Pokemon Sword and Shield Differences: Everything You Need to Know

Friday, November 15th, 2019 8:57 am

If you're having trouble deciding between Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, here's what makes each game unique.

After months of very eager anticipation, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are now available on Nintendo Switch! The newest games in the main series of Pokemon role-playing games take players to a new area of the Pokemon universe, the Galar Region, where they’ll be able to capture new Pokemon, meet new characters, compete against new Gym leaders, and much more.

With two games available, it may be difficult to choose between them. If you’re only able to buy one of these new games, which one should you grab? Ultimately, the decision will be up to you, but we’re here with a list of differences between the two games that can help you make your decision.

First and foremost, the two games feature a variety of different exclusive Pokemon that will only be in one of the two games. Here are some (though not all) of the exclusives for each game, according to Kotaku. (TechRadar has a longer list for each game, if you’re curious.)

Pokemon Sword

  • Deino
  • Zweilous
  • Hydreigon
  • Jangmo-o
  • Hakamo-o
  • Kommo-o
  • Farfetch’d
  • Sirfetch’d

Pokemon Shield

  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Goomy
  • Sliggoo
  • Goodra
  • Galarian Ponyta

Next, it was previously revealed that players will take on different Gym leaders, depending on the game they’re playing. For instance, if you’re playing Pokemon Sword, you’ll take on Bea, who specializes in Fighting-type Pokemon. If you’re playing Pokemon Shield, you’ll be able to challenge Allister, a Gym leader who specializes in Ghost-type Pokemon. IGN has more information about the different Gyms in each game.

In addition, according to GameSpot, one of the new Pokemon in Sword and Shield will evolve into one of two different creatures depending on the item it’s holding when it evolves, and the item is determined by the game you’re playing. GameSpot says Applin will evolve into Flapple using the Tart Apple in Pokemon Sword, while it will evolve into Appletun using the Sweet Apple in Pokemon Shield.

Finally, as GamesRadar reported, players will be able to encounter different Gigantamax Pokemon, depending on the game. In a post on the Pokemon website, we learned that from November 15, 2019 until January 2020, Pokemon Sword players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw, while Pokemon Shield players will have a higher chance of encountering Gigantamax Corviknight.

The Pokemon website says, “We suspect that the Gigantamax Pokémon you’re likely to encounter will change over time, too, so stay tuned!”

If other major differences are found between the two games, we’ll update this space to let you know.

Are you picking up Pokemon Sword, Pokemon Shield, or both? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @superparenthq.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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