Pokémon Sword and Shield version differences, including version exclusive Pokémon

Our guide on the differences between Pokémon Sword and Shield explained, including exclusive Pokémon and Gym Leaders.

Like all Pokémon games, there are a number of differences between Pokémon Sword and Shield, including a number of exclusive Pokémon.

Having Pokémon that only appear in one version of a mainline Pokémon game encourages trainers to trade and battle with their friends (and buy both versions of the game...). You'll also be able to battle different gym leaders depending on whether you're playing Pokémon Sword or Shield.

This page is currently in-progress as we're still waiting for all the version differences to be revealed.

On this page:

Pokémon Exclusive to Pokémon Shield

Below you'll find a list of the Pokémon that have are currently confirmed to be exclusive to Pokémon Shield, including the Galarian form of Ponyta:

No. PokémonTypeNone
#77 Galar Pontya Psychic
Pokemon_Galarian_Ponyta
#78 Galar Rapidash Psychic / Fairy
Pokemon__Galarian_Rapidash
#222 Galar Corsola Ghost
Pokemon_Galarian_Corsola
#246 Larvitar Rock / Ground
Pokemon_Larvitar
#247 Pupitar Rock / Ground
Pokemon_Pupitar
#248 Tyranitar Rock / Ground
Pokemon_Tyranitar
#270 Lotad Water / Grass
Pokemon_Lotad
#271 Lombre Water / Grass
Pokemon_Lombre
#272 Ludicolo Water / Grass
Pokemon_Ludicolo
#302 Sableye Dark / Ghost
Pokemon_Sableye
#337 Lunatone Rock / Psychic
Pokemon_Lunatone
#453 Croagunk Poison / Fighting
Pokemon_Croagunk
#454 Toxicroak Poison / Fighting
Pokemon_Toxicroak
#550 Blue-Striped Basculin Water
Pokemon_Blue_Basculin
#538 Throh Fighting
Pokemon_Go_Throh
#577 Solosis Psychic
Pokemon_Go_Solosis
#578 Duosion Psychic
Pokemon_Go_Duosion
#579 Reuniclus Psychic
Pokemon_Go_Reuniclus
#629 Vullaby Dark / Flying
Pokemon_Go_Vullaby
#630 Mandibuzz Dark / Flying
Pokemon_Go_Mandibuzz
#682 Spritzee Fairy
Pokemon_Spritzee
#683 Aromatisse Fairy
Pokemon_Aromatisse
#704 Goomy Dragon
Pokemon_Goomy
#705 Sliggo Dragon
Pokemon_Sliggo
#706 Goodra Dragon
Pokemon_Goodra
#765 Oranguru Normal / Psychic
Pokemon_Oranguru
#780 Drampa Normal / Dragon
Pokemon_Drampa
#842 Appletun Grass / Dragon
Pokemon__Appletun
#864 Cursola Ghost
Pokemon_Cursola
#875 Eiscue Ice
Pokemon_Eiscue
#876 Indeedee (Female Form) Psychic / Normal
Pokemon__Indeedee_Female
#889 Zamazenta Fighting (Steel)
Pokemon_Zamazenta

Pokémon Exclusive to Pokémon Sword

Below you'll find a list of the Pokémon that have are currently confirmed to be exclusive to Pokémon Sword, such as Sirfetch'd:

No. PokémonTypeNone
#83Galar Farfetch'dNormal / Flying
Pokemon__Galarian_Farfetch_d
#273SeedotGrass
Pokemon_Seedot
#274NuzleafGrass / Dark
Pokemon_Nuzleaf
#275ShiftryGrass / Dark
Pokemon_Shiftry
#303MawileSteel / Fairy
Pokemon_Mawile
#338SolrockRock / Psychic
Pokemon_Solrock
#539SawkFighting
Pokemon_Go_Sawk
#550Red-Striped BasculinWater
Pokemon_Go_Basculin
#554Galar DarumakaIce
Pokemon_Galarian_Darumaka
#555Galar DarmanitanIce
Pokemon_Galarian_Darmanitan
#559ScraggyDark / Fighting
Pokemon_Go_Scraggy
#560ScraftyDark / Fighting
Pokemon_Go_Scrafty
#574GothitaPsychic
Pokemon_Go_Gothita
#575GothoritaPsychic
Pokemon_Go_Gothorita
#576GothitellePsychic
Pokemon_Go_Gothitelle
#627RuffletNormal / Flying
Pokemon_Go_Rufflet
#628BraviaryNormal / Flying
Pokemon_Go_Braviary
#633DeinoDark / Dragon
Pokemon_Go_Deino
#634 ZweilousDark / Dragon
Pokemon_Go_Zweilous
#635HydreigonDark / Dragon
Pokemon_Go_Hydreigon
#684SwirlixFairy
Pokemon_Swirlix
#685SlurpuffFairy
Pokemon_Slurpuff
#766PassimianFighting
Pokemon_Passimian
#776TurtonatorFire / Dragon
Pokemon_Turtonator
#782Jangmo-oDragon
Pokemon_Jangmo_o
#783Hakamo-oDragon / Fighting
Pokemon_Hakamo_o
#784Kommo-oDragon / Fighting
Pokemon_Kommo_o
#865Sirfetch'dFighting
Pokemon_Sirfetchd
#841FlappleGrass / Dragon
Pokemon__Flapple
#874StonjournerRock
Pokemon_Stonjourner
#876Indeedee (Male Form)Psychic / Normal
Pokemon__Indeedee_Male
#888ZacianTBC
Pokemon_Zacian

2020 has seen a few new announcements - such as Mythical Zarude, the ability to transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Home, news of the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass and the release of Gigantamax Toxtricity. Elsewhere, our Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough gives an overview of the game. Otherwise, we cover everything from the Wild Area, starters Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey, lists of all TM locations and TRs, all Galarian forms and the Legendaries Zacian and Zamazenta.


What else is exclusive in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Continuing the tradition started by Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Sword and Shield each have an exclusive legendary Pokémon.

These Pokémon are displayed on the game's box art - Zacian for Pokémon Sword and Zamazenta for Pokémon Shield.

Pokemon_Zacian
Pokemon_Zamazenta
You'll find Zacain in Pokémon Sword and zamazenta in Pokémon Shield.

With its sword firmly clutched within its mouth, Zacian is described as having attacks 'so graceful that its movements captivate opponents. Holding what appears to be a sword in its mouth, Zacain's shining blade can cut through anything.'

Zamazenta, whose shield has been incorporated into its full body, is described as having 'majestic movements and what appears to be a shield covering its body, Zamazenta can turn back any attack and overwhelm any opponents that dare face it.'

Just like the exclusive Pokémon, Zacain and Zamazenta will be tradable between Pokémon Sword and Shield allowing you to add their entry to your Pokédex.

Like in Pokémon Black and White, you'll also be able to fight different gym leaders depending on which version, Sword or Shield, you're playing.

Pokemon_Gym_Leader_Allister
Pokemon_Gym_Leader_Bea
Battle Allister in Pokémon Shield and Bea in Pokémon Sword.

In Pokémon Sword, you'll be able to challenge Bea, who specialises in fighting-type Pokémon, while in Pokémon Shield, you'll find yourself battling the spooky Allister, leader of the ghost-type gym.

Whether there are more exclusive gym leaders is yet to be seen, so check back with this guide regularly!

The sixth Pokémon Gym in Circhester will also differ depending on which version of the game you're playing.

In Pokémon Sword, you'll be battling Gordie and his rock-type Pokémon. Meanwhile, in Pokémon Shield, you'll be challenging Melony and her team of ice-type Pokémon.

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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