Pokémon Go's Unown is one of the more elusive creatures in the Gen 2 update, having already reached near mythical status among players.

Unlike most (but not all!) of the legendary Pokémon like Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Ho-oh and Celebi - as well as the still missing Delibird and Smeargle - it is currently present in the game, but is currently exceedingly rare.

Thankfully, Niantic has responded and has increased its spawn rate dramatically as part of on-going Pokémon Go events, such as Go Fest in Chicago and the Unusual Sightings event in Europe.

However, what if you are unable to attend these events? While there is no definitive way to catch it, knowing its many quirks that may narrow down your success in eventually finding and deciding what to do with it.

What is Unown?


Unown was introduced in handheld entries Pokémon Gold and Silver, and is probably best summerised as the 'alphabet Pokémon', with 26 forms based around the latin characters of the alphabet.

All 26 forms are available to catch in Pokémon Go. There are also two additional forms - a question mark and exclamation mark - introduced in Gen 3, and though these aren't in Pokémon Go yet, do expect them to be introduced to the game when the next wave of creatures eventually arrive.

Catching your first three Unown will unlock a new Medal specifically for finding all forms, which will upgrade to Silver on 10 unique forms caught, and then Gold for all 26.

Similar to Pokémon with multiple forms - such as Pikachu and its Christmas and Birthday hats - Unown only occupies one entry in the Pokedex. It does, however, display all forms you've caught, with each one represented by a floating bubble (see Imgur for a preview of how this looks).

Other essential things to note; Unown doesn't evolve, is of the Psychic type (making it weak to Bug, Dark and Ghost Pokémon), has no gender, and in Pokémon Go has the moves Hidden Power and Struggle.

What we know about Unown in Pokémon Go

Unown has been available to catch in the wild since the introduction of Gen 2's Johto update in February 2017, as seen in countless Reddit reports and YouTube videos, such as this one by BroNixTV, showing three forms in action:

The general agreement is, unless part of an event, Unown spawns are completely random. While there's some research and discussion on whether Unown is assigned to certain spawn points or biomes - including an investigation specific to London - there has been nothing conclusive. Unown could be part of many biomes, or none at all, but either way it's incredibly rare to find.

So how do you increase your chances of finding one? Simply by keeping a keen eye on your in-game radar, and possibly using (unofficial and fan organised) online radars and trackers in many of the world's cities that can flag up the appearances of rare creatures.

Unless you can catch one at an event, catching Unown is a case of patience of and a healthy dose of luck - something seasoned Pokémon Go players should be used to by now!

Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, including those requiring Special Items such as the Dragon Scale. We also explain the recent Gym rework, how to get PokéCoins, Raids, Raid Battles, and Raid Bosses, and what we know about the addition of promo codes. Elsewhere, read about Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distance charts, best Pokémon tier lists, best moves and movesets and the XP chart. Plus, sice their release you can read everything we know about how to catch Legendary Pokémon like Articuno and Lugia, and all the others that are expected to be on their way.

What else we know about Unown in Pokémon Go?

There are a few other things to know about Unown:

  • Certain Unown letters (or forms) have appeared during special events. In Chicago's Pokémon Go Fest, C-H-I-A-G-O appeared, E-U-R-O-P appeared in during the Unusual Sightings event, and G-D-C during the 2018 Game Developers Conference.
  • There is no egg group that Unown is part of, so don't expect to suddenly hatch one out of a 10km egg.
  • As with certain rare Pokémon, such as Larvitars and Dratinis, Unown won't be part of any nests.
  • Catching enough Unown forms and upgrading its medal to Silver or Gold will not reward you with any Catch Bonuses, according to Reddit.
  • Despite its random nature, it is possible to get one from using a Lure, according to several Reddit users. It is still random and incredibly rare, so don't have hopes in finding one this way - just know it's possible!
  • When it does spawn, the form will be the same for all users in the vicinity - though as usual, CP and other factors will be random for each player.

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Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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