Pignite is a bipedal, pig-like Pokémon. Its chubby body is orange with brown bands around its shoulders, sides, belly, hands, and from the back of its head down its snout. Yellow bands encircle its wrists, and swirled yellow designs bulge from its chest. It has a red pig-like nose, pointed ears, and two pointed teeth that protrude from its lower jaw. Its hands have two claws each, while its feet have only a single nail. Its tail is curled with a tuft of fur at the tip.
Pignite has a fire in its stomach, which it fuels with food. The intensity of this flame increases as fuel is added or when Pignite is angered. As the flame grows stronger, Pignite's speed increases. If in danger, it will blow out large smoke clouds in order to escape. Prior to Generation VIII, Heat Crash was its signature move.
Pignite was a popular fan name given to Tepig before either Pokémon's English name was officially revealed.
Ken Sugimori has said that Tepig, Pignite, and Emboar were designed in a Chinese style. Because of this, they may be based on Zhu Bajie, a pig demon from the Chinese tale Journey to the West. Servine, Pignite, and Dewott's evolutionary lines are collectively based on Western, Chinese, and Japanese culture respectively, to represent the diversity of the Unova region.