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Pokémon Sword & Shield: Every Single Version Difference, Explained

Every Pokémon, Gym Leader, and even statistical difference between Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Still can't decide whether to buy Pokémon Sword or Shield? Let us give you a quick rundown of the differences between the two games.

Ever since Red and Blue were released in 1996, Pokémon games have come in pairs. That has remained true all the way up until now via the newest additions to the franchise, Sword and Shield. For those of us without money to burn, that means we have a decision to make. If you're still trying to make that decision, or just want to know what the game you picked does and doesn't include, let us help you out.

Exclusive Pokémon

First up, exclusive Pokémon. There are quite a few on each game so time to take a couple of deep breaths. Sword has: Deino, Hydreigon, Jangmo-o, Kommo-o, Hakamo-o, Farfetch'd, Sirfetch'd, Zweilous, Gothita, Gothorita, Gothitelle, Turtonator, and the Legendary Zacian.

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Shield has: Goomy, Sliggo, Goodra, Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar, Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Rapidash, Solosis, Duosion, Reuniclus, Drampa, Vullaby, Mandibuzz, and the Legendary Zamazenta. Either way, Trainers will need to make trades in order to complete their Pokédex.

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Unique Gym Leaders

In addition to certain Pokémon only being present on a certain game, there are also gym leaders who only reside on either Sword or Shield. Bea (fighting) and Gordie (rock) can only be found in Sword, while Allister (ghost) and Melony (ice) call Shield home. Not only will that information help you select which game you want, but it should also play a part in picking a starter Pokémon.

via USgamer

What Are The Odds? Gigantamax Raids

Raids play a big part in Sword and Shield and will also differ depending on which game you own. While the Pokémon available aren't exclusive, the odds of coming across certain Gigantamax versions of them in raids differ. Gigantamax Drednaw is more likely to show up in Sword's raids, while Gigantamax Corviknight shows up more in Shield's raids.

With all of the above in mind, making the decision on which game to buy should now be a synch. Or, if you were wondering why certain Pokémon weren't appearing in the wild, it might well be because they are exclusive to the game you don't have. Plus, if a fellow player has been talking about a gym leader you've never heard of, it might be because they aren't present on the game you have and not because you're away behind.

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