What are the differences between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield?

pokemon sword and shield version differences pokeball
pokemon sword and shield version differences pokeball

Whenever a new Pokémon game comes out, we’re faced with two very important decisions: firstly, which adorable starter Pokémon is going to become our new best friend, and secondly, which version of the game should we choose?

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are Gym Leaders, Gyms, and Pokémon that are specific to each edition, and it can be tricky just figuring out what’s exclusive to each game – let alone deciding which one to go for.

pokemon sword and shield version differences game logo

Whenever a new Pokémon game comes out, we’re faced with two very important decisions: firstly, which adorable starter Pokémon is going to become our new best friend, and secondly, which version of the game should we choose?

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are Gym Leaders, Gyms, and Pokémon that are specific to each edition, and it can be tricky just figuring out what’s exclusive to each game – let alone deciding which one to go for.

Luckily for you, we’ve outlined all the version-exclusives for you here to help you make that fateful decision. (Of course, if you just can’t decide between them, there’s always the Dual Edition. Check out what it contains right here.)

1. Version-exclusive Gym Leaders

pokemon sword and shield version differences bea gym leader

Exclusive to Pokémon Sword is Gym Leader Bea. A Galarian karate expert and stickler for precision, the stoic Bea specialises in Fighting-type Pokémon.

pokemon sword and shield version differences allister gym leader

Meanwhile, Pokémon Shield has the mysterious Allister as its exclusive Gym Leader. He specialises in Ghost-type Pokémon, and perhaps due to his young age, he’s incredibly shy and hides his face behind a mask at all times.

2. Version-exclusive Pokémon

It’s a recurring feature of the series to have certain Pokémon that you can only catch in particular versions of the game, and Pokémon Sword and Shield are no different. Here’s a list of the Pokémon that have been confirmed so far to be exclusive to each version.

Pokémon exclusive to Pokémon Sword:

– Deino / Zweilous / Hydreigon
– Jangmo-o / Hakamo-o / Kommo-o
– Gothita / Gothorita / Gothitelle
– Rufflet / Braviary
– Mawile
– Turtonator
– Farfetch’d / Sirfetch’d

pokemon sword and shield version differences sirfetchd

Pokémon exclusive to Pokémon Shield:

– Larvitar / Pupitar / Tyranitar
– Goomy / Sliggoo / Goodra
– Solosis / Duosion / Reuniclus
– Vullaby / Mandibuzz
– Sableye
– Drampa
– Galarian Ponyta

pokemon sword and shield version differences galarian ponyta

3. Legendary Pokémon

pokemon sword shield differences zacian

The box art for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield features two brand new wolflike Legendary Pokémon: Zacian, which carries a sword in its mouth that’s said to be able to cut through anything, and Zamazenta, which has a shield-like mane that’s said to be able to block any attack. Hopefully it won’t block all of ours when we try to catch it, though.

pokemon sword shield differences zamazenta

While each Pokémon is the focal point of the box art for its respective game, it’s not yet been confirmed whether these two Legendaries will be exclusive to each edition. Still, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that there’ll be an opportunity to catch them both.

4. Where to pre-order

So there you have it – that’s every confirmed difference so far between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

It’s a tricky choice to make, but if you’ve already made up your mind, you can pre-order the Steelbook Edition, Dual Edition, or special Zacian and Zamazenta Switch Lite bundle right now at GAME.

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