Pokémon X vs Pokémon Y Similarities, Differences, and Full Comparison

Pokemon X

Pokémon X vs Pokémon Y Similarities, Differences, and Full Comparison

In 2013, the world of Pokémon took a huge leap forward with the release of the Generation Six games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. A whole new era of visuals on the Nintendo 3DS made the games incredibly fun to play. Gamers quickly found lots more to appreciate, including 72 new Pokémon, a new enemy in Team Flare, and more. It was a foundational experience for many young Pokémon fans — but it also came with a classic choice: Which one to play?

As with other generations, the two versions came with different Pokémon to play, and some notable exploration differences. Players still get the finally-realized 3D graphics either way, but we know you may want to know which version to start with. The most important differences focus on the types of Pokémon you can get, and how picking your favorite Pokémon works. Let’s dive in.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Must-Know Facts

Two legendaries in Pokemon X and Y.
Choose your legendaries carefully.


Let’s go over a quick summary of the biggest differences.

  • Unlike previous versions, X and Y don’t have different regions, only different Pokémon
  • The games introduce Mega Stones for Mega Evolution, but only certain Evolutions are available in each game
  • The unique legendary Pokémon are limited to Xerneas for X and Yveltal for Y.
  • The legendary Pokémon also have an impact on the very end of the story.
  • Don’t count on trading to get what you want from either game.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Regions

Traditionally, Pokémon games followed a clear division. In most cases, especially with the previous generations leading up to gen-six, the two versions of the Pokémon games included two different regions to explore. For example, in generation five, the Black and White versions of the game included the Black City and the White Forest, which were only accessible if you had the correct version of the game. When the sequels Black 2 and White 2 came out, the same rules applied with a few basic changes to improve the regions.

These regions offered opportunities to meet different trainers, interact with different mechanics, and get different Pokémon. However, not all fans liked how they were locked into certain regions in past games. Black and White were particularly contentious examples, since the White Forest had far more unique Pokémon that could only be found there, leaving Black City dwellers out of luck when trying to catch them all.

So, X and Y did things very differently. These games offer no competing regions to explore. Every player has access to all the same zones and all the same exploration hurdles. Instead, the primary differences focus on the Pokémon that players run into as they complete the story, and the Pokémon that they can interact with as they explore. This removes some of the specialness of having one version or the other, but it does even things out.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Different Pokémon

Unique Pokemon X and Y.
Different versions yield different Pokemon.


With regions removed, some of the most important differences in the games are the different Pokémon that you can encounter. Let’s cover the normal Pokémon you can find first.

Pokémon Available in the Story

Interestingly, the Pokémon you come across in the main campaign vary significantly, with the Y version getting many more new Pokémon than X. that might seem unfair, but X balances out with more Pokémon to find while exploring, as you’ll see below.

Pokémon X Story

  • Pinsir
  • Poochyena
  • Mightyena
  • Sawk
  • Swirlix
  • Slurpuff
  • Lileep (fossil dependent)
  • Cradily (fossil dependent)
  • Anorith (fossil dependent)
  • Armaldo (fossil dependent)

Pokémon Y Story

  • Shellder Cloyster
  • Heracross
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Purrloin
  • Liepard
  • Throh
  • Spritzee
  • Aromatisse
  • Omanyte (fossil dependent)
  • Omaster (fossil dependent)
  • Kabuto (fossil dependent)
  • Kabutops (fossil dependent)

Pokémon Available Through General Exploration

These Pokémon aren’t available as part of the main campaign but can still be found in the world.

Pokémon X Exploration Pokémon

  • Staryu
  • Starmie
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Aron
  • Lairon
  • Aggron
  • Clauncher
  • Clawitzer

Pokémon Y Exploration Pokémon

  • Electrike
  • Manectric
  • Skrelp
  • Dragalge
  • Yveltal

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Legendaries

One of the biggest factors between Pokémon versions are the legendary Pokémon available in each game. There is typically only one legendary Pokémon in each game, and unlike the other Pokémon they tend to have more of an impact on the main story. We’ll talk a bit more about that below, but for now let’s take a look at the different legendaries for each version. As you can imaging, these are the Pokémon the games are named after, and the ones featured on the cover art.

Xerneas (available in X): Xerneas is the fancy stag, a fairy type that’s rumored to be able to give the gift of immortality (check below to see why this matters). It has a very visual battle mode and access to a wide variety of abilities including auras. It provides a necessary, life-giving balance to the opposing force of Yveltal. It’s also one of the only Pokémon that has the ability to create Mega Stones through its interactions with the world.

Yveltal (available in Y): Yveltal is a flying, clawed monster of the dark type, the opposing force of hunger and destruction to Xerneas’ lifegiving abilities. It has the ability to draw the lifeforce from other creatures and turn them into stone, which only Xerneas can reverse. Legends say it has the power to destroy the entire world if necessary.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Mega Stones

Mega Charizard in Pokemon X.
Mega Stones differ between versions of the game.


There’s one more important Pokémon difference in X and Y thanks to new game mechanics. Players can find Mega Stones that cause Mega Evolution with certain Pokémon, giving them a big temporary boost in battle. However, select Mega Stones are only available in certain versions of the game. Here’s which games have unique Mega Stones for these Mega evolutions:

  • Mega Aggron: Stone found in Y
  • Mega Charizard X Version: Stone found in X
  • Mega Charizard Y Version: Stone found in Y
  • Mega Heracross: Stone found in Y
  • Mega Houndoom: Stone found in Y
  • Mega Manectric: Stone found in X
  • Mega Mewtwo X Version: Stone found in X
  • Mega Mewtwo Y Version: Stone found in Y
  • Mega Pinsir: Stone found in X
  • Mega Tyranitar: Stone found in X

For an added twist, the Mega Stones available in a game and their corresponding Pokémon don’t always match up. In these cases (including most of those listed above) you could get a Mega Aggron stone in Y, but the corresponding Pokémon is only found in X. That means players have to do some trading to get the ability, which we’ll discuss more below.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Storyline

The core story for both X and Y is very similar, and many players may not notice differences at all, other than the Pokémon that they run into as they complete the story. However, the legendary Pokémon available do affect what happens. Let’s go over a quick summary: Spoilers abound below!

The story takes place in Kalos, where the main trainer works with Professor Sycamore. As usual, they are encouraged to visit Pokémon Gyms and battle the Gym leaders to gain more experience. Once again, roadblocks emerge, including cities losing power. But most importantly, there are rumors of something called a Mega Stone, which has the ability to massively evolve certain Pokémon for a limited amount of time. The main character agrees to explore the potential of this Mega Evolution and what it might mean.

A problem quickly develops: A new enemy called Team Flare, responsible for stealing energy and creating havoc. Team Flare is led by Lysandre, who originally had big plans to wipe out humanity entirely and let the Pokémon flourish in a world all their own. He wants to use an ancient weapon created by an immortal king to do it. This weapon was once able to bring Pokémon back to life and provide aforementioned immortality, but the ancient king converted it to an ultimate weapon to destroy his enemies. This whole process also led to the creation of Mega Stones.

So far, both versions of the game are basically the same. But during the final battle, key differences emerge depending on the legendary Pokémon that Lysandre uses, which influence his choice on how to use the ultimate weapon.

In X and with Xerneas, Lysandre’s goals appear to be more noble. He really does want to save the world, and he thinks humanity is the problem. If all the people are gone, he thinks Pokémon will be able to flourish. It’s twisted, but more selfless. And when the main character threatens to stop him, he reverts the ultimate weapon to its original form and threatens to curse the main character with immortality. He seems to think seeing humanity ravage the world is a fitting punishment in X.

In Y and with Yveltal, Lysandre takes a very different approach. His final goal is more selfish: He doesn’t want to destroy all humanity for the sake of Pokémon. Instead, he wants to destroy everyone and everything except a select few that he can lead into a new order. He’s willing to sacrifice Pokémon to do this. When threatened, this version of Lysandre tries to use the ultimate weapon to destroy absolutely everything rather than give up.

While these differences occur at the very end of the game, they’re fairly notable for fans who like the lore and want all the details.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Trading

Different versions of Pokémon have different items and Pokémon, but they also add trading options with other players. That allows gamers to get the items that their version doesn’t have (among other tricks). X and Y are no different: They’re made to use the 3DS trading system to exchange things. On the 3DS, you can use the Player Search System, select players, and ask to Trade. It’s a bit easier if you have other players added as Friends. That’s how you can get things like the Pokémon you need for a Mega Stone you have, and so on.

Of course, there’s a tiny problem with this method: the 3DS is very old by now, and now a lot of people are using its trading system. There’s no other way to trade in these games, so that’s a serious limitation. If you’re picking a version to play, don’t expect to rely on trading to get what you want.

Pokémon X vs. Pokémon Y: Which Do Fans Prefer?

As we mentioned, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y removed the separate regions from previous games, so there are less significant differences for fans to discuss. That means preferences come down to which Pokémon fans like best to play with. Let’s sum up a few common opinions:

  • Choosing a version with the Mega Stones you want is one of the most important aspects when battling. For example, if you really like Mega Charizard then you would want Pokémon X.
  • While everyone has their favorite, there’s some consensus that Xerneas is the better-looking and cooler legendary Pokémon (plus has great music).
  • On the other hand, others like Yveltal and in particular feel Yveltal makes a lot more sense for the story.

As you can see, your own preference for Pokémon in competition and your inclination toward type will determine which game you prefer.

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