Pokémon Go Unown - Everything we know about the elusive alphabet Pokémon

It's exceedingly rare, but the Gen 2 Pokémon and its many forms are out there.

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

As well as being an incredibly rare spawn, Unown appears during special events, such as yearly Pokémon Go events, such as the annual Go Fest event.

It can also be made available in Eggs as part of global events - such as the Ultra Bonus unlock in September 2019, seeing the words U, L, T, R, A become available.

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?

1

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, as well as two additional forms - a question mark and exclamation mark - are available to catch in Pokémon Go.

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 Castform - 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.

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 and incredibly rare.

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!


The Season of Mischief is here! Current events include the Season 9 of Go Battle League, the addition of Raid Achievements, the Misunderstood Mischief research quest and the new Finding Your Voice Meloetta research. Shiny Ditto can also now be found in the wild and this tricky Pokémon is now appearing as new creatures! Fashion Week is back! You can now add Furfrou to your Pokédex and battle Fashion Challengers. Meanwhile, the last major update saw a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals. Inkay and Malamar are now in Pokémon Go!


What else we know about Unown in Pokémon Go?

There are a few other things to know about Unown:

  • Certain Unown letters (or forms) appear 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.
  • As part of Go Fest 2020, Unown released the first shiny variants, specifically for the letters G-O.
  • There is no egg group that Unown is part of, so don't expect to suddenly hatch one out of a 10km egg - unless, again, it's part of a special event.
  • 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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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Associate Editor  |  Crazyreyn

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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