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

Christmas is upon us, bringing a lot more trainers to the Galar region. New trainers will be aware that some species are exclusive to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. Here are every single one of them.

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.

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

Pokemon CompanyGalarian Ponyta and Sirfetch’d have been received well, but which will you choose?

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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

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Gym leader exclusives

There also gym leader exclusives in Pokemon Sword and Shield, which are as follows:

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Pokemon Sword Pokemon Shield
Bea (Fighting) Allister (Ghost)
Gordie (Rock) Melony (Ice)
Pokemon CompanyBea and Allister are confirmed exclusives for Sword and Shield respectively…

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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.

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The games have been out since November 15, so we no longer need to rely on sources to know the exact differences. This should allow those lucky enough to get Pokemon Sword or Shield for Christmas to know which species they can, and can’t, get.