Pokémon Gold vs. Silver: Which Version should you get?

What I love most about the early generations of the Pokémon game series is that they lay the foundation for the long-standing traditions we all know and love today. It’s been over 2 decades but I still remember the excitement I felt when my mom told me I could get one of the 2nd generation Pokémon series. As a kid, choosing between gold and silver was a hard choice. I was still new to Pokémon so I did not have a lot of knowledge to base my choice on.

Fast forward to today, as an avid player, I decided to come up with this article to share the knowledge I have gained after finally playing Pokémon Gold and Silver. So, if you have just discovered the world of Pokémon or are a seasoned player, going back to the classics, this article will help you decide which of the two versions is worth getting. Keep reading to see the key variations that set them apart.

Pokémon Gold vs. Silver – How They Compare.

But, first, here is a quick summary of the key differences we will be looking at later in the article:


Pokémon Gold

Pokémon Silver

Version Exclusive Pokémon

  • Phanpy/Donphan
  • Ledyba/Ledian
  • Meowth/Persian
  • Vulpix/Ninetales
  • Butterfree
  • Delibird
  • Skarmory
  • Weedle
  • Growlithe/Arcanine
  • Spinarak/Ariados
  • Mankey/Primeape
  • Teddiursa/Ursaring
  • Beedrill
  • Caterpie
  • Gligar
  • Mantine

Legendary Pokémon

  • Ho-oh (available at level 40)
  • Lugia (available at level 70)
  • Lugia (available at Level 40)
  • Ho-oh (available at Level 70)

Color Palette

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Blue
  • Silver

What are the differences between Pokémon Gold and Silver?

Pokémon Gold 
Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver. Image source: Pokemon

As has been the tradition from the very first release, Pokémon is known to always release two versions of each generation, and the 2nd generation was no different. But with these two versions, the similarities seem to outweigh the differences, so understandably choosing between the two can be difficult.

But in as much as Pokémon Gold and Silver may appear the same at face value, there are some key differences worth noting that could help sway your decision. These differences are as follows:

Version Exclusives

If there is one difference you can count on any two versions having, it is the type of Pokémon you can catch that is exclusive to each version. Pokémon Gold and Silver each also have a list of Pokémon that are only available one or the other.

While this is an obvious difference, the choice ultimately boils down to your preference. Which Pokémon would you like to catch? Obviously for a seasoned player, answering this question will be easy. But what if you are a newbie who barely knows anything about the different Pokémon let alone the game itself?

I would advise looking at the stats, but even this will depend on your playstyle and the type of team you’re building. Still, I would say that overall, Gold’s Pokémon had better stats compared to those that were exclusive to Silver. Although, in my experience, a lot of the version exclusive Pokémon in Gold are rarely ever used.

Still, I would have to say, Gold has better version exclusives, sorely based on the stats but the choice between the two will ultimately depend on your preference and playstyle.

Legendary Pokémon

Pokémon Gold
Legendary Pokémon. Image source: Pinterest

Like every other generation, Pokémon Gold and Silver have a legendary Pokémon, who is at the heart of the story and can slightly affect the plot depending on the version you go with. But unlike other generations, these legendary Pokémon are not exclusive to either version.

You can capture Ho-oh and Lugia in both versions the only difference is the level. In Gold, Ho-oh was available at level 40 while I could only capture Lugia at level 70 after battling the Elite Four. In Silver, Lugia was the first legendary I could capture at Level 40 while Ho-oh appeared post-game at Level 70.

But that wasn’t the only twist. While both Legendries are equally powerful in terms of their stats, their special moves were exclusive to one version. For example, in Gold Ho-oh can learn its signature move Sacred Fire while in Silver it can’t. Although in Silver you can still use its Fire Blast move, which isn’t bad either.

On the other hand, Lugia can only learn its signature move, Aeroblast, in Silver but not in Gold. But in Gold, you still have the option of using its Hydropump move, which in my opinion is useless compared to its signature move. So, in other words, the Ho-oh version in gold is much better than the silver version whereas the Silver Lugia is more powerful than the gold version.

Overall, I would go with Silver since it has a better choice of legendaries. That’s because Lugia is more powerful in that version, and Silver’s Ho-oh isn’t bad either even without its signature move, compared to the Lugia I’d get in Gold which would be useless without its signature move.

Color Palette and Graphics

Pokémon Gold vs. Silver
Pokémon Gold graphics. Image source: Pinterest

This is another obvious difference, and while it won’t affect the overall experience of playing the game, it is still worth considering if aesthetics really matter to you. You want to play a game that’s pleasant to look at after all.

With gold, the color palette is mainly red, orange, and yellow hues. With silver, you get mostly silver and blue. While I appreciated the cooler tones of the Silver version, I preferred the colorful vibrance of the warm tones in Gold. Because of the colors, I felt that the sprites in gold looked way better than the ones in Silver. But that’s purely preferential, since overall, the graphics are generally the same.

Still, I would have to go with Gold in terms of the better color palette but if you’re not the colorful type then you’ll appreciate the mellow tones in Silver.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Pokémon Gold or Silver

All things considered, I would say Gold is the clear winner, for me, since it offers exclusive Pokémon with better stats overall and I prefer the vibrant color palette it comes with. But I cannot ignore the fact that Silver offers a better choice when it comes to Legendries since you wouldn’t want to go to battle with the Gold Lugia whose best move is a Hydropump.

Even so, it’s worth noting that you can always use the Move reminder to teach them their signature moves when you transfer them to Pokémon Sun and Moon. So, there’s really no loss there. Ultimately, the choice you make between the two versions will depend on your preference and play style.

FAQ Section

Which is more popular Pokémon Gold or Silver?

It depends on who you ask, but it would seem that most players preferred the Gold version over the Silver one. But overall, Pokémon Gold and Silver are among the most popular generations to be released.

Is Pokémon Gold more successful than Pokémon Silver?

No. According to the sales as reported by IGN, Silver outsold Gold by approximately 100,000 copies by the year 2000 in Japan alone.

How many hours does it take to finish Pokémon Gold and Silver?

It will take you 30 hours to complete either version, if you focus on the main objectives of the game, but if you want to achieve 100% completion, that should take you approximately, 162 hours.

Which game is longer between Pokémon Gold and Silver?

None. Both games follow a similar plot and share similar objectives so it would take the same amount of time to finish either version.

Can you replace Pokémon Gold with Silver?

Unless you are trading with another player, it is not possible to return one version and get the other in its place.

Is Pokémon Gold and Silver the same story?

Yes, both versions share largely the same plot, with a few variations in which Pokémon you can catch and the type of legendary you get to catch first.

Which one has a better game between Pokémon Gold and Silver?

This will depend on preference since the graphics, plot, and core mechanics of the game are the same in both versions so the gaming experience won’t be so different.

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