As with all main series Pokémon games before them, Pokémon Sword and Shield each have minor differences which you should know about before jumping in. You'll notice different Pokémon and even Gym Leaders appearing in your game depending on the version you buy, so we've gathered all of the version-exclusive characters for you below to help you decide which Pokémon game you should buy - Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield.
If you're eager for a full list of the 400 Pokémon available in the Galar Pokédex, check out our snazzy Galar Pokédex database tool. You can also find out more about the three Pokémon Sword and Shield starters and their evolutions, check out our Pokémon type chart for info on strengths and weaknesses, hunt out Easter Eggs in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and find out how to find and evolve Galar region Pokémon from Sirfetch'd to Frosmoth, Alcremie and many more.
And then there's the Expansion Pass, too. So many 'mon!
What's The Difference Between Pokémon Sword And Shield? - Version Exclusive Pokémon
We'll kick things off with the Pokémon themselves. The main difference between Pokémon Sword and Shield is the exclusive Pokémon that you can only to catch in one or the other of the games.
Here are all of the Pokémon exclusive to each version:
Pokémon Sword Exclusive Pokémon
|Name||Galar Pokédex No.|
Pokémon Shield Exclusive Pokémon
|Name||Galar Pokédex No.|
Pokémon Sword and Shield - Version-Exclusive Gym Leaders
Pokémon Sword and Shield also feature version-exclusive Gym Leaders. Here they are:
Pokémon Sword Exclusive Gym Leaders
- Gym Leader Bea, Fighting-type Pokémon user, Stow-On-Side
Bea is a prodigy in Galar karate, carrying on its century-old traditions and techniques. Known for her stoicism and rarely showing her emotions, Bea is also an expert on Fighting-type Pokémon. Her battle style remains very precise even when she’s backed into a corner.
- Gym Leader Gordie, Rock-type Pokémon user, Circhester
Rock-lover Gordie will stand between you and victory in Circhester if you chose Sword over Shield.
Pokémon Shield Exclusive Gym Leaders
- Gym Leader Allister, Ghost-type Pokémon user, Stow-On-Side
Allister is a talented Trainer of Ghost-type Pokémon who has taken on the mantle of the Ghost-type Gym Leader at a young age. He’s extremely shy and fearful, and he always hides his face with a mask when around other people. Allister rarely makes public appearances and apparently spends most of his time around ruins or in cemeteries.
- Gym Leader Melony, Ice-type Pokémon user, Circhester
As cold as ice, and willing to sacrifice (her Pokémon), you'd do well to turn up the heat when you encounter Melony in the Circhester Stadium.
If you're on the fence about which version you'd like to pick up, hopefully this list will help to make your mind up.
Which version are you going for? Sword or Shield? Or are you eyeing up both? Tell us below.