15 August 2019

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Magic you should be aware of

girl smiling outside on phone - expires on 23-10-23

The company that created the popular Pokémon GO game, Niantic, has just launched one of the biggest games of the year, using one of the most popular franchises of the magic and muggle world!

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launched on 20th June 2019, and shares many of the same characteristics as Pokémon GO, using augmented reality (AR) as the focus game play feature. 

Potter fans will be fascinated by the game’s story-line which takes place in the modern day with a grown-up Harry Potter sending players off to investigate a magical event. The aim is for players to work together as part of the Statue of Secrecy (SOS) Task Force (which is a group formed by top wizards) to hunt down and ensure the safety of dangerous artefacts, known as ‘Foundables’, which have been littered throughout the muggle world. 

O2 Guru top tip for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Watch our O2 Guru top tip on making sure your wizarding name (username) doesn't reveal any personal information.

Is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite appropriate for my child?

Our experts here at NSPCC feel that the game premise is similar to Pokémon GO but using a popular franchise and new story-line. PEGI determines age suitability for platforms such as Xbox, PS4, PC and Nintendo, and has rated Harry Potter: Wizards Unite as suitable for children aged 7 and over, which is higher than the age rating of Pokemon Go (3+). However, bear in mind that PEGI rates content and doesn’t take communication risks into account.

Know the risks 

  • Location settings on the device must be turned on to play the game.
  • You can add other witches and wizards (players) in the game as friends. You need a person’s unique Code Name to add them as a friend on the platform. This means your Code Name is visible to other players, so take care when you choose this.
  • The game requests access to your camera so be aware of what is on display e.g. personal information.
  • As the game play focuses on AR, it is important for game players to be aware of their surroundings. There is also a possibility for game players to meet other people also playing the game whilst they are out and about.
  • Parents should also be aware that players may want to find out more about the game using other platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Reddit and Discord, where other game fans can discuss strategies and experiences. There are associated risks with online groups like Discord as they will be self-moderated, with the potential to speak to strangers and be exposed to inappropriate content. Remind your children if they see anything that worries or upsets them, to speak to you or another trusted adult. 

Top tip

Talk to your child about Harry Potter locations

Harry Potter locations, called inns, fortresses, and greenhouses, are usually located in public places, like parks and churches. If you're child is exploring these places, make sure you talk to them about where they’re going and at what time. Visit the NSPCC for more information on keeping your child safe when they’re away from home.  

Follow our TEAM tips to help keep your child safe online when playing online games:

Talk to your child regularly about what they’re doing online and how to stay safe. Let them know they can come to you or another trusted adult if they’re feeling worried or upset by anything they have seen. You can use our conversation starters to support you when starting these conversations.

Explore your child’s online activities together. Understand why they like playing certain games and make sure they know what they can do to keep themselves safe.

Agree your own rules as a family when using sites, apps and games. You can use our family agreement template to help you get started.

Manage your technology and use the settings available to keep your child safe. If you need support doing this, you can visit an O2 Guru in any O2 store or call the O2 NSPCC Advice Line on 0808 800 5002.