Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: All version differences and exclusives

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Academy hero
(Image credit: iMore)

As with most Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet came as two separate games. While the adventure is mostly the same in either version, there are some significant changes. Whether you already have one of the two new titles or you're trying to decide which you'd like, these differences will show what unique features each title has.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet differences: Pokémon

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Armarouge and Ceruledge

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

All Pokémon games that come as two games have creatures exclusive to each title that can be traded online or among friends. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet continued this and made the legendary Pokémon that are unique to each a bigger part of the game as players buddy up with them and can ride them to more quickly explore the area. 

Scarlet players will have access to the red dragon Koraidon, a symbol of the past. Violet players, however, will have the purple dragon Miraidon, a representation of the future. But there are more than just these giant beasts that are Pokémon specific to Scarlet or Violet. There are 24 found only in Scarlet and 23 found only in Violet with 400 total Pokémon across both games. Many of the exclusives are meant to represent past vs future versions of Pokémon.

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Exclusive Pokémon
Tauros (Blaze Breed)Tauros (Aqua Breed)
Great TuskIron Treads
Brute BonnetIron Moth
Sandy ShockIron Hands
Scream TailIron Jugulis
Flutter ManeIron Thorns
Slither WingIron Bundle
Roaring MoonIron Valiant

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet differences: Academy

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet multiplayer selfie

(Image credit: iMore)

Some of the biggest differences to the games are found in the academy. In Scarlet players attend Naranja Academy while Violet players attend Uva Academy. Fittingly, the Naranja Academy has an orange theme while the Uva Acaemy features a purple theme. 

To match these themes, your uniform reflects these same colors: Orange shorts and an orange tie in Scarlet while Violet students wear purple shorts and a purple tie. Additionally, the school crests have an orange on them in Scarlet while Violet's school crest features grapes. Within the Academy, there are books and magazines available to read that will have different lore depending on which Academy you're at. 

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet differences: Professors

During your time at your allotted academy, you will team up with a research professor who is looking into the Legendary Pokémon of the region. The Professors' appearances also represent the past and future theme. In Scarlet players have female Professor Sada who wears a necklace with animal teeth as well as a fur coat. Meanwhile, male Professor Turo in Violet dresses in a tight-fitting jumpsuit with purple lines running through it. This is the first time players have worked with different professors based on game versions. 

Looking forward or back?

The past versus future settings are well depicted in the game and make for fun design choices that match the themes and can be one easy preference to base your decision on. Both games have vibrant colors heavily represented in the game from uniform, to Academy, and even the Legendary Pokémon that may sway your choice one way or another. Or maybe just knowing which Pokémon you're most interested in will guide you. 

However you make your choice, look forward to playing the game on your Nintendo Switch and building a team you can look back on proudly when you've completed it.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.