Difference Between Pokemon Sword and Shield

Difference Between Pokemon Sword and Shield

The main difference between Pokémon Sword and Shield is the exclusive Pokémon available in each version. 

Since their release, the Eighth Generation Pokémon Sword and Shield have created a buzz in the gaming community. They’re the first of the new generation of Pokémon games to come out on Nintendo Switch. 

Although Sword and Shield both follow the same arch, the two games are more contrasting than their predecessors. 

Pokémon Sword vs Shield

Sword vs Shield
Exclusives from Giantamax include Colossal, Flappy, and Machamp. Expansion Exclusives Pokémons Lapras, Appletun, and Gengar are Gigantamax exclusives.
Klara, poison-type trainer. Isle Of Armor DLC  Avery, psychic-type Pokémon trainer. 
The legendary Pokémon of The Pokémon Sword is Dacian. Legendaries The legendary Pokémon of The Pokémon Shield is Zamazenta.
Bea, a gym leader of the fighting type, and Gordie, a gym leader of the rock type, are the only exclusive gym leaders. Gym Leader Allister, a gym leader of the Ghost type, and Melony, a gym leader of the Ice type, are the only gym leaders.
Bob’s food tin. Curry Ingredients Bach’s food tin.

Difference Between Pokemon Sword and Shield

There are several factors that distinguish Pokémon Sword from Pokémon Shield. 

Expansion Exclusive Pokémons

Pokémon traditionally releases two versions of its latest game at the same time. This means that each game will have exclusive Pokémon that the other won’t. While a new player might not notice the difference, it’s noticeable for experienced Pokémon players.

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If you play the game solely for your favorite Pokémon, it would be frustrating if you didn’t find them in your game. It’s important to find out which version-exclusive Pokémon are in each game before you purchase the game.

You can always trade games with another player or buy both versions, but knowing which version-exclusive Pokémon you’ll get is much more convenient. There’s an extensive list of exclusive Pokémon for both Sword and Shield. 

For example, there are Galarian Pokémon exclusive to both Sword and Shield. If you’re newer to Pokémon, Galarian Pokémon refers to Pokémon from previous generations from the Galar region that have been enhanced.

Difference Between Pokemon Sword and Shield

Isle of Armor DLC

Pokémon expanded for both Shield and Sword with the Isle Of Armor. The new Pokémon DLC introduces new Pokémon, new rivals, and a new mentor – dojo master Mustard.

Depending on your game version, the new competitor for both DLC differs, even though the gameplay is the same for both. Klara, a poison-type trainer, the new foe for Pokémon Sword introduced by the Island of Armor DLC. The trainer of psychic-type Pokémon, Avery, is in charge of Pokémon Shield.


Another significant difference between Sword and Shield is that each has its exclusive Pokémon that the other doesn’t have, much like the previous Pokémon games.

The Legendary Pokémon play a crucial role in this edition’s exciting plot. The game’s cover features these Pokémon, and you can catch it while playing both Sword and Shield. 

In terms of legendary Pokémon, Zamazenta is the legendary Shield exclusive emblem. It carries a sword in its mouth and uses it to cut its rivals. Zacian, on the other hand, is the legendary defense Pokémon on the Pokémon Sword who uses the shiny body to reflect the attacks.

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Gym Leader

Each version of the game has different Gym Leaders with type specializations in addition to a variety of Pokémon to capture. Both Pokémon Black and White also had a similar set-up for Gym Leaders. However, both were Dragon-types, which didn’t differentiate them. 

In Sword and Shield, the Gym Leaders are not only different people but also belong to different types. This makes it even more enjoyable. 

Pokémon Sword players compete against the gym leader Gordie (Rock-type) of the Circhester Gym and the Fighting-type Bea of the Stow-on-Side Gym. Players of Pokémon Shield will face off against Allister, the Ghost-type gym leader, and Melony, the Ice-type gym leader.

You can pick another option if you don’t want to compete against a particular Gym Leader. 


Curry Ingredients

Another varying factor between Pokémon Sword and Shield is the exclusive curry ingredients. The current Pokémon has only two curry ingredients. 

When it comes to Pokémon Sword, the players go to Bob’s food when they want to cook. Shield players will get Bach’s food to cook. 

You can buy them only in the Rolling Hills and Hammerlock section from the ingredient sellers located in the Wild Area of the specific version of the Pokémon game.   

Expanding the CurryDex

If you want to expand the CurryDex by experimenting with the ingredient that’s unavailable in your version, you can trade Pokémon to get one holding the particular ingredient. Otherwise, you can cook with another player having the opposite version since the recipes you will make will also enter your CurryDex. 

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Sword vs Shield: Which One Will You Choose? 

When Game Freak released two versions of the Gen 8 adventure of Pokémon, Sword and Shield, they knew users would be excited to play. Now that you know the key version differences between the two, get your Pokedex ready.

Will you play Pokémon Shield, Sword, or both?

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Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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