracked up at least 5 million pre-registrations, according to the company itself, and it's now available to download on Android or iOS.

You can find the Play Store link here for Android devices and App Store link here for iPhones, and they'll bring you to the store listing pages (if you're on your phone) where you can download the game – that is, if you weren't one of the millions of people to pre-register, in which case it'll download automatically.

Pokemon Unite is what's known as a multiplayer online battle arena game, or MOBA, where two teams of five players compete to earn more points by collecting Pokemon then using them to fight – it's been live on Switch for two months now, where it saw nine million downloads.

However, prolific mobile gamers may have pricked up their ears at one particular word in that previous paragraph: 'multiplayer'. You see, mobile games which require internet connections have had troubled launches of late, and it's natural to be uneasy at the introduction of another such title.


Analysis: will Pokemon be united or not?

Online games use 'servers' to host players – when you boot up the game on your device, you'll connect to this server to play. A server can only host so many players though, and when too many try to connect, the game can crash or fail to let people connect.

We've seen this time and time again, most recently with Witcher: Monster Slayer, a Pokemon Go-style location game where you wander around real towns and kill ghouls and the like. The game was a hit at launch, but that meant many gamers struggled to connect, with some left waiting half a day or more to do so.

When a popular game releases, excited gamers all rush to play it as soon as possible, which means there's a lot of demand on the servers. That's why people can't connect - there's not enough supply of server space.

On Pokemon Unite launch day, popularity (and therefore server demand) could ebb and flow as each new region gains access to the game. 

As hype dies down, or as gamers fall upon the walls of the servers, demand will naturally slow, so supply will catch up with the people still trying to play. We'd imagine that after a couple of hours, it'll be easier to play Pokemon Unite online. So if at first you don't succeed, wait a few hours and try again.

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