Pokémon Sun vs. Moon: Which is Right for You?

Pokémon Sun and Moon are here, and gamers have to ask themselves: Which one do I buy? As usual, the two games are similar, take place in the same locale (the Alola region) and will have the same plot, but there are different creatures to catch, and, in a new twist, they take place at different times.

Night owls might prefer Moon over Sun, because the game is shifted forward 12 hours:

"Except for a few scenes, time in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon is tied to the actual time. Pokémon Sun operates on the same time as your Nintendo 3DS system, but time in the world of Pokémon Moon is shifted by 12 hours," the official website reads. That means Moon players will see a lot more of the stars than Sun players, who will see more daylight.

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It wouldn't be a pair of Pokémon games without unique monsters to each game. This official video shows off some of the differences, and Serebii.net has a full list if that helps you decide. These are also the first games in the series where monsters evolve into different creatures depending on which game they're in.

Of course, you can always trade for those exclusives. (In fact, it's encouraged.)

But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the legendary Pokémon. Sun owners have the chance to catch Solgaleo, an lion with a full-metal body that attacks opponents with "the force of a meteor." If you get Moon, it's all about Lunala, a huge bat that absorbs moonlight to fire its Moongeist Beam. This is where I make my decision — Solgaleo is the cooler legendary in my opinion, and I'd choose Sun.

But you can't go wrong with either, and ultimately the experience will be similar in both games. That's been the case since Red and Blue back in 1996, and it still holds true for every major installment.  So pick the Pokémon you like best and trade for the rest. You'll likely have a blast either way.

Pokémon Sun
Pokémon Moon
Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.