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Pokémon: Sun & Moon

Sun Versus Moon

Vincent Lau

The two games are literally day and night, but the differences arent quite so.

The mainline Pokémon games generally arrive in pairs and this time it’s no different. As usual, it doesn’t matter too much which game you pick–Sun or Moon–as the game itself is essentially the same. The main difference lies in the Pokémon you can catch, although there is a bit more to it than that…

Time Offset

Actually, the biggest difference between Sun and Moon can be felt as soon as you start the game. If you’re playing Pokémon Sun, you won’t notice a thing. However, Pokémon Moon players will discover the time of day in the game has been shifted by 12 hours .

What this means is that if it’s day time in real life, it will probably be night time in Pokémon Moon and vice versa. The in-game time is determined by the 3DS clock, so if you don’t fancy the time asymmetry, you can set your clock back or forth 12 hours. Just be wary of possible side effects in other games!

Exclusive Pokémon

The other big difference–and one you can’t reliably control–is the Pokémon species that you can only catch in one version or the other. If you’re a Sun player and you want a Pokémon exclusive to Moon (or vice versa), you’ll need to trade with somebody or you’re out of luck.

New Pokémon

Exclusive to Sun Exclusive to Moon
Passimian Oranguru
Turtonator Drampa
Vulpix (Alolan) Sandshew (Alolan)
Ninetales (Alolan) Sandslash (Alolan)
Solgaleo Lunala
Buzzwole Pheromosa
Kartana Celesteela

Returning Pokémon

Exclusive Evolution

Related to the above, Rockruff can evolve into one of two forms, depending on which game you’re playing. Those playing Sun can witness Rockruff evolving into Lycanroc (Midday), while those with Moon will end up with Lycanroc (Midnight) instead.

Likewise, if you like the look of the other Lycanroc, you can trade with somebody who’s got the game that you don’t own. Or if you really want your own Rockruff to evolve into the other form, you could temporarily loan the Rockruff and have it evolve in the other game, before taking it back.

There’s one more Pokémon that evolves into one of two Pokémon depending on the game, but we’ll keep quiet due to story spoilers.

Alternate Events

Without spoiling too much, some of the events that occur during the story can vary depending on if you’re playing Sun or Moon. For instance, the Totem Pokémon you encounter at the end of a trial may be different or you may be forced to fight a different kind of Ultra Beast.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
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  • Guide Release
    12 December 2016
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Vincent Lau, Cassie Sun

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Welcome to Alola, a region of tropical islands, filled with gorgeous natural beauty and Pokemon never seen before. Having recently moved to Alola, your journey begins soon afterwards. Your adventures will be filled with fascinating and colorful people with quirky island traditions and of course Pokémon. Delight in the mysteries of the brand new Alola region as your travels take you the length and breadth of the region and the secrets of the legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala are finally unveiled.

Our massive and comprehensive guide includes the following:

  • A full route and trial battle guide covering your journey from Pokémon novice to eventual Champion.

  • All dungeons and Rite of the Island challenges covered.

  • Detailed breeding and capture guide, including locations for every Pokémon as well as information on the new Alolan forms.

  • Gameplay strategies to maximise your team potential as well as details on Hyper Training.

  • Minigames and secrets uncovered.

  • An explanation of the brand new Rotom Pokédex and loads more!

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