He 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.
Hugh is extremely quick to anger, and has difficulty forgiving the deserters of Team Plasma in Driftveil City. However, as he continues battling against the villainous team, Hugh realizes he isn't the only one has been affected by Team Plasma's deeds, and accepts the help of Rood and the other deserters.