Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire drop tomorrow, bringing Pokémon fans worldwide another chance to gather their beloved fighting monsters, save the world and become a Pokémon Master. Both games, which are remastered versions of the original Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, are basically the same, but some key differences are worth noting. After all, how are you supposed to choose which game to play if you don’t know what each one offers? You could always buy both in one neat package (and get 100 free potions to boot), but let’s be realistic: Most people aren’t going to do that.
We’ve found five major differences between Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and listed them here so you can decide which version is best for you.
1. Omega Ruby Gets Groudon, & Alpha Sapphire Gets Kyogre
The biggest, most notable difference between Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is right there on the games’ covers: the legendaries. For those who haven’t played the original games, Omega Ruby gets Groudon (the red guy), and Alpha Sapphire gets Kyogre (the whale). Groudon is the Continent Pokémon, and as such, he’s a Ground type. When he undergoes his primal reversion, a mid-battle evolution new the series, he becomes a Ground/Fire type. Kyogre is the Sea Basin Pokémon, and is (obviously) a Water type. Both come with unique moves and stats, so choose wisely when deciding what legendary you want.
2. There Are Version-Exclusive Pokémon
Every Pokémon game launch ever features version-exclusive Pokémon. Game Freak does this to either encourage players to interact and trade with each other or to tempt fans to buy both versions. So it should come as no surprise that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire come with Pokémon you can only get in one version or the other. The Omega Ruby-exclusive Pokémon include Latios, Mawile, Seedot, Nuzleaf, Shiftry, Solrock and Zangoose while the Alpha Sapphire ones are Latias, Sableye, Lotad, Lombre, Ludicolo, Lunatone and Serviper. Of course, with messaging boards, forums and mystery trades, it should be no problem acquiring the elusive Pokémon you’re seeking, regardless of version purchased.
3. You Get One Rival Team: Magma or Aqua
New to the series are version-exclusive rival teams. In every Pokémon game there’s always some faction set on world destruction that the player has to battle, but this time, that team is dependent on the version you play. Omega Ruby players have Team Magma to worry about while Alpha Sapphire buyers get Team Aqua. Team Magma likes to use Fire Pokémon while Aqua uses Water types, so keep that in mind. For instance, if you love only using Fire type Pokémon, you might find it difficult going against Team Aqua and would be better off buying Omega Ruby. Just a suggestion.
4. There Might Be Different Mega Stones
This difference is unconfirmed, but speculation is warranted. Pokémon X/Y introduced mega stones, which are held items that allow certain Pokémon to mega evolve mid-battle into more awesome versions of themselves with new stats, typing, abilities and designs. The feature was so popular that Game Freak introduced a ton of new mega Pokémon for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but to mega evolve these beasts, you need mega stones. In X and Y, there were different mega stones available depending on what version you had. Chances are, considering how big the list of new mega Pokémon is, the same thing will happen with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. For those curious, the new mega Pokémon are Sceptile, Swampert , Beedrill, Pidgeot, Slowbro, Steelix, Sableye, Sharpedo, Camerupt, Altaria, Glalie, Salamence, Metagross, Lopunny, Gallade, Audino and Diancie.
5. The Story Is Technically Different Between Both Games
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, there’s actually a difference between the stories of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. In the former, you’ve got Team Magma using Fire Pokémon to try to capture Groudon for their own evil purposes, while in the latter there’s Team Aqua using Water Pokémon to kidnap Kyogre for the same reasons. The overall tone and plot are the same, but the variety in rival teams, available Pokémon, legendaries and mega evolutions means the games have some pretty big differences, at least aesthetically. You can’t go wrong with either game, but now you know everything you need to make an informed decision on which one to purchase. Now get out there and become a Pokémon Master!