Pokémon Unite is a finely-tuned machine that is designed to keep the player hooked, usually through well-timed rewards. As you play, you gain points for things like your Battle Pass, your trainer level, energy for a virtual lottery, ranks, and even hidden bumps like fair play points. All of these result in rewards of various kinds, usually either currency, items, or clothes. For the most part, Unite is thoughtful about what it doles out—if you get a duplicate shirt, for example, it’ll just convert into something else, like fashion points to spend on clothes. But developer TiMi Studio Group overlooked one big aspect of the rewards system: socks.
Yes, while some are out there complaining about the pay-to-win aspects of Pokémon Unite, I’m here to yell about socks of all things. In my defense, I’m hooked enough on the game that the differences in higher level items are negligible, because my stuff is pretty buffed too. I’ll still get my ass whooped occasionally in Ranked, but it’s usually because the enemy is working like an actual team.
And so I’m left only really worrying about the particulars of the game itself and not the garbage surrounding it. This is how we arrive at socks.
Like many games, Unite lets you dress up your trainer, and you have a variety of item types. There are hats, shirts, pants, and even entire outfits that come bundled together, like the Snorlax PJs or the sailor outfit. Most of these make sense, and looking sharp is a great incentive to either keep playing or to drop money. But one of the options, for whatever freakin’ reason, is socks.
In theory this inclusion makes sense. Most human beings wear something around their feet, and there are indeed some shoes where picking socks makes a subtle difference in how you look, maybe because they’re open in some way, or because they’re low-tops. But for the most part, you can never see the socks you’re wearing. After all, there’s an entire shoe obscuring it!
I am never going to drop any type of currency on a god damn sock, even though there’s an entire menu devoted to its inclusion. And there’s nothing worse than finishing a match, getting excited that your energy tank is full, pulling the lever… and getting a pair of socks. Listen: I am grown enough now that getting socks for Christmas is genuinely nice. Socks are an underrated item worth luxuriating on; once you’ve tried some nice wool or padded options, it’s hard to go back. Winter socks are god’s gift to mankind.
I’m not trying to push some anti-sock agenda, it’s just that all the things that make socks good do not apply in a video game. Any sock drop will always be disappointing. You can’t see it or enjoy it 99% of the time, especially because most of the best looks involve boots or high-tops of some kind.
And if you’ve just happened to get trounced by a five-stack on Ranked during a match where your Talonflame was AFK the entire time, getting a shit-colored sock as a consolation prize afterwards is worse than losing 95 to 986. Nor does it ever feel good to have hit a new BP tier, or trainer level, and get a SOCK. I’ve hit the point where gaining a level sometimes takes a few hours, even with a boost, and any time that effort is ‘rewarded’ with a sock of all possible things, I die a little inside.
TiMi: If you’re not going to fix the character select menu or nerf Zeraora’s Discharge, then please do the world a favor and delete socks from the game. Thanks.