Pokemon Sword and Shield differences - What are the version exclusives?

by Paul Cotton


Pokemon Sword and Shield is finally upon us but what are the all important differences between the two games. Here is the full list of version exclusives for Sword and Shield, at least according to the datamine.

As with all mainline games in the series, there are two versions to choose from, and Pokemon Sword and Shield is no different. Pokemon exclusive to each version is historically the main difference between games, but there have been other differences as well, such as slight variations in the story and even the day/night cycle in-game.

The only differences in Sword and Shield are Pokemon exclusives and gym leaders. The tables below list the exact differences between the games.

Pokemon Company
Pokemon Company
Galarian Ponyta and Sirfetch'd have been received well, but which will you choose?

Pokemon exclusives

There are an array of Pokemon exclusives in each of Sword and Shield which include 'mons from previous generations, the new Galarian forms and even the legendary species from the Galar region itself.

Pokemon Sword Pokemon Shield
Deino, Zweilous, Hydreigon Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar
Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o, Kommo-o Goomy, Sliggoo, Goodra
Turtonator Drampa
Mawile Sableye
Gothita, Gothorita, Gothitelle Solosis, Duosion, Reuniclus
Rufflet, Braviary Vullaby, Mandibuzz
Passimian Oranguru
Solrock Lunatone
Galarian Darumaka, Darmanitan Galarian Ponyta, Rapidash
Farfecth'd, Sirfetch'd Galarian Corsola and Cursola
Flapple Appletun
Swirlix, Slurpuff Spritzee, Aromatisse
Seedot, Nuzleaf, Shiftry Lotad, Lombre, Ludicolo
Basculin-Red Basculin-Blue
Scraggy, Scrafty Croagunk, Toxicroak
Sawk Throh
Indeedee-Male Indeedee-Female
Stonjourner Eiscue
Zacian normal and legend Zamazenta normal and legend

Gym leader exclusives

One gym leader exclusive had already been confirmed for each game but, according to the leak, there are actually three exclusives for each of Sword and Shield. This means there will be a total of 11 gym leaders in Gen 8.

Pokemon Sword Pokemon Shield
Bea (Fighting) Allister (Ghost)
Gordie (Rock) Melony (Ice)
Opal (Fairy) Sopp (Poison)

Pokemon Company
Pokemon Company
Bea and Allister are confirmed exclusives for Sword and Shield respectively...

While there aren't massive differences between the versions, there are more exclusives to each game than there was maybe first anticipated.

The likes of Galarian Ponyta are already causing quite a stir among some fans, so this could be one of the more key species that tips some trainers to the Shield side.

In terms of the other Pokemon, there doesn't look to be any real advantage for either version. Naturally the Pokemon Company wants the versions split as evenly as possible, so the fact we can't distinguish any advantage between the two is a good sign.

These differences come from a yet to be confirmed datamine shared on Reddit via Kaphotics, but you can check out official released differences between Pokemon Sword and Shield for the moment.

Hopefully this will help you choose if you're still undecided between the two, though.