Pokemon Unite: Physical vs Special Attack explained

Learn the difference between Attack and Special Attack in Pokemon Unite so you can equip your fighters correctly for each match.

Pokemon Unite splits its characters into two main types: physical attackers and special attackers. However, it doesn’t make it clear what the difference between them is or which attacks deal damage based on your Attack stat or Special Attack stat. Below, we’ll explain the difference between Physical and Special Attack in Pokemon Unite.

Pokemon Unite: Physical vs Special Attack explained

Pokemon Unite Physical vs Special attack explained
Garchomp and Lucario are both physical attackers who use the Attack stat to determine damage. 
© The Pokemon Company

You might think that direct strikes (like punching) would use physical attack, while Special Attack affects Pokemon special moves. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. There are two types of Pokemon in Unite: physical attackers and special attackers. Which Pokemon fall into which category is based on their stats in the mainline series. Pokemon with a higher Attack stat are called physical attackers, while those with a higher Special Attack are special attackers. This determines the damage type of their entire moveset in Pokemon Unite.

In Pokemon Unite, almost all Pokemon use their Attack stat for basic auto attacks (using the A button). With most Pokemon, however, the third auto attack you perform will be a Boosted Attack with a more powerful effect. Boosted Attacks will use the Attack stat for physical attackers, and Special Attack for special attackers. Similarly, Pokemon special moves (R and Zr) will adjust damage based on whether they’re a physical or special attacker. 

The short lesson from this is that you typically want to equip physical attackers with items that boost Attack, while you want to equip special attackers with items that boost Special Atk.

Pokemon are broadly split into Physical Attackers and Special Attackers as follows:

Physical attackers

These Pokemon use the Attack stat to determine damage.

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

Special attackers

These Pokemon use the Special Atk. stat to determine damage.

  • Alolan Ninetails
  • Cramorant
  • Eldegoss
  • Gengar
  • Mr. Mime
  • Pikachu
  • Slowbro
  • Venusaur
  • Wigglytuff

The explanation of physical vs special attack in Pokemon Unite might seem obvious to Pokemon series veterans, but for those new to Pokemon or who don’t dive into the stats, Unite does a seriously poor job of explaining itself.

Now that you’ve learned what physical and special attack mean in Pokemon Unite, make sure you equip each of your Pokemon with the correct items in each battle. Speaking of which, you can find our top Venusaur builds here. Head to our hub page for the game to discover more tips and tricks.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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