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    Pokemon Sword Vs. Shield: Version Differences, Exclusive Pokemon, Legendaries & more

    Pokemon Sword and Shield have finally launched on Nintendo Switch, marking the start of the series' eighth generation. As true to the previous games, regardless of what version you pick up the core gameplay will be the same across both titles. However, as has been the case since the series' debut, each version also features some distinct elements, so the experience will differ somewhat depending upon which game you play.

    As is tradition with with basically all pokemon games, the biggest difference between both games is the different pokemon you can catch in the wild in both games, but some installments have shaken things up in more dramatic ways with version-exclusive locations and characters.

    Version-Exclusive Gyms

    In a first for the series, Pokemon Sword and Shield will feature some version-exclusive Gym Leaders. Some cities in the Galar region will be home to different Gyms depending on which version you're playing. In Pokemon Sword, players will challenge Bea, a Fighting-type expert. However, the same Gym in Shield will be led by Allister, a Ghost-type trainer. There's a second exclusive Gym in each version as well. The sixth Gym in Sword will be led by the Rock-type trainer Gordie, while those playing Shield will instead do battle with the Ice-type Gym Leader Melony.

    Version-Exclusive Pokemon

    Just as in the past, Sword and Shield are each home to a handful of Pokemon that can't be captured in the other version. There are some monsters that are much more common in one version than another, and in the case of Sawk and Throh, you'll be able to trade a Vanillish in Circhester for the one you can't find in your game. Below is the full list of full version exclusives.

    Sword-exclusive Pokemon

    • Seedot
    • Nuzleaf
    • Shiftry
    • Swirlix
    • Slurpuff
    • Scraggy
    • Scrafty
    • Gothita
    • Gothorita
    • Gothitelle
    • Rufflet
    • Braviary
    • Mawile
    • Farfetch'd (Galarian)
    • Sirfetch'd
    • Passimian
    • Turtonator
    • Solrock
    • Darumaka (Galarian)
    • Darmanitan (Galarian)
    • Stonjourner
    • Deino
    • Zweilous
    • Hydreigon
    • Jangmo-o
    • Hakamo-o
    • Kommo-o
    • Zacian

    Shield-exclusive Pokemon

    • Lotad
    • Lombre
    • Ludicolo
    • Spritzee
    • Aromatisse
    • Croagunk
    • Toxicroak
    • Solosis
    • Duosion
    • Reuniclus
    • Vullaby
    • Mandibuzz
    • Sableye
    • Ponyta (Galarian)
    • Rapidash (Galarian)
    • Oranguru
    • Drampa
    • Lunatone
    • Corsola (Galarian)
    • Cursola
    • Eiscue
    • Larvitar
    • Pupitar
    • Tyranitar
    • Goomy
    • Sliggoo
    • Goodra
    • Zamazenta

    Different Legendaries

    Like previous Pokemon games, Sword and Shield are each represented by a different Legendary Pokemon. The cover of Sword is adorned by Zacian, which wields a sword in its maw and moves about gracefully, while Shield's cover is graced by Zamazenta, which boasts an armor-like mane. You'll encounter both Legendaries in each version, but you'll only be able to catch the one that grace's your game's cover.

    Gigantamax Raids

    While you'll normally face off against standard Dynamax Pokemon in Max Raid Battles, during specific windows of time, you'll have a greater chance of encountering certain Gigantamax Pokemon instead, and it seems these monsters may vary depending on which version you're playing. During the first announced window, which runs from November 15 to early January 2020, Pokemon Sword players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw in Max Raids, while those playing Pokemon Shield will have a greater chance of finding Gigantamax Corviknight.

    Version-Exclusive Items

    One Pokemon, the Dragon- and Grass-type apple Applin, evolves differently depending on what item you give it, and the items in question differs based on which version you're playing. In Sword, you'll receive the Tart Apple, which will cause Applin to evolve into Flapple; in Shield, however, you'll receive the Sweet Apple, which will cause the Pokemon to evolve into Appletun.


    In previous Pokemon games, you had to choose between two fossils during the course of the story, each of which could be restored into a different Pokemon. In Sword and Shield, it works a bit differently. There are two fossils per game--Sword has Fossilized Bird and Fossilized Dino, while Shield has Fossilized Fish and Fossilized Drake. There are four combinations you can make with these fossils, so trade with friends to get different ones to try.

  2. #2
    "Remember, no Russian."
    JB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018



    Re: Pokemon Sword Vs. Shield: Version Differences, Exclusive Pokemon, Legendaries & m

    Honestly I'm not impressed with the new Pokemon game. Was excited for it but after seeing gameplay I'm not so keen on it any more.