Unown Alphabet: The Rare Pokémon Go Creature

Introduced in the Pokémon Gold and Silver games, Unown has 28 forms representing the letters A to Z plus ? and !. Completing the Unown Alphabet in Pokémon GO by catching all forms earns players a unique platinum medal in a challenging feat of dedication.

Unown spawns rarely outside of events, with no guarantees despite theories of spawn points attracting the unpredictable creature. Its perfect IV odds sit at 1 in 4,096. Remote Raid Passes provide occasional event access, while trading and traveling to events offer the most reliable hunting strategy for dedicated players to fill their Unowndex.

What is Unown Pokémon?

Unown first appeared in 1999’s Pokémon Gold and Silver games for the Game Boy Color, number 201 in the Johto Pokédex. Each of its 28 forms resemble a different letter in the Latin alphabet, along with a ? and a !. Grouping the letter shapes together loosely resembles messages.

Catching three separate Unown letters in Pokémon GO unlocks a new medal with bronze, silver, and gold tiers. The requirements increase as you catch more of the 28 forms.

A coveted platinum version exists for players who complete the entire alphabet. Its difficulty earns it notoriety as one of the game’s greatest challenges rather than its competitive usefulness. Upgrading your Psychic medal can improve Unown catch rates, though the Unown medal itself grants no catch bonuses.

The Extreme Rarity of Unown Spawns

Unown spawn outside of special events incredibly rarely, living up to its elusive status. Occasional egg hatches and raid cycles allow temporary access, but wild spawns sit close to legendary rarity.

Its appearances spike during certain global Pokémon GO events like Go Fest, Safari Zone, and other ticketed occasions. Even then, finding Unown often requires inside knowledge of spawn points communicated by local groups.

No definitive research confirms spawn biome theories for the unpredictable Pokémon. Anecdotes tell of clusters during events, but fail to determine reliable spawn rules between forms or weather conditions outside of eggs and raids.

Perfect IVs – A One in Four Thousand Chance

Each Pokémon catch involves randomly generated Individual Values (IVs) which govern its potential power. Values range from 0 to 15 for Attack, Defense, and Stamina. A Pokémon with maximum 15 IVs across the board ranks as a perfect, or 4-star creature.

The base odds of catching a perfect IV Pokémon sit at around one in 4,096, or about 0.02% chance. When combined with Unown’s rarity, the probability plummets even lower. Despite its statistical unlikelihood, the lottery-esque chance of scoring keeps hunters dedicated during already infrequent spawn events.

The dedicated few who beat the odds earn noteworthy bragging rights. Showing off a perfect Unown makes up for its less relevant battling potential, instead earning kudos for beating improbable odds.

Raids Offer Rare Opportunity

While wild spawns hide from all but the luckiest trainers, Remote Raid Passes add reliable windows to catch the rare creature. Players can access Unown globally during certain Raid events, bypassing restrictive spawn rules.

Using Raid planning apps helps coordinate groups in pinpointing active Unown raids and organizing lobbies. Patience and coordination pays off for missed letters rather than relying solely on local luck.

Unown U represented the latest newcomer when it debuted in Raids in August 2021. Future Raid events will likely introduce missing forms over time, letting completionist players fill the ‘Unowndex.’

The Challenge of Filling the Unowndex

Catching every Unown form makes up one of Pokémon GO’s most prestigious achievements. Their event-exclusive nature poses an unpredictable challenge for even dedicated players. Plans to catch missing letters revolve around in-person event attendance and trading.

Select forms debut during specific global occasions. Go Fest in 2020 first unveiled shiny variant letters G through O. Meanwhile the elusive Unown ! appeared at 2022’s Pokémon World Championships.

Trading fills Regional Pokédex gaps by connecting with travelers who attended remote events. Even then the stardust costs spike for new dex entries. Developing trading relationships offers the most reliable path outside of airline loyalty programs.

Unown’s Competitive Viability

In battle, Unown roles centre on novelty over strategy. Its stat spread caters to attack and defense exclusively while lacking stamina sustainability. Unown movepools draw from Hidden Power for coverage or the underpowered base attack Struggle.

Niche typings and coverage from Hidden Power sometimes make meme appearances in limited metas and unique tournaments. Overall though, its appeal lives through the Pokédex and medal incentives rather than claiming a spot on Raid teams. Appeal to battle digs no deeper than the collector’s shallow grave.

The Girlfriend With An Unknown Perfect Unown

A surprise social media post highlighted the ability to uncover hidden gems by appraising old Pokémon. The story followed a player who learned that his girlfriend had a perfect IV Unown U nested in her collection for almost two years.

She had forgotten about the humble Unown after initially catching it from a Raid back in August 2021. At 15-15-14 it met the perfect 4-star criteria, unbeknownst to her casual playstyle. Two years later, a appraisal audit from her significant other uncovered the pristine letter.

One quick flex later to verify bragging rights, then back to the depths of digital boxes. Her anecdote represented another example of the quirky luck balancing the elusive challenge of Unown hunting.

Key Strategies for Unown Hunting

Despite unpredictable spawn rules, several strategies leverage the numbers game to edge Unown probability upward. Maintaining vigilant radar checks during major events turns luck into a calculated opportunity.

Persistent hunting PAYS OFF FOR THOSE playing attendance odds, even if measured in years between shinies. Patience makes a bitter but effective recipe.

Online networking surfaces SPAWN CLUSTERS quicker than isolated searching. Groups covering wider terrain improves everyone’s results in probability waves. Partnering with local Discord and Facebook groups keeps you in the loop on latest letter migrations.


Recent Unown resurgences give trainers periodic opportunities to inch closer toward completing their alphabet journal. Perfect IV and shiny variants add rarity tiers to keep interest high between increasingly unpredictable cycles.

As 2023 offers newfound letters, dedication stands ready to turn preparation into a payoff. Temporary raid access and traded shinies give collectors periodic puzzles to solve an ever-changing Pokédex challenge.