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

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are now available on Nintendo Switch, and just like with other mainline Pokemon games, there are a handful of differences that set the two versions apart, mostly exclusive Pokemon. Each game features an assortment of monsters that cannot be found in the other version. If you don’t know which game to buy, here are all the exclusive versions of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Version differences

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

These aren’t the only Legendary Pokémon exclusive to each release. After completing the main scenario, you will have access to a new facility called Ramanas Park, where you can catch other Legendary Pokemon that weren’t previously available in the original Diamond and Pearl games. However, some of these legendary monsters differ depending on which version you are playing; Ho-oh, for example, only appears in Brilliant Diamond, while Shining Pearl players will encounter Lugia instead.


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


During your adventure, you can also obtain fossils which can then be revived into Pokémon. The fossil you can find also 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 transforms into Shieldon.

A few wild Pokémon are also exclusive to each version, meaning the only way to get them in the other game is to trade with another player. You can see all the Pokemon exclusive to the confirmed release below.

Brilliant Diamond Exclusives

  • caterpie
  • Metapod
  • Without butter
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • growlith
  • Arcanine
  • See
  • Dewgong
  • Sickle
  • chisel
  • Elekid
  • Electrabuzz
  • elective
  • murkrow
  • Honchkrow
  • gligar
  • Gliscor
  • Entei
  • Raikou
  • suicide
  • larvitar
  • desk
  • Tyranitar
  • Ho-oh
  • Seed
  • Nuzfeuille
  • changing
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • solrock
  • Kecleon
  • Cranidos
  • Railings
  • Dumb
  • Skuntanks
  • Dialga

Shining Pearl Exclusives

  • Aspicot
  • kakuna
  • Drill
  • shrew
  • sandblast
  • Vulpix
  • Fenard
  • Lambin
  • slow bro
  • Slow-down
  • Magby
  • Magmar
  • Magmortar
  • Pinser
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Sulfur
  • Misdreavus
  • Mismagius
  • Teddiursa
  • Ursaring
  • Stanler
  • Lugia
  • lotad
  • The shadow
  • Ludicolo
  • Sableye
  • to evict
  • Lunatone
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Shield
  • Bastidon
  • Glamour
  • purugly
  • Palkia

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

As an added bonus for early adopters, anyone who purchases a copy of Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl before February 21, 2022 can receive two gifts through the Mystery Gift feature: a free manaphy egg and Pokemon Platinum outfits for their trainer. Players who have save data for other Pokemon games on their Switch may also receive a free Jirachi and Mew.