How to choose between Pokémon Sun and Moon

Which trip to Alola should you take? Here’s what we think.

Originally Published: 
The Pokemon Company

November 2020 was all about important decisions. Like, when Pokémon Sun and Moon launched, which version would you choose? Game Freak changed things up a bit this time, so there are a few new things to consider when picking. With that in mind, let’s compare what we know about Pokémon Sun and Moon to inform your big choice.

Early bird or night owl?


1. The Time Difference

Pokémon Sun and Moon operate in different time zones — they’re 12 hours apart! Pokémon Sun’s time matches the Nintendo 3DS’ internal clock, but Pokémon Moon is 12 hours ahead. So if you’re playing during the day, it’ll actually be night. You’ll have to decide if you prefer catching Pokémon by the light of the moon or in broad daylight. Your schedule might be something else to consider, depending on when you’re available to put in Pokémon time.

Solgaleo or Lunala -- the choice is yours. 


2. Legendary Pokémon

Fitting with tradition, each version gets a unique legendary Pokémon. They each can take on special forms based on the time of the day, but ultimately you’ll probably want to choose the one whose type matches your preferences. Lunala is a Ghost/Psychic type, while Solgaleo is a Psychic/Steel type. The game’s story also branches around the different legendary Pokémon.

Lycanroc takes on different forms depending on your version of the game. 


3. Unique Pokémon

There are Pokémon unique to each game apart from the legendaries, too. Passimian, a Fighting type, is only found in Sun, while Moon’s Oranguru is a Normal/Psychic type. Some may even evolve into different Pokémon depending on which version you have. Rockruff, the adorable Rock-type puppy, evolves into Midday Lycanroc in Sun and Midnight Lycanroc in Moon.

Different Totem Pokémon are available depending on your version. 


You’ll also face off against different Totem Pokémon when you do Island Trials. For example, Pokémon Sun players will find Gumshoo in the Melemele Island trial, while Alolan Raticate will appear in Pokémon Moon.

Super mosquito or high-heeled mayfly -- take your pick

Nintendo Wire

4. Ultra Beasts

Ultra Beasts are seemingly not really Pokémon, though they look like them. They’re linked to the Aether Foundation, which performs research on Pokémon and other assorted monsters. Ultra Beasts take on different appearances based on the version of the game. The picture above showcases the Sun and Moon versions of UB-02, respectively, and clearly, they vary quite a bit.

Pokémon Sun and Moon are currently available on Nintendo 3DS.

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