Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay revealed - What we know now

Back in November, Niantic and Warner Bros. officially unveiled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. With Niantic at the helm, we already had a decent idea of what to expect: an AR game set in the Harry Potter universe that plays at least somewhat similarly to Pokemon GO and Ingress. Today, the two companies detailed the gameplay of Wizards Unite further, telling us budding wizards what we'll be doing when the game releases later this year.As the first teasers for Wizards Unite suggested, players will take on the role of wizards and witches who are tasked with containing "The Calamity," which threatens to reveal the Wizarding World to Muggles. More specifically, players start the game as recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force and will spend time collecting "Foundables" – artifacts, creates, people, and memories that have been cursed with confounding magic and have started appearing in the real world.

"As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables," Niantic said in a blog post today, noting that certain Foundables are more likely to appear in places like banks, college campuses, monuments, or zoos. As you dispel and collect Foundables, you'll earn rewards, but what those rewards are haven't been revealed.

One interesting aspect of Wizards Unite is how it utilizes Portkeys, which are hidden in the world as "Portmanteaus." When you find one and open it, you'll be able to step into an 360-degree AR/VR slice of the Harry Potter universe, so Portkeys act as the bridge between the real world and the fictional world all of this is based on.

Players will also encounter Inns, where they can find items to replenish their spell energy, and Fortresses that host multiplayer Wizarding Challenges where you'll face off against Death Eaters and Dementors. Potion making and class specializations will also play a role, with players able to pick between playing as Aurors, Magizoologists, or Professors.

Each of those classes has a different set of skills, and if you've read the Harry Potter books, you probably have some idea of what they're capable of. Aurors, for instance, will probably be best when it comes to handling Death Eaters and Dementors, while Magizoologists might have an easier time freeing beasts from confounding curses. These are all just guesses, of course – we won't know the capabilities of any of these classes until Niantic spills more details.

Unfortunately, all of these details are arriving without a release date. All we know is that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be launching at some point in 2019 for iOS and Android. Android pre-registration is open now on the Google Play Store, with Niantic saying that iOS users will get more details soon.