Pokemon Sword and Shield: Differences And Exclusives In Sword And Shield On Nintendo Switch
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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Differences And Exclusives In Sword And Shield On Nintendo Switch

Nick Farrell
10 November 2019

Every Pokemon game is unique and has elements you can not find in the other, Pokemon Sword and Shield is no different. Here's the differences between the two versions.

As we approach the November 15th Pokemon Sword and Shield release date, many will be wondering what the differences are between the game. Game Freak have released two seemingly identical games, as traditional for the franchise: since the beginning of Pokemon games with differences ranging from subtle to major between the two copies. One of the obvious differences since the second generation onward are the headlining Legendaries of each game. In most cases, players would need to obtain both games in order to complete their Pokedex; or find a friend that owns the sister copy. Nintendo have made this slightly easier now, offering a dual-pack version for those looking to complete their Pokemon Sword And Shield Pokedex solo.

For many buying two copies of the same game isn't an option and will likely pick one based on what exclusives they like best. So what are the key differences between Sword and Shield?



The main difference between the two titles is the legendary Pokemon that will be available throughout the game. Of course, this is a known quantity when you are purchasing the game as they are the cover Pokemon for the game. The two legendaries for Sword and Shield are Zacian (Pokemon Sword) and Zamazenta (Pokemon Shield).

Upon first glance, we can assume that Zacian will have a higher physical and special attack rating due to it holding a sword in its mouth and, Zamazenta will be the defensive juggernaut. 



Going into Pokemon Sword and Shield this will be the very first time that there will be version-specific gym leaders between Shield and Sword. There are four confirmed gym leaders as of now that have all been showcased during the Pokemon announcements, although the gym battles have been confirmed to be a bit different this time around. The winners of the gyms can enter the Champion Cup, a competition held once per year for all trainers who beat all 8 gyms. When a trainer goes to a Gym, they have special attire to wear and each trainer can select their own 3 digit number to adorn their outfit.

  • Bea – Fighting Type Gym – Sword specific Gym
  • Allister – Ghost Type Gym – Shield specific Gym



The last confirmed difference we know between the two Pokemon games is, of course, the different Pokemon available in each game. This has become a tradition with each Pokemon game as there are always version exclusive Pokemon in each game. The full list of version exclusive Pokemon are listed below!

Sword-exclusive Pokemon

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

Shield-exclusive Pokemon

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

Which edition of the new Pokemon game will you be picking up? Let us know by tweeting at us!

Written By
Nick Farrell


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