You're probably here because you're considering buying this game, or you've bought it recently and hope to understand it better. The player community welcomes you! (Updated April 2020.)
People considering this game commonly ask questions like, "If I buy this, will there be people around in queue to play against frequently? How active is the player base? How long will I enjoy the game before it gets too easy? How long does single-player campaign last for replay value? If I have a joint injury or other accessibility concern, will I still be able to play?"
The game is great fun, and there are definitely opportunities for pvp on a regular basis. But the details of the answers might not be as simple as you're expecting, so read on. Accessibility Considerations are explained at the bottom of this page. The rest of this wiki has a ton of other great information as well.
Active Player Base
The Unspoken is an e-sport. As with any sport, it can be physically demanding to play, particularly in PVP (player-vs-player) games. Unlike an MMO, where people can sit at their desk and play for 10 hours straight, The Unspoken requires full body movement and arm gestures. Even advanced players usually only play for a few hours continuously.
Because it's more fun when several players are in queue at once, we hold duel events at planned times, plus some very dedicated daily players are available on short notice.
So, duel queue will often be empty if you randomly check it, but if you come to the Discord channel and ask who's available for games, you're likely to find a match pretty quickly, or be able to arrange a recurring match at a time that works for your schedule.
As of Spring 2020, the player base playing duels is around 50 people, of whom about 20 are active on a weekly basis. Around 3-5 play daily or multiple times per day, and are often available for matches on short notice. That may seem small, but there are new players showing up every week, and advanced players love the game and keep coming back for more. Dueling stays fresh, because players constantly change up their play style in an effort to win. This may sound like a small player base, but it's a very dedicated one, across several skill levels, and it's plenty to enjoy the depth of the game for a long time.
Beginners have been inconsistent in showing up for duels. We'd love to see you more often!!
Check the Active Events page for scheduled beginner-focused event times. These provide a time when you are more likely to find other beginners in queue, and you won't have to worry about getting completely stomped by advanced players. You can also ask questions on the Discord during dueling events, to learn strategies and game mechanics.
You can come play duels no matter how early in the game you are. Other players will help you learn the game and figure out how to make progress. Often, other players can teach better than the in-game tutorials do.
Difficulty Level and Replay Value
The Unspoken is a fighting game (think wizarding fighting club) and it is an e-sport.
The game has in-game tutorials on how to use attacks and shields. It doesn't cover strategy at all, which leaves you under-prepared for dueling. But fans have that covered!
Other players and this fan wiki are your best resource for learning to play the game well. Come chat with us in Discord! Ask questions! A number of us are frequently available and love to help. Also read the Strategies and Tactics page on this wiki for tips.
The single player campaign has 3 difficulty levels. Start with the easiest and gradually work up. The campaign provides gradual increases in difficulty inside the game itself, and it's a fantastic trainer to prepare you for pvp duels - but don't get overconfident. You'll be missing some skills that the story mode doesn't teach.
There is a difference between beating the campaign versus beating a human player, even another beginner, because the AI rarely counters your moves, but players counter everything. It can be frustrating at first, but it makes the game so much richer, deeper, and more interesting. So come talk to other players to learn how to do effective combo attacks and rapid defensive moves. Remember that this is a sport, not just a video game, so it's going to take training to build your reflexes and perceptions for so many things happening at once.
We will help. We will teach you how to defeat us.
But like learning to fight in the real world, it will take months of showing up to regular practice. The single-player campaign is a bootcamp trainer. It's just the starting point. As Phaedra says in game, dueling is the path to further ascension.
Advanced players can defeat the campaign on the hardest difficulty in an hour and a half, without dying once; it's simplistic compared to dueling human players. But it's quite challenging for beginners, until you have both good strategy and trained reflexes. You will replay the campaign many, many times as you learn the various character classes with different moves and attack patterns. It remains fun through many replays.
A few years back, competitive tournaments were happening, and many of those tournament players are still active in weekly duels, for a very high-skill challenge once you're ready for it. A dedicated player can train up from newbie to competitive in 6-8 months (200-250 hours of game time, mostly in duels), but still won't have the depth of strategy that top players have, so there's much more depth yet to learn. It's still plenty fun along the way, and you can play casually if you don't mind defeat and just enjoy getting a chance to play. It's remarkably fun to have magic at your fingertips.
Top players, including tournament winners, have continued to stay active in the game for years since the tournaments ended. They love the strategy, the competition with each other, and the intense focus that the game requires during high-skill play. The game hasn't gotten boring, even for them, even after many years.
The Unspoken is unlike any other VR game out there. It's a unique experience, to have magic at your fingertips for pvp duel, in a very polished and well-finished game. The game is not receiving any further updates, but it still plays well on Rift, Rift S, and Quest + link.
If you have the patience to get through the beginner learning curve, you're likely to love the game for a very long time.
The Unspoken requires that you can spin in place quickly, make small, fast finger and wrist movements, grip and release triggers, move your arms freely including at the shoulders, see depth accurately and quickly, and use both hands independently to do different high-speed activities at the same time. It uses 3D spatial audio cues for the majority of the supplementary cues in the game, such as when and where embers spawn, which attack your opponent is charging up, and so on. It expects you to have fairly normal hearing, eyesight, and movement.
The game expects to be played standing, but it is possible to play in a spinning chair if you have the original Rift, as it is mostly forward-facing. The game insists that you be a certain minimum height (somewhere around 5 feet tall), or it will consider you out of bounds and reduce your health rapidly. With the original Rift, you can lie to the Oculus software about floor height (set it at 6' 4") and the game will play just fine even if you are sitting or a short child or short adult. With the Quest+link or the Rift S, you cannot set the floor height artificially, so you will have to play standing up and be sufficiently tall.
The game content appears in English, but it's completely playable without needing to talk to other players, so your spoken language doesn't matter. That said, it's far easier to have fun chatting with other players if your microphone is on and voice chat is possible. It's fine if your English is slow; we will be patient with you.