Pokemon Sun & Moon guide: version differences, plus where to find & catch exclusive Pokemon

By Alex Donaldson, Tuesday, 22 November 2016 14:00 GMT

Want to catch them all? You’ll need to catch some extras of these to trade.

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Pokemon Sun & Moon: What’s the difference between the versions? Which should you buy

A major factor in any Pokemon release is the fact there’s always more than one game. The games always have subtle differences between the two. But what are they? And which version is best for you? That’s always a difficult question indeed.

So, what’s different? Allow us to fill you in really quickly here.

  • Version exclusive Pokemon.

    As you’ll find listed in detail below, each version of the game has a few version exclusive Pokemon of its own.

  • Legendary Pokemon & Ultra Beasts.

    Part of the exclusives listed above are the legendary Pokemon and Ultra Beasts. The legendaries are those you see on the game box, and there’s one exclusive per game. There’s also two special version-exclusive ultra beasts in each game.

  • Time of Day.

    Pokemon Sun’s in-game clock will match the real world. Pokemon Moon, however, is shifted 12 hours. This means if you play Pokemon Moon in the daytime, it’ll be night in-game – which is appropriate given the game names.

  • Totem Pokemon.

    A big part of your Island Challenge is in defeating Totem Pokemon, and these will be different Pokemon depending on the version you play.

  • Clothing Unlocks.

    There are some colours of clothing customisation that are exclusive to each version initially, though the full set can be later unlocked.

  • Festival Plaza Unlocks.

    Festival Plaza is where multiplayer takes place, and it’s an actual area you upgrade by playing. The order of upgrades is slightly different, and there’s some version-exclusive stores in each.

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Pokemon Sun version exclusive Pokemon – what they are, where to get them

These are the Pokemon that you’ll only find in Pokemon Sun – any players of Pokemon Moon will have to trade with Sun players to get their hands on these beasts.

  • Cottonee

    • Evolves into Whimsicott
    • Found in Malie Garden, Melemele Meadow, Poni Meadow, Poni Plains, Ula’ula Meadow
  • Whimsicott

    • Evolves from Cottonee
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Rufflet

    • Evolves into Braviary
    • Found on Route 3
  • Braviary

    • Evolves from Rufflet
    • Found in the Poni Plains
  • Passimian

    • Found in the Lush Jungle (Grass Trial zone)
  • Turtonator

    • Found on Blush Mountain
  • Lycanroc Midday Form

    • Evolves from Rockruff
    • Found in the Vast Poni Canyon
  • Vulpix Alola Form

    • Evolves into Alola Ninetales
    • Found on Mount Lanakila and Tapu Village
  • Ninetales Alola Form

    • Evolves from Alola Vulpix
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Cranidos

    • Evolves into Rampardos
    • Buy Skull Fossil from Konikoni City, Exchange it on Route 8
  • Rampardos

    • Evolves from Cranidos
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Tirtouga

    • Evolves into Carracosta
    • Buy Cover Fossil from Konikoni City, Exchange it on Route 8
  • Carracosta

    • Evolves from Tirtouga
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Solgaleo (Legendary Pokemon)

    • Obtained as part of the story at the Altar of the Sunne
  • Buzzwole (Ultra Beast)

    • Buzzwole will spawn as part of story events, and will be found in Melemele Meadow.
  • Kartana (Ultra Beast)

    • This Ultra Beast will spawn as part of the story and will be found on Route 17 or in Malie Garden.

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Pokemon Moon version exclusive Pokemon – what they are, where to find them

These are the Pokemon that you’ll only find in Pokemon Moon’s version of Alola. Fans playing Pokemon Sun will have to meet up with friends or fire up the Festival Plaza and head online to trade with Moon players to catch these Pokemon.

  • Petilil

    • Evolves into Lilligant
    • Found in Malie Garden, Melemele Meadow, Poni Meadow, Poni Plains and Ula’ula Meadow
  • Lilligant

    • Evolves from Petilil
    • Only available via evolution
  • Vullaby

    • Evolves into Mandibuzz
    • Can be caught on Route 3
  • Mandibuzz

    • Evolves from Vullaby
    • Found on the Poni Poni Plains
  • Oranguru

    • Found in the Lush Jungle (Grass Trial zone)
  • Drampa

    • Can be caught on Mount Lanakila
  • Lycanroc Midnight Form

    • Evolves from Rockruff
    • Found in the Vast Poni Canyon
  • Sandshrew Alola Form

    • Evolves into Alola Sandslash
    • Found on Mount Lanakila and in Tapu Village
  • Sandslash Alola Form

    • Evolves from Alola Sandshrew
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Shieldon

    • Evolves into Bastiodon
    • Buy Shield Fossil from Konikoni City, Exchange it on Route 8
  • Bastiodon

    • Evolves from Shieldon
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Archen

    • Evolves into Archeops
    • Buy Plume Fossil from Konikoni City, Exchange it on Route 8
  • Archeops

    • Evolves from Archen
    • Only obtained via Evolution
  • Lunala (Legendary Pokemon)

    • Obtained as part of the story at the Altar of the Moone
  • Pheromosa (Ultra Beast)

    • Pheromosa will spawn as part of story events, and will be found in the Verdant Cavern.
  • Celesteela (Ultra Beast)

    • Ultra Beast Celesteela will spawn as part of the story and will be found in Haina Desert or the Malie Garden.

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