If you've read or watched anything Harry Potter before, you know friendship and teamwork are huge parts of the story. The same goes for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, with its "Wizarding Challenges." Here, you can tackle Fortresses full of Foes alone, but why do that when you can battle with up to four other friends at once? Here's how it all works on Android or iOS.
Niantic's newest augmented reality experience introduces us to a new way to explore Harry Potter's magical world. According to Niantic's help guide, you can tackle a Fortress on your own, but if you want to stand a better chance at beating them, you should go in as a group. Not only will you increase your odds of victory, since you'll have multiple people attempting the same challenge you would alone, but you also see a bigger reward at the end for doing so.
Wizarding Challenges are AR arena battles that you encounter on the map. They see you fighting Foes — what Wizards Unite calls enemies — inside Fortresses, which you can identify by their tall castle design. If you're familiar with Pokémon Go, Fortresses are a bit like Gyms.
Each Fortress contains a certain number of levels called Chambers that climb in difficulty, starting with the easiest and ending with the most challenging. When you first enter a Fortress, you'll find only the first Chamber available to play. As you beat Chambers, the next one unlocks for you to attempt.
You can't just plow through each Chamber as you please, however. Before you start a new one, you need to use a "Runestone," which are exclusively used to enter Chambers and have a profound impact on your Wizarding Challenge experience. The Runestone's level affects the difficulty and number of Foes you'll face in your Chamber, while the Family determines the type of reward you receive if you beat the Chamber. You can see a tally of how many of each Runestone you have in your inventory before using it.
Once inside, you'll end up fighting a certain number of Foes. You can see how many Foes you need to defeat to pass the Chamber. You battle Foes by tapping their icon in the arena, but you can also drag Strategic Spells onto their icons before battle to help your odds. Use Strategic Spells uses up your purple Focus meter, so make sure to keep an eye on that when selecting a Spell. When tapping the Foe's icon, you can see details about that Foe before touching "Start" to engage.
Battles are relatively straightforward, as well. Drag your cursor over the icon above the Foe to unlock a Glyph to trace. The amount of damage you deal depends on your accuracy. Also, Foes will attack you, but not before you trace a "Protego" Glyph to protect yourself. Again, your skill in tracing this Glyph will impact how much damage the Foe does to you. You can tap the Potions icon in the bottom right to heal yourself with any Potions you may have.
If you defeat the Foe, great! Move on to the next as quickly as possible. Just know your health will not restore on its own. If the Foe defeats you, however, all hope isn't lost. You will see a "Knocked Out" meter slowly going down. When this meter empties, you will be able to fight Foes again, your health fully-restored, so long as the Chamber's timer has not run out.
If you do not finish off all Foes before the timer goes off, you lose the Chamber.
Now that you know all about Wizarding Challenges and Fortresses, you'll want to know how to jump in and play with your friends. Excluding a speedbump or two, you'll find the experience quite similar to playing alone, albeit with some companions by your side.
First, you'll need to make sure you've added any friends you want to battle with. To do this, tap the Friend icon on the main screen, then tap "Add Friend" on the following page.
Here, you'll find your Friend Code. This number is how friends can find you in-game and, likewise, how you can find your friends. You can tap "Share" to pull up the Share sheet (iOS) or Share menu (Android) to easily send to friends, or you can hit "Copy" to send it anywhere you'd like.
Ask your friend to locate their code and share it with you. Once you know it, tap the field below "Add Friend," and enter their unique identifier. Finally, tap "Send" to forward the invitation over to your friend.
Connecting friends to your account is just half the battle. If you want to battle through Fortresses together, you'll need to actually be together. Like, standing right next to each other. Since Fortresses are location-based, that's the only way to actually jump into a Fortress together.
Now, a word of warning. Niantic hasn't exactly created the perfect multiplayer setting here. You'll need to be quick on your feet in order to pull this off, so stay sharp. With you and your friends in the same location, enter the Fortress at the same time. One of you will need to be the first to open a Chamber and consume a Runestone. That person will then open a lobby, with room for four other friends to join, with less than 20 seconds on the clock. Each time a friend enters that Chamber, a space will be filled in the lobby. When all spaces have been filled or the clock runs out, the battle begins.
From here on out, battles work just as they do solo. Each teammate takes on Foes one at a time, with no option to fight side by side. If you attempt you start a battle with a Foe while a teammate is engaged with it, you'll be blocked from doing so, but you can drag Strategic Spells on to the Foe's icon to help out your friend.
Just as normal, if you and your friends wipe out all the Foes in the room before the timer runs out, you win! If time runs out, you lose and will need to try again. Maybe next time, someone else can use a Runestone!