Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – Version Exclusives Guide

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl aren’t far off now! If you’re planning to return to (or discover) the Sinnoh region but don’t know which version to go for, we’ve got you covered. There are a number of Pokémon (aside from the obvious Dialga and Palkia) that can only be found in one of two versions. Those looking to complete the Pokédex are either going to have to drop another $60 on the opposite version or find a friend to trade with. Read up and pick the version with the Pokémon you like! Or, if you already placed a pre-order, you can use this information to determine which Pokémon other players are going to be asking for most often.

Brilliant Diamond

As stated earlier, the Legendary Pokémon Dialga can only be found in the Brilliant Diamond version. It’s the box Legendary, after all! That being said, there are many, many more exclusive Pokémon here, so take a look at the list below. It seems that Brilliant Diamond generally has more popular Pokémon than Shining Pearl does, so keep that in mind:

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

Interestingly enough, Gligar wasn’t exclusive to either game in the original versions of Diamond & Pearl, so it’s kind of a shame to see it’s become limited. By the way, you may notice certain Legendary Pokémon on this list but not Groudon and Kyogre — indeed, neither of these two are exclusive this time around. You can catch both of them in the same game!

Shining Pearl

It appears that Shining Pearl’s selection of exclusive Pokémon is leaning a bit more towards the unpopular side, but that’s okay! This game makes up for it by having the superior box Legendary. At least in our opinions. Here’s a complete list of all the Pokémon you can only find in this version, then:

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

Sadly, there’s one big problem here. If you do decide to double dip and buy both versions for Pokédex completion, you’ll still need access to a friend’s Switch system to be able to trade. This is because Pokémon HOME won’t be compatible with Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl until 2022. For example, if you download both games to your system, you won’t be able to trade between them until then — be careful!

Our coverage for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl is just beginning! Expect guides on Legendary Pokémon locations, the Poké Radar, and much more! If you’d like to be notified when we release new content, you’re more than welcome to join our Discord community! Who knows, maybe we can even help you fill out your Pokédex if you need it. Good luck!

If you would like to read more Pokémon guides, please follow this link.


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