Here’s how to read Pokemon’s Unown alphabet

By Steven Rondina


Feb 22, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

The Unown alphabet is back in Pokemon thanks to Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Brilliant Diamond, and Shining Pearl.

Unown was one of the many different Pokemon that got put on the shelf in Pokemon Sword and Shield. This made more sense for Unown than for most other shelved Pokemon since Unown’s only move was Hidden Power, which was removed from the game. Hidden Power returned in Pokemon BDSP, with Unown as its sole user.

A great deal of Unown’s appeal is the fact that its 28 forms actually spell out a full alphabet. Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes a new approach to this, using the Pokemon as part of a collecting quest.

While this is a novel approach, the trouble is that the Unown alphabet remains as difficult to read as ever. In fact, many players don’t even notice that each individual form of Unown was meant to be shaped like a letter when it was first introduced in Pokemon Gold and Silver. As such, it’s important to have a guide for how to translate these glyphs.

Here’s how to read the Unown alphabet.

Unown alphabet guide for Pokemon Legends: Arceus and BDSP

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The Unown alphabet has 28 characters. Most of them represent a letter of the Latin alphabet, with two more representing an exclamation mark and a question mark, respectively.

In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there is one of each Unown version scattered across the game’s world. Many of these are in hidden or otherwise obscure locations, ranging from inside trees to behind buildings. After collecting all 28 Unown in the world, Unowns will then begin spawning in the Solaceon Ruins in the Crimson Mirelands.

This is continued on in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. As with Legends: Arceus, BDSP has Unowns spawn in the Solaceon Ruins. In this game, collecting Unowns works differently as players need to navigate the cave to find them all.

Is Unown a strong Pokemon?

Unown is a very weak Pokemon. Unown has low base stats, comparable to the likes of Squirtle or Bulbasaur. On top of that, it only learns one move, Hidden Power.

While Hidden Power has always been useful, its low power and lack of coverage means that Unown is flimsy both offensively and defensively.


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