The scammy Pokemon Unite pumpkin boxes are the most Tencent move yet


Don’t get sucked in

The Pokemon Unite Halloween mode is here, and there’s a lot of stuff to unpack here. In addition to Chanseys everywhere dominating the Halloween map through Safeguard, we also have the opportunity to unlock a free character, and potentially partake in the sheer slot machine that is Pokemon Unite pumpkin boxes.

The thing is, it’s pure gambling. While the idea of a “box” seems like it would grant a random cosmetic, Unite isn’t quite there yet. Yes, you can buy the new Lucario skin that’s worth the equivalent of $40 in gems (that Ninetails skin set a bad precedent), but the pumpkin box racket is actually more insidious somehow.

The short of it is that players will accrue pumpkins as a secondary currency to unlock several Halloween-themed rewards. The big prize is the aforementioned Greedent character for 70 pumpkins, but you can also grab cosmetic things for your trainer for less. Or, you can buy a pumpkin box for two pumpkins, and gamble. Here’s how it works.

Breaking down the Pokemon Unite pumpkin boxes percentages

  • x1 Pumpkin – 63.27%
  • x2 Pumpkin – 31.64% (read: break even)
  • x5 Pumpkin – 3.16%
  • x10 Pumpkin – 1.58%
  • x20 Pumpkin – 0.32%
  • x50 Pumpkin – 0.03%

So that drops off quite a bit yeah? To be clear, there is a 63.27% chance that you will actually lose money gambling on more pumpkins. There is a 5.09% chance that you will get anything better than breaking even. The house always wins!

It’s baffling that Tencent made this system so opaque in such a big franchise, and it’s kind of crazy that The Pokemon Company and by proxy, Nintendo, are hitching their wagon to this. I mean, I get why they might want to throw some franchises to the gacha wolves for quick cash: that makes sense. But Pokemon? This feels like poking the bear, akin to how major general news outlets picked up the Star Wars Battlefront loot box controversy.

I can only describe this whole scheme as a social experiment. Ignore the boxes, just accrue pumpkins the old-fashioned way and get what you can get. Remember that if you do buy Greedent before you get it via pumpkins, you will get the coin [in-game cash] equivalent if you acquire the license through the pumpkin menu.

As another tip, if you’re having issues earning the “win games in the new Halloween mode” pumpkin rewards, you can swap to CPU Matches in a little purple menu near “start” [match] and clean up that way. The Halloween map is extremely swingy, so this is actually preferable, and you can just get it out of the way and coast on login pumpkin bonuses.