Wizards Unite

I’ve been playing the new Niantic game based on Harry Potter in its first week, and after a few teething troubles I’ve tweaked a few settings to make it a lot more enjoyable.

It’s a beast of a game in terms of battery drain and wanting to download assets, which means that it can seem to be really glitchy out of the gate. That said it’s based on the same bones as previous Niantic games so the first thing I did was switch off the AR camera. Overlaying things on the real world is a lovely look, but it doesn’t suit my casual play style.

Then I went into the settings and switched off the sound and vibration settings and activated the battery saving option. So far, so normal. Then down the bottom of the settings I spotted an option to download all the assets over wi-fi.

Suddenly the freezing behaviour of my initial games made sense – it wasn’t taking ages to load art or animations, it was downloading them as required. Now I have a big data allowance so this doesn’t necessarily annoy me on its own, but given how data connections around me can bounce from 4G to Edge and everywhere in between it seems an unnecessary bottleneck.

One very large download later, I had all the assets stored locally – and hey presto all the freezing and stuttering suddenly stopped happening.

That’s the point at which I started enjoying the game.