Pokemon Sword and Shield - Version Differences

Details on the differences between Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield and its expansion. Included also is a compilation of pokemon, gym leaders, and rivals unique to each version.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Version Differences

Differences Between Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

Main series Pokemon games come in pairs upon release. The latest installments, Sword and Shield, is no different and introduces version exclusive Pokemon. In addition, one of the trailers showcased exclusive gyms, a feature that hasn’t existed in most previous games. Here, we compiled a list of the currently known differences between the two games.


The Galar region is home to many wild Pokemon. One of the challenges that a Pokemon Trainer must undertake is collecting and storing data for each and every Pokemon in the region. The problem lies in that some Pokemon only appear in specific versions. Pokemon such as Deino, Jangmo-o, Farfetch’d, and their respective evolutions can only be caught in Pokemon Sword. Meanwhile, Pokemon like Larvitar, Goomy, and their respective evolutions can only be found in Pokemon Shield. If you wish to obtain all of these and don’t have the necessary version, you will need to find someone to trade Pokemon with.

Galar Region Pokedex

List of Version Exclusive Pokemon

Pokemon Sword Pokemon Shield
Deino, Zweilous, Hydreigon Pupitar, Larvitar, Tyranitar
Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o, Kommo-o Goomy, Sliggoo, Goodra
Turtonator Drampa
Mawile Sableye
Gothita, Gothorita, Gothitelle Solosis, Duosion, Reuniclus
Rufflet, Braviary Vullaby, Mandibuzz
Passimian Oranguru
Solrock Lunatone
Galarian Darumaka, Galarian Darmanitan Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Rapidash
Farfetch’d, Sirfetch’d Galarian Corsola and Cursola
Flapple Appletun
Zacian (Normal and Legendary) Zamazenta (Normal and Legendary)

Gym Leaders

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Gordie Pokemon Sword and Shield - Melony

The first mention of exclusive gyms in Galar region was in a video posted a year ago. Other than catching Pokemon, a Pokemon Trainer must also prove their expertise in handling Pokemon by collecting gym badges. In Pokemon Sword, trainers will challenge the fighting Gym leader Bea, while in Pokemon Shield, they will face the ghost leader Allister.

However, unique gyms like these have existed in past games. Pokemon Black and Pokemon White were the first games to have this mechanic, although this consisted of gym leaders that both excel with Dragon-type Pokemon. In Pokemon Black, players battled Drayden, and in Pokemon White, players battled Iris. Another example is in Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire where each game has its own set of villains. This led the trainer to explore different areas. Despite their similarities, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield offer a fresh experience to the player. In fact, in Pokemon Sword, Bea specializes in fighting type Pokemon, whereas her counterpart Allister would rather use ghost types instead. Unlike the previously mentioned games, these two types are very different from each other.

List of Version Gym Leaders

Pokemon Sword Pokemon Shield
Bea (Fighting) Allister (Ghost)
Gordie (Rock) Melony (Ice)

List of Galar Gym Leaders


Pokemon Sword and Shield - Klara Pokemon Sword and Shield - Avery

In the upcoming expansion, the player’s rival will vary depending on the version of the game. The two new rivals are in their journey in order to become gym leaders at Galar.

Klara is the player’s new rival in The Isle of Armor in Pokemon Sword. She is a trainer who favors poison type pokemon.

Avery, meanwhile, is the player’s new rival in The Isle of Armor in Pokemon Shield. He is a trainer who has an affinity for psychic type pokemon.

New Rival Characters in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield’s Expansion Pass

Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Article List

▼Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Articles
Expansion Pass All Diglett Locations Gen 8 Starters
Galar Dex Pokemon Battles Walkthroughs
Beginner Guides Strategy Guides Game Database
Strategy Guides Post-Game TM Locations
TR List Evolution Stones Evolution Methods

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