Pokemon Sword and Shield differences: Exclusives, legendaries, gym leaders and more

pokemon sword and shield differences
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

If you're considering picking it up, you're probably wondering about the Pokemon Sword and Shield differences. It's one of the unique aspects of all the Pokemon games compared to other titles; when they're released, there's almost always two versions of what is essentially the same game. Pokemon Sword and Shield is no different, and while we're still finding out about all of the Gen 8 Pokemon and the Pokemon Sword and Shield Pokedex, we've got everything we know about the Pokemon Sword and Shield differences right here.

Pokemon Sword and Shield differences: Zacian and Zamazenta

Pokemon Sword and Shield release date

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

As is usually the case with Pokemon games, and almost certainly will be this time around, is that each version will have an exclusive legendary. Zacian, the one with a sword in its mouth, will be exclusive to Pokemon Sword. Guess which game Zamazenta will be in... Pokemon Gun! No, we're kidding; Zamazenta will be obtainable in Pokemon Shield, though the methods of acquiring both aren't known yet.

Rumour has it that there'll be a third legendary revealed called Eternatus, but that hasn't been officially revealed yet and will likely be obtainable in both Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Pokemon Sword and Shield differences: Exclusive wild Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield exclusives

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

In each set of Pokemon games, there tends to be a few wild Pokemon that are exclusive to that specific version. For example, Pokemon Red had Ekans, Oddish, Mankey, Growlithe and a few more, while Blue had Sandshrew, Vulpix, Meowth, Bellsprout, and then some. That pattern has continued throughout the series, and we're expecting it to be the same for Pokemon Sword and Shield. The only way to obtain the missing Pokemon in the other versions is by trading.

We don't know the full list of Pokemon Sword and Shield exclusives yet, but The Pokemon Company has revealed a few older Pokemon from previous generations that will be exclusive to each region. These are just two Pokemon families, so we're expecting quite a few more to be exclusive and we'll update this list as soon as they're revealed.

Pokemon SwordPokemon Shield
DeinoLarvitar
ZweilousPupitar
HydreigonTyranitar
Jangmo-oGoomy
Hakamo-oSliggoo
Kommo-oGoodra

Pokemon Sword and Shield differences: Gym leaders

Pokemon Sword and Shield differences: Allister & Bea

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Another aspect of Pokemon Sword and Shield that will have some slight differences is with the gym leaders. There's no confirmation on how many will be different but we do know of one: in Pokemon Sword, you'll face off against Bea, who's a Fighting-type expect, but Pokemon Shield replaces her with Allister, a master of Ghost-types. Allister's appearance is especially unique, with a creepy mask and undead-like pose.

For now, that's all of the Pokemon Sword and Shield differences we know about. No doubt more will continue to be revealed as we get closer to the release date in November, so keep your eyes peeled as we'll update this when we know more.