Pokemon Sun vs Moon: A Closer Look at the Key Differences

Discover the key differences between Pokemon Sun and Moon in our comprehensive guide. Learn about the unique Pokemon in each game, the exclusive features and challenges, and the different storylines that await you. Whether you’re a new or seasoned player, this article has everything you need to know to make the most of your adventure in the Alola region.

Pokemon Sun vs Moon: Exploring the Vital Distinctions Between the Two Iconic Titles

Pokemon Sun and Moon are the seventh generation of the popular Pokemon series by Nintendo and Game Freak. Both games were released in 2016 and became instant hits among fans. While both games share a lot of similarities, there are key differences that set them apart from each other. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at those differences.

Pokemon Sun and Moon take place in the Alola region, a tropical paradise inspired by Hawaii. The region is inhabited by all-new Pokemon species, and players are tasked with capturing them while on their journey to become the Pokemon Champion. The games introduce new features, such as the Z-Moves, which can only be used once per battle, and the ability to ride on Pokemon to explore new areas.

However, despite the similarities, there are key differences between Sun and Moon that make them unique. These differences include storyline, available Pokemon, and exclusive features. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these differences and determine which game is the better choice for you.

Pokemon Sun vs Moon: A Closer Look at the Key Differences


Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are the two most recent installments in the long-running Pokemon franchise. Both games were released in late 2016, and each has its own unique features and differences that set it apart from the other. In this article, we will take a closer look at the key differences between Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon and help you decide which one is the right choice for you.

From the different Pokemon available to catch and train, to the various settings and feature expansions, Pokemon Sun and Moon offer a lot for fans of the series to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the series, there’s something for everyone in these two games.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a closer look at some of the key differences between Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon!

Gameplay Differences

Battle System

One of the major differences in gameplay between Pokemon Sun and Moon is the implementation of the battle system. In Sun, players are introduced to the Battle Royale mode, where four trainers battle each other simultaneously. This mode can be played both online and offline, adding a new level of strategy to traditional Pokemon battles. Moon, on the other hand, introduces the Z-Move mechanic: powerful, one-time-use moves that can turn the tide of a battle in an instant.

Island Challenges

Another key difference between Sun and Moon is the introduction of the Island Challenge system in Moon. Rather than simply battling gym leaders to earn badges, players in Moon must complete various tasks and trials on each island to progress. These challenges can vary from catching specific Pokemon to solving puzzles, adding a unique twist to the traditional Pokemon adventure.

Day/Night Cycle

While both games feature a day/night cycle, the way in which each game utilizes this mechanic is different. In Sun, the game is synced to your 3DS’s clock, meaning that the game’s time will match your real-world time. Moon, on the other hand, has a 12-hour time difference from Sun, effectively flipping the game’s day/night cycle. This means that players in Moon will experience a different set of events and encounters based on whether they play during the day or at night.

Gameplay Differences Comparison
Pokemon Sun Pokemon Moon
Battle System Introduces Battle Royale mode Introduces Z-Move mechanic
Progression System Traditional gym leader battles and badge collection Island Challenge system with various tasks and trials to complete
Day/Night Cycle Synchronized to 3DS clock 12-hour time difference, flipping day/night cycle

Storyline Differences

The storyline in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon follows the same basic plot, but there are some key differences. In Pokemon Sun, the player character is the new resident in the Alola region, while in Pokemon Moon, the character is a cousin of the region’s professor.

In addition, the two versions feature different teams of antagonists, with Sun players facing off against Team Skull and Moon players battling the mysterious Aether Foundation. The legendary Pokemon that serve as the focus of the games’ plots also differ, with Sun players seeking Solgaleo while Moon players pursue Lunala.

The two games also have some different side quests and character interactions, adding to the unique flavor of each version. For example, players in Pokemon Sun can participate in a surfing mini-game, while players in Pokemon Moon can help a character find and photograph various Pokemon.

Visual Differences

New Alola Region

Pokemon Sun and Moon take place in a new region called Alola, which is based on Hawaii and features a tropical climate. The graphics have been updated to reflect this new setting, with bright colors, lush vegetation, and sandy beaches. The towns and cities also have a unique look, with a mix of traditional and modern architecture.

Day and Night Cycles

One of the key visual differences in Pokemon Sun and Moon is the day and night cycle. In Pokemon Sun, the game is set to your device’s internal clock and follows a 12-hour cycle that matches the real world. In contrast, Pokemon Moon has a 12-hour cycle that is shifted by 12 hours, so the day and night periods are reversed. This can have an impact on the availability of certain Pokemon and the types of trainers you’ll encounter.

Pokemon Designs

The Pokemon designs in Sun and Moon are some of the most unique and visually striking in the series. Each of the new Pokemon has been designed to reflect the Alolan region and its culture, with influences from Hawaiian mythology and real-world animals. Many of the returning Pokemon have also been updated with new Alolan forms, which give them a fresh look and new abilities.

Totem Pokemon Battles

In Pokemon Sun and Moon, you’ll encounter special Totem Pokemon that are larger and more powerful than typical wild Pokemon. These Totem Pokemon battles take place in unique environments, with different lighting and colors that add to the visual experience. The Totem Pokemon themselves have impressive designs, with glowing eyes and imposing stances.

  • In summary, the visual differences between Pokemon Sun and Moon are significant. The new Alola region, day and night cycle, Pokemon designs, and Totem Pokemon battles all contribute to a distinct and immersive experience.


Both Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon offer unique experiences that appeal to different types of players. Sun’s focus on traditional Pokémon training, battling, and exploration will satisfy longtime fans of the series, while Moon’s emphasis on story and character development will appeal to those seeking a deeper narrative experience.

Players will also notice differences in the game’s legendary Pokémon, with Solgaleo and Lunala featuring contrasting abilities and attitudes. Additionally, the games’ versions exclusives allow players to trade with each other in order to complete their Pokédex and obtain all the available Pokémon.

Ultimately, whether you choose Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon, you are in for a thrilling adventure filled with discovery, friendship, and, of course, Pokémon battles.

Frequently Asked Question:

What are the main differences between Pokemon Sun and Moon?

Pokemon Sun and Moon have different legendary Pokemons, exclusive Pokemon species, and a different storyline. Additionally, Sun has a 12-hour time difference from Moon, which affects in-game events.

Are there any exclusive Pokemons in Pokemon Sun and Moon?

Yes, each game has its own set of exclusive Pokemons. For example, in Pokemon Sun, players can catch Alolan Vulpix, while in Moon, they can catch Alolan Sandshrew.

Can you still catch the same Pokemons in both games?

Yes, most Pokemons can be caught in both games. However, there are some that are exclusive to only one game.

Does the storyline differ in Pokemon Sun and Moon?

Yes, the main storyline of both games is different. In Sun, players have to prevent the Aether Foundation from summoning the legendary Pokemon Solgaleo, while in Moon, they have to stop the Foundation from summoning Lunala.

What are the differences between the Pokemons’ behavior in Sun and Moon?

There are no noticeable differences in the Pokemons’ behavior between both games. However, their moveset and abilities might differ, giving players different strategies to use in battles.

Are there any differences in the game mechanics between Sun and Moon?

Both games have the same game mechanics, such as the battle system, the Pokemons’ EV and IV training, and the breeding system. However, there are some tweaks in Sun and Moon, such as the removal of HMs and the addition of Z-moves and special abilities like Ride Pokémon.

Are the graphics different in Pokemon Sun and Moon?

Both games have the same graphics style, but Sun and Moon have different environments and landscapes. Sun is set in a tropical region, while Moon is set in a darker, more urban area.

Can you transfer Pokemons from Sun to Moon, and vice versa?

Yes, players can transfer Pokemons from Sun to Moon using the Pokemon Bank app. Additionally, players can trade Pokemons between both games using the Festival Plaza in-game feature.

Are there any major improvements in Pokemon Sun and Moon compared to previous titles?

Yes, some of the notable improvements in Sun and Moon include the removal of HMs, the addition of Ultra Beasts and Z-moves, the new SOS battle system, and the Alola Forms of classic Pokemon species. Additionally, the graphics and soundtrack are praised for their quality and presentation.

What are the differences between the upcoming Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games compared to the previous versions?

The upcoming Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games have an alternate storyline that takes place after the events of the original games. Additionally, new features include the Mantine surfing, the Alola Photo Club, and the inclusion of new Ultra Beasts and Pokemons. The games will also introduce new Z-moves and abilities, as well as new story elements and characters.

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Alex 'GameMaster' Johnson
ProGamer/ author of the article

Hi there, I'm Alex 'GameMaster' Johnson, your resident author and pro gamer here at Lost in the Games. With over a decade of experience in the gaming world, I've spent countless hours mastering the art of virtual battles, quests, and adventures. I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge, tips, and insights with fellow gamers to help you level up your skills and enjoy every pixel of this incredible universe. Let's embark on this gaming journey together and explore the fascinating realms of our favorite games!

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