Pokemon

What are the differences between Pokemon Sword and Shield? Version exclusives

by Paul Cotton

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Pokemon Sword and Shield is the next big Pokemon game to be released and as usual there are version exclusives in each. We list the differences between them.


Pokemon exclusives

It will come as no surprise to fans of the franchise that there will be different species of Pokemon that are exclusive to their respective versions. These can be found below. 

  • Pokemon Sword: Deino, Zweilous, Hydreigon, Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o
  • Pokemon Shield: Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar, Goomy, Sliggoo, Goodra

Additionally, the sword-wielding Zacian can only be found in Pokemon Sword, whereas Zamazenta - who has a shield for a mane - is unsurprisingly the legendary exclusive for Pokemon Shield.

New Galarian Pokemon reveals have also been making the news rounds with Sirfetch'd and Ponyta grabbing a lot of headlines. The latter has proved particularly popular but will be exclusive to Pokemon Shield. On the other hand though, those who buy Pokemon Sword will get exclusive access to Sirfetch'd. It's decision time trainers...

Pokemon
Pokemon
Tyranitar was seen roaming the wild area in the initial Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer...


Gym leader exclusives

The highly anticipated 2019 Pokemon game will also have gym leaders exclusive to each version.

Allister is already making quite an impact on the Pokemon community. If you want to battle the shy, ghost-type gym leader then you'll need to buy Pokemon Shield.

Pokemon Company
Pokemon Company
Allister will be exclusive to Pokemon Shield...

The exclusive gym leader for Pokemon Sword is Bea. While Allister hides his emotions with a mask, Bea does so through her stoicism.

Interestingly, as per the official Pokemon Sword and Shield website, there may be more gym-leader exclusives yet to be announced. This quote is suggestive of that, too, it states: "Certain towns will have different Gyms that you can challenge depending on whether you’re playing Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield!"

Thanks to a statement from the Pokemon Company we know that there won't be 18 gyms in Pokemon Sword and Shield. However, if another exclusive gym were to be announced, then this would take the total to 10 gyms.

Pokemon Company
Pokemon Company
Bea will be exclusive to Pokemon Sword...


Always multiple games

Since the Pokemon video game series began with Pokemon Red and Blue, all the mainline games have had two different versions. Within these versions have been Pokemon exclusive to each, among other differences.

By creating two versions of each title and having specific species exclusive to each, the developers encourage trading. This was much more important for Pokemon games which didn't connect to the Internet, as it is now far easier to find someone online willing to trade the Pokemon you need to complete the Pokedex.

Exclusive Pokemon are the main difference between games but there have been numerous other differences between games. These include a legendary Pokemon exclusive to each game, different teams, different day cycles as seen in Pokemon Sun and Moon, and different gym leaders as most recently seen in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

There will likely be more differences between Sword and Shield announced in the lead up to the November 15 release, which will be updated here.

Page last updated 08:38 EDT, October 10, 2019