Hugh is the player's childhood friend. He is described as feeling passionately for Pokémon battles and Pokémon strength. He is also a doting older brother to his sister; he hates Team Plasma because they stole a Purrloin his late grandfather had caught for his sister. For that reason, Hugh travels across Unova and challenges its Gyms so he and his Pokémon can become strong enough to topple the new Team Plasma. He considers both his Pokémon and the player to be his partners, and battles with and against them at several points during their journey.
Being extremely quick to anger when it comes to dealing with the villainous team, Hugh initially refuses to forgive the old Team Plasma members living in Driftveil City, treating them with as much hostility as the new members and asking Clay why he forgives them. However, as he continues battling the new Team Plasma and interacting with members of the old Team Plasma, Hugh comes to understand the division between the two sects, ultimately accepting the help of Rood and the old Team Plasma Grunts in the Giant Chasm. After the player helps recover Purrloin and enters the Hall of Fame, Hugh battles them once more before he begins helping the old Team Plasma reunite Trainers with their stolen Pokémon. He remains in Driftveil City from then on and can be battled daily.