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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: All version-exclusive Pokemon and differences

Here's the full list of Pokemon that can only be found in each version.

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The biggest difference between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a handful of Pokemon that are exclusive to each version.
Nintendo

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are now available on Nintendo Switch, and just as with other mainline Pokemon games, there are a handful of differences that set the two versions apart, primarily exclusive Pokemon. Each game features an assortment of monsters that can't be found in the other version. If you're unsure of which game to get, here are all of the version exclusives in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Version differences

Like the original Diamond and Pearl games for the Nintendo DS, the primary difference between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is exclusive Pokemon. Each game features a handful of monsters that can't be found in the other version, including the legendary Pokemon at the heart of the story: Dialga and Palkia. In Brilliant Diamond, the villainous Team Galactic is on a quest to summon Dialga, while Palkia is their target in Shining Pearl.

Those aren't the only legendary Pokemon exclusive to each version. After completing the main storyline, you'll gain access to a new facility called Ramanas Park, where you'll be able to catch other legendary Pokemon that previously weren't available in the original Diamond and Pearl games. However, some of these legendary monsters differ depending on which version you're playing; Ho-oh, for example, only appears in Brilliant Diamond, while Shining Pearl players will instead encounter Lugia.

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The legendary Pokemon Dialga and Palkia only appear in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, respectively.

Nintendo

During the course of your adventure, you can also obtain fossils that can then be revived into Pokemon. Which fossil you can find likewise depends on which version you have. The Skull Fossil is exclusive to Brilliant Diamond and produces Cranidos, while the Armor Fossil is only available in Shining Pearl and turns into Shieldon. 

A few wild Pokemon are exclusive to each version, as well, which means the only way to obtain them in the other game is to trade with another player. You can see all of the confirmed version-exclusive Pokemon below.

Brilliant Diamond exclusives

  • Caterpie
  • Metapod
  • Butterfree
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • Growlithe
  • Arcanine
  • Seel
  • Dewgong
  • Scyther
  • Scizor
  • Elekid
  • Electabuzz
  • Electivire
  • Murkrow
  • Honchkrow
  • Gligar
  • Gliscor
  • Entei
  • Raikou
  • Suicune
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Ho-oh
  • Seedot
  • Nuzleaf
  • Shiftry
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • Solrock
  • Kecleon
  • Cranidos
  • Rampardos
  • Stunky
  • Skuntank
  • Dialga

Shining Pearl exclusives

  • Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Beedrill
  • Sandshrew
  • Sandslash
  • Vulpix
  • Ninetales
  • Slowpoke
  • Slowbro
  • Slowking
  • Magby
  • Magmar
  • Magmortar
  • Pinsir
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Misdreavus
  • Mismagius
  • Teddiursa
  • Ursaring
  • Stantler
  • Lugia
  • Lotad
  • Lombre
  • Ludicolo
  • Sableye
  • Seviper
  • Lunatone
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Shieldon
  • Bastiodon
  • Glameow
  • Purugly
  • Palkia

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl launched on Nov. 19. While the games are very faithful remakes of the original DS titles, they also boast some welcome quality-of-life improvements that help modernize the experience.

As an additional bonus for early adopters, everyone who purchases a copy of Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl before Feb. 21, 2022 can receive two freebies via the Mystery Gift function: a free Manaphy egg and Pokemon Platinum outfits for their trainer. Players who have save data for other Pokemon games on their Switch can also receive a free Jirachi and Mew.