The latest Pokémon game in the main series is on Nintendo Switch, and following tradition, there are two alternate versions of the game that you can play — each one has a slightly different selection of Pokémon to encounter, gyms to battle in, and other random features. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are unique games; almost everything is the same, but you’ll run into a few small differences.
If you don’t want to miss out on some awesome Pokémon, check out the full list of exclusive features below. And don’t forget that you can always trade with friends or strangers using Y-Com to get any Pokémon that aren’t available in your version of the game. Online communities are a great place to find trading partners — so don’t feel like you’re missing out on Pokémon if you’ve only got time for one version.
More Pokémon Sword & Shield guides:
What’s Exclusive To Each Version?
Pokémon Sword and Shield share most of the same content — you’ll experience the same story, encounter (mostly!) the same Pokémon, and battle Gym Leaders to become the Champion.
There are only a few small differences, and you’ll find everything unique to each version in the full list below. Make sure to pick the version you like best before you purchase!
- New Exclusives To Pokémon Sword
- Legendary Zacian
- Fighting Gym Leader Bea
- Gigantamax Machamp (Raid Battle)
- Gigantamax Coalossal (Raid Battle)
- New Exclusives To Pokémon Shield
That coves all the new Pokémon and features exclusive to each version, but there are also a load of Pokémon from previous generations that are exclusive. Here’s the full list for each version.
Previous Gen Exclusives in Pokémon Sword
Previous Gen Exclusives in Pokémon Shield