Pokemon UNITE Physical vs Special Attacks Explained

Pokemon UNITE Physical vs Special Attacks Explained
Images: Nintendo

Written by 

Brittany Alva


13th Aug 2021 13:27

Knowing the difference between Pokemon UNITE Physical vs. Special attacks is extremely important, especially when it comes to making builds for your Pokemon. However, Pokemon UNITE does a bad job at informing players how Physical and Special attacks work in game. While knowing the Pokemon UNITE best Pokemon tier list is great, it won’t help you get better at the game if you don’t know how each Pokemon attacks. Here’s everything you need to know about the Pokemon UNITE Physical vs. Special attacks.

Pokemon UNITE Physical vs. Special Attacks: The Difference and Why it Matters

In Pokemon UNITE, Physical and Special attacks are different stats on a Pokemon. Considering these stats need to be built up with Held Items, you need to know which Pokemon have which attack moves.

Physical and Special attacks have always existed in the Pokemon series. However, the games would tell you which attack was which so you could make full use of your Pokemon’s base stats. In Pokemon UNITE, that’s not the case.

In fact, Pokemon UNITE doesn’t give players any information or indication on which Pokemon fight which way. While the items make it clear that the game has two different attack types, it doesn’t help players understand how they should (and shouldn’t) build Pokemon items.

After people have tirelessly done testing in the practice tool with different items, players finally have a clue which Pokemon attacks in which way. 

Physical vs. Special Attacks: Physical Attackers

Pokemon Unite Physical vs. Special Attack Cinderace
Click to enlarge

The Physical attackers of Pokemon UNITE are:

  • Absol
  • Charizard
  • Cinderace
  • Crustle
  • Garchomp
  • Greninja
  • Lucario
  • Machamp
  • Snorlax
  • Talonflame
  • Zeraora

Some of these Pokemon aren’t traditionally Physical attackers in the series, so it might take you by surprise. 

When it comes to building Physical attack Pokemon, you’ll want to focus on items that deal with Attack Damage or Critical Hit stats. These items include Muscle Band, Scope Lens, Float Stone, and Attack Weight.

Physical vs. Special Attacks: Special Attackers

Pokemon Unite Physical vs. Special Attack Venusaur
Click to enlarge

The Special attackers of Pokemon UNITE are:

  • Cramorant
  • Eldegoss
  • Gengar
  • Mr. Mime
  • Ninetales
  • Pikachu
  • Slowbro
  • Venusaur
  • Wigglytuff

Again, some of these Pokemon are surprising choices for Special Attackers. 

When you’re building Special attackers, you can use items that focus on Sp. Atk (ie Special Attack), which includes Sp. Atk Specs, Shell Bell, and Wise Glasses. Boosting Critical Hit stats is still good as well, so Scope Lens is great to use. 

Physical vs. Special Attacks: Standard Attacks

There’s one side note here - any time you perform a Standard attack by pressing A, your Pokemon will perform a Physical attack. It’s kind of like telling your Pokemon to use Tackle, a Physical move, over and over again.

There are two Pokemon who have special circumstances: Charizard and Lucario. While these Pokemon do have Physical attacks as Standard attacks, they also have third-hit Special attacks (also called Enhanced attacks.)

In case you didn’t know, every third time your Pokemon performs a Standard attack, it will pack an extra punch. So for Charizard and Lucario, these third attacks start dishing out Special attack damage. 

This makes it a bit tricky when it comes to building up their items, but you can play around with items to see what you like the most. Most people build these two Pokemon with a focus on Critical Hit stats and Physical damage, but there’s nothing stopping you from building up that third hit damage. 

Physical vs. Special Attacks: How to Test Them Yourself

In case you want to see how Pokemon players are learning which Pokemon dish out which type of damage, you can check out the practice tool with each Pokemon. 

When you do this, you’ll need to equip different Held Items that boost Attack Damage and Special Attack damage separately. You’ll also want to enter the practice tool first with no Held Items so you can get an idea of what the base damage for the Pokemon is.

Then, you can quickly compare the numbers. Pokemon UNITE makes this pretty easy -- the targets in the practice tool have an HP bar that’s numbered.

Now you know everything there is to know about the Pokemon UNITE Physical vs Special attacks, check out some more Pokemon UNITE guides below:

Pokemon UNITE Buddy Barrier | Pokemon UNITE Greninja builds | Pokemon UNITE Gengar builds


Brittany Alva is a freelance games journalist who enjoys writing about MOBAs, old (and new) JRPG games, and VALORANT.

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