The Pokémon franchise has over a thousand distinct species at the time of this writing, but one of the strangest and most distinctive is the elusive Unown. This extremely rare Psychic-type Pokémon made its debut in Generation 2, with Pokémon Gold & Silver. The mysterious Unown is one of the most highly variable Pokémon in the franchise. When it was introduced, it had 26 different forms. Generation 3 introduced two more forms for a total of 28. The creature resembles a floating eyeball with small black appendages sticking out at odd angles to form the shape of a letter of the alphabet. All 26 letters were included in Pokémon Gold & Silver. The two extra forms introduced later formed a question mark and an exclamation mark.
Unown isn’t a particularly powerful Pokémon, but its role in the lore makes it a curiosity if nothing else. They tend to show up in ancient ruins, but in-lore research shows that they originate from their own dimension. Their resemblance to the Latin alphabet is another mystery. In the anime and movies, Unown have had a very important role, with their mysterious psychic powers driving the plot at crucial moments. Even if it’s not the strongest Psychic-type you can pick up, they’re worth collecting for the mystery, and for the ability to spell out fun messages with your Pokémon team. Here’s what you need to know about this strange little creature.
Pokémon Unown Locations
Unlike most Pokémon, Unown don’t tend to show up randomly in the field. Trying to collect this enigmatic creature will take you to the most remote and esoteric corners of the Pokémon world. Some games will even require you to solve puzzles or decipher riddles before you can encounter the Unown you’re hunting. These strange challenges highlight the odd, otherworldly nature of the Pokémon.
- Pokémon Gold & Silver: In Generation 2, Unown can be encountered in the Ruins of Alph. Solving slide puzzles in the dungeon will populate the area with Unown which you can catch as normal. After you catch three Unown, you can talk to a researcher outside the ruins to unlock Unown Mode on your Pokédex, allowing you to track which forms you’ve captured. In the remake, HeartGold & SoulSilver, the Unown Report replaces Unown Mode, but functions similarly.
- Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen: This Generation 3 remake of the original games is the only entry in the third generation to offer Unown. The creatures are encountered in the Tanoby Chambers, once you’ve completed the Tanoby Key in Sevault Canyon.
- Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: In Generation 4, Unown can be found in the Solaceon Ruins. The first room features a plaque with writing in Unown script that gives directions to the final room in this maze-like set of chambers. The Generation 8 Switch remake of these games, Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, also feature Unown in the Solaceon Ruins.
- Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire: While the original games didn’t feature Unown outside of trade with other players from previous generations, the remakes do. Unown can be encountered in Mirage Caves, which are special temporary locations that have a chance to appear daily. Extra caves might appear through StreetPass.
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus: In this special spinoff game, one of each Unown variation is hidden throughout the map. The Unown Research Notes in your Pokédex can aid you in tracking them all down. Once you’ve caught all 28 Unown, they will begin freely appearing in the Solaceon Ruins, the same location as in Diamond & Pearl.
Pokémon Unown Stats
As mentioned before, Unown aren’t famous for their stats. Here are the base stats an Unown will have when you catch it in the wild.
- HP: 48
- Attack: 72
- Defense: 48
- Special Attack: 72
- Special Defense: 48
- Speed: 48
As a pure Psychic-type Pokémon, Unown is weak to Bug, Ghost, and Dark-type damage. It’s immune to Ground-type, and resistant to Fighting and Psychic. The main thing limiting Unown’s use in combat is its moveset. Unown can only learn the Hidden Power move. While this move has some versatility, changing its damage type depending on the intrinsic values of the Pokémon using it, the fact that this is the only move the creature knows makes it all but useless in most serious fights.
Pokémon Unown Evolutions
Unown has no evolutions. What you see is what you get with this strange creature. Some Pokédex entries mention a strange power that will trigger when two or more Unown are brought together, but in terms of actual gameplay, this strange power does not appear. The novelty of spelling out messages with Unown is just about all the development you can get out of these creatures. As mentioned at the outset, these creatures are more of a curiosity than a serious asset.