Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Full Comparison

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Full Comparison

Pokémon has had a lot of major stepping stones during the franchise’s lifetime. Two of the most significant ones have been Pokémon Diamond & Pearl and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. Both of these games have been series-defining entries that have helped shape Pokémon into what it is now. Today, these games are going head to head to see which one comes out on top. We’re going to break down each game so you’ll know which Pokémon journey is right for you.

The Games

Brilliant Diamond

Both Diamond & Pearl and Scarlet & Violet represent major firsts for the series. Diamond & Pearl is the first mainline Pokémon game on the Nintendo DS. The game first launched in 2006 and would become the standard model for the rest of the Pokémon games released during the DS era. Since the game’s launch, it has sold over 17 million copies worldwide and become one of the most beloved entries in the series.

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet was the first fully open world Pokémon game. The Generation IX title gives players true freedom to explore how they wanted and progress through the story in their own way. It is the latest Pokémon game out right now and is currently receiving expansive DLCs. With over 22 million copies sold worldwide since its release in 2022, it’s clear that Scarlet & Violet will be the new model for Pokémon going forward.

Release Year20062022
Total Units Sold17 million 22 million
ConsoleNintendo DSNintendo Switch


Pokémon Diamond & Pearl allows players to explore the mountainous region of Sinnoh. The Sinnoh region is actually designed after the real-life island of Hokkaido in the northern region of Japan. Sinnoh’s cold weather creates beautiful snowy routes that make the region memorable even to this day.

The Paldea region in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet is one of the more unique regions in the series. Paldea is based on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra. The region combines elements of the prehistoric past and the far-distant future. Traveling through the Paldea region is an epic journey through time.


A promotional image for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's The Indigo Disk DLC.

©Nintendo – Original

As the first Pokémon game on the Nintendo DS, Diamond & Pearl represented a major step forward in the franchise. Tons of new features and updates to mechanics and graphics were implemented. Many of these features were carried over to later games and became a staple of the series.

  • The categorization of Pokémon moves was changed to what it is today. Moves are now labeled as Status, Physical, or Special classifications to better reflect their function in-game.
  • One of the Nintendo DS’s biggest features was its two screens. Diamond & Pearl take advantage of that by using the two screens to display important information while playing.
  • The Nintendo DS’s ability to access Wi-Fi allows players to trade and battle with one another anywhere on the planet. There was no longer a need for link cables. 
  • Double Battles are expanded on with increased focus that made them a core part of the franchise.
  • In the past, when a Pokémon was knocked out, the next Pokémon to enter the battle would receive the incoming attack. This puts losing players at a major disadvantage when battling. Now, the turns are reset when a Pokémon is knocked out.
  • Pokémon Diamond & Pearl stands out as one of the toughest games in the series. The Sinnoh region’s Champion, Cynthia, is still regarded as one of the toughest Pokémon Champions to overcome.
  • Players could use GTS (Global Trading System) to put their Pokémon up for other players to see. With the search function, players could search for Pokémon around the world.

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet rewrote the established Pokémon formula. Despite being in the ninth generation of Pokémon games, Scarlet & Violet manage to feel refreshing. The new features and mechanics implemented for this open-world game keep the familiar experience new.

  • Scarlet & Violet has its own battle gimmick called the Terastal phenomenon. Pokémon are able to change their typing in the middle of battle to increase the power of certain moves.
  • New Pokémon from both the past and future have been brought to the current day called Paradox Pokémon. These Pokémon have new typings than their current-day counterparts.
  • Players will use their Legendary Pokémon, Koraidon or Miraidon, to traverse the expansive Paldea region.

Gym Battles

An in-game screenshot from Pokémon Pearl.

©Screenshot from Pokemon Pearl.

Both titles employ the same iconic system for Gym Battles that has become a defining feature for the franchise. Players challenge the game’s eight Gym Leaders who specialize in a certain type of Pokémon. After collecting the eight gym badges, players will take on the Elite Four and then the region’s Champion to become the number one Pokémon Master. In Diamond & Pearl, defeating Cynthia will prove to be a significant challenge.

Because Scarlet & Violet are open-world games, they handle gym battles a little bit differently. Players can challenge the eight Gym Leaders in any order they wish. The Gym Leaders don’t scale alongside the player, so battling them out of their intended order may be a challenge.

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