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(Pocket-lint) - Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the latest game from Niantic that bought us Pokemon Go. It offers a similar style of map-based exploration gameplay, involving discovery, development of your character, battles and augmented reality.

There's a lot going on in Wizards Unite, from fighting death eaters to growing ingredients for potions and learning your profession. 

If you can't hop over to Hogwarts for a lesson, then read on for the best tips for the brand new Harry Potter game.

1. Turn off AR

Yes it is fun looking at items from the Wizarding World in the real world, but if you're going to get serious about the game, switching off AR will help. It reduces battery drain, it speeds up gameplay and it's easier to battle. Before you do, though, be sure to do at least some battles in AR so you can see how great it looks. 

2. Download all the game assets 

To speed up the game and reduce the mobile data needed, download all the game assets. Head into suitcase and the settings are top left. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see the option to download all assets. You'll want to be connected to Wi-Fi and it will take some time - the total game data is over 3.5GB, so you'll need space on your phone too. 

3. Turn on battery saver

In the settings menu you'll also find the option for battery saver. This will dim the screen if your phone is upside down, meaning you can slip it into a pocket and keep walking (racking up those important kms to unlock portkeys) but without draining the battery so much. Or, you might want to buy a battery pack.

4. Master the keys for portmanteaus

This is important: to unlock a portkey, you'll need to open the portmanteau that contains it. To do that you'll need a key and you'll have to walk the required distance (2, 5 or 10km). You have one golden key which gives you unlimited unlocks and you'll collect silver keys that can only be used once.

  • Golden keys - 2km, 5km
  • Silver keys - 10km

As silver keys can only be used once, this gets the most out of them.

5. Get brewing potions

You'll need potions in wizarding challenges (which earn you XP to level up) and when you come across more difficult opponents. You'll earn potions for completing tasks, but brewing them is part of the game - that's why you're collecting ingredients as you walk around. If you don't brew potions, your bag soon fills up - it's better to be carrying healing potions than it is all the ingredients.

6. Speed up potion brewing with Master Notes

There's a trick that will speed up your brewing, reducing the time by 15 per cent. It's called Master Notes.

  • Go to your cauldron and tap the handle.
  • You'll then be able to enter a sequence of patterns to speed up the brewing process.

The pattern you'll have to figure out yourself for each potion - but tap on the "i" for information and you'll see the patterns you can try.

7. Get as much spell energy as you can 

Spell energy very much makes the wizarding world turn. Without it, you can't cast spells, so you can't collect foundables or battle and you can't progress. You can have a maximum of 75 spell energy. You can get spell energy from:

  • Inns - just swipe and the meal or drink will give you spell energy
  • Greenhouses - some of the plants will give you spell energy
  • Completing some assignments
  • Buy it with gold - this is a waste of gold - it's better to go to the inns instead 

8. Bonus spell energy free gift tip

There's a free gift in Diagon Alley waiting for you that will give you 50 spell energy. Go to Diagon Alley (which is the in-app store) and scroll all the way to the bottom. There's free gift there, but it's probably only for a limited time after you start playing the game. 

9. Earn more gold in Wizards Unite 

Gold can let you speed up brewing, let you buy potions or runes - or perhaps more importantly, let you increase your capacity for spell energy or storage for ingredients.

You start the game with some gold but you can get more from:

  • Completing your daily assignments
  • Rewards for levelling up
  • Reward for playing every day
  • Buy it for real money - this is a waste of (real) money, just play the game instead. 

10. Master the Registry and target your collecting

Once you've got over the initial excitement of discovering foundables, you need to start leaving the ones you've already collected. You'll encounter some common foundables regularly, but don't waste your spell energy on them if you already have them. It's better to figure out what you're missing in the Registry and target those traces. Some foundables come in fragments so you'll need to catch them a number of times.

11. Watch out for highlighted traces 

Traces appear all over the map, with the icon showing you what category it falls into. But some will have a highlight coming out of the top like a beam of coloured light. Those are more severe traces and are often rarer, more difficult and better to collect. 

12. Find your local greenhouse and grow your ingredients

You're probably walking around with a suitcase full of seeds. They can't do anything in your suitcase, you need to plant them. Find your local greenhouse and you'll find a growing tab at the bottom of the screen. You can plant those seeds to grow the ingredients you need for potions. It needs to be a local greenhouse, however, because you'll need to go back there to harvest it. If others plant there, you can also harvest what they are growing.

13. Save your portkey for play at home

Once you've unlocked a portkey save it for when you're at home or in the garden. It will transport you to another place and require AR play to find items there. It's a great way to continue playing the game when you're not able to head out exploring and finding in the real world.

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14. How to cast masterful spells

When casting a spell in Wizards Unite, you get a level for how well the spell is cast. It ranks from fine up to masterful - which is the top level. But how do you cast a masterful spell? It's down to speed and accuracy - and speed really makes a difference. If you draw the pattern really slowly you might get a good, but get it really fast and you'll do better and better. It take practise, but once you know speed is important, you'll start getting those masterful spells.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 22 June 2019.